The Old Days
Armed with heritage and traditions passed down through generations and $3000, Kumari Spices ‘N’ Things was founded by Richard and Alice Fernandes in 1990. They began their spice trades from a tiny stall space in the then famous Paddy’s Markets of New Farm, Brisbane.
Richard is of a marine engineering background. He left India at the age of 18 to explore the world, sailing on square riggers, clipper ships, schooners, and the typical Mediterranean “daddies” yachts. His passion to travel has seen him dock and live in over 30 countries, and become savvy in many languages and dialects as a result. (Many of our migrant customers would pop in and enjoy a conversation with Richard in their mother tongue.)
The year of 1970 finally brought Richard to Australia, where he then chose to anchor his life more permanently. Passionate about the marine industry, Richard initially journeyed throughout Australia building boats and becoming involved in a number of marine activities from the Torres Straits to Port Headland. During this time he even began his own boat building business on Breakfast Creek in Brisbane.
A number of changes in his life, one of the greatest being diagnosed with a degenerative eyesight condition known as Retinitis Pigmentosa, resulted in Richard leaving the boat building business behind. Until its close in 1989, Richard then pursued work in an organisation called IINA (“we are here” in Torres Strait Island language) which was devoted to creating opportunities and skills development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island individuals and communities. During this time he met his future wife, Alice. She came to Australia in 1988 due to the Fiji coup, and has a family background in sugar cane farming and an educational background in accountancy.
With the state of his eyesight worsening, Richard and Alice decided to enter into a spice business as an alternative way to ensure an income for their family should his eyesight fail completely. Together, they reinvented themselves to become experts in the spice trade. Trial and error, and many long hours of hard work resulted in a successful small retail and wholesale business that became a household name for many within the Brisbane ethnic communities, restaurants, caterers and more.
Now and the Future
In 2015, a decision was made to move in a new direction, and reformed as a manufacturing company that trades as Kumari Spice World. Having recently achieved a "4 star Eat Safe Brisbane food safety rating" from the Brisbane City Council, the business will soon also become HACCP compliant. This will make trading with Kumari Spice World even easier.
It has been a long journey from the Paddy's Market stall, started 26 years ago, to this exciting new venture to be world class herb and spice manufacturers. The products are still manufactured onsite in Brisbane - from the roasting to grinding, the blending and mixing of herbs and spices to the packaging of products that you will enjoy.
"While our direction may have changed, our welcoming nature and passion for sourcing and delivering only the best quality products available remains the same. We continue to attract clients from wide and varied backgrounds, and with our products being favoured all over Australia and as far as the Americas, the Kumari brand is a brand that you know you can trust.
Looking to the future, projects and ideas are well under way to widen the business' scope to be able to continue to offer our clients the world in culinary delights - from corporate hampers, to market stalls and that one spice or herb which always seems to be missing from the supermarket shelf.
We thank you for your support and look forward to trading with you."
- Richard Fernandes.
(07) 3265 2099