Awards stack up for Spice Devils products

CREATING spice brands at home in Clondalkin in 2013, entrepreneur Shakeel Jeeroburkan has worked hard to deliver an amazing hot streak – scooping numerous awards, supplying 25 Supervalu stores nationwide, along with plans to export his product.

With the help of his wife and son, Mauritian native Shakeel tried out his Spice Devils product at farmers markets in 2013.

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Shakeel, a former policeman who has lived in Ireland for the last nine years, received good feedback from customers and took the next step for his fledgling business – securing a micro-finance loan and a grant from South Dublin County Council LEO office to kickstart the venture.

After winning multiple artisan food awards and relocating the business to a more suitable premises at Ace Enterprise Park in Bawnogue, Shakeel’s stock continues to rise.

Just three short years after he was lugging his goods to farmers markets, today Shakeel supplies Spice Devil products to 25 Supervalu’s, and is developing potential export markets to expand the business.

Mr Shakeel said: “My main base of customers is Irish but I change the ingredients to suit Irish cuisine. It is different to Indian or Pakistani spices. Customers get a free chili sachet in all retail packs if they want to try it hot.”

Shakeel crafts his freshly milled spices in small batches by hand, utilising Mauritian Creole brands, to create a versatile product – free from gluten, added sugar, salt and additives.

Spice Devils IQFA 2015winners 17

Spice Brands may be a young business but the awards have stacked up – winning Irish Quality Awards in 2015, Free From Food Awards, and a Listowel Food Fair Overall Winner Award in 2015 for best emerging artisan food product.

Moving to the Ace Enterprise Park in April, has provided the ideal breeding ground for future development, according to Shakeel.

He continued: “Moving there has been great. They do a lot of events, brought the Irish Fairy Door Company in recently for a talk, which gives you good ideas on how they are growing, getting access to funds. It is also a good place to meet and network.

“I’ve also had some help from Musgraves and Bord Bia, and people like chef Liam Boland, who set up his own blog (Bia Maith) to help people save money and with recipes.”

Spice Devils are shortlisted for the Irish Quality Food Awards in September, but despite the adulation, Shakeel says the business retains a “strong social responsibility at its core.”

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