I met Meghana at one of the pop up festivals in Dallas. She and Kim, her business partner and co-founder of Spice Madam, were two bright and cheery people that you couldn’t miss at the festival. On the pretext of being a food blogger and photographer, and potentially interested in their spice boxes I took Meghana’s number. Honestly, I just wanted to be friends with her.
Meghana is one of those people, whose energy and spirit is contagious. Kim shares that same energy and the two make excellent business partners. When we met for coffee afterwords Meghana told me more about Spice Madam and I was intrigued by the concept.
Founded in December 2013, Spice Madam is a global lifestyle brand that brings friends and family together through food. Every month, Spice Madam subscribers explore, discover & experience a different culture through each box. The Spice Madams, as Meghana and Kim are known, create subscription boxes filled with global spices and recipes, music playlists and fun cultural facts. A shopping list & meal plan is included to save time for busy lives and the authentic recipes are researched and tested to ensure that every customer can make them in their home kitchens. I can attest to their recipes- I shot the recipes for their Senegal subscription box and each dish was something I would want to make at home.
With such a love for food, its no surprise that Meghana and Kim met for the first time over food at Chef DAT’s Underground dinner in Dallas and have known each other for several years. Meghana originated the subscription spice kit model to make world flavors accessible and, in the process, harness the power of food as a platform for communication, connection, & community. She shared this vision with Kim, who devised the name Spice Madam and they immediately set out to make it happen!
After spending a year planning out their brand and developing the details, they launched their first box in December 2013, and since then, Spice Madam has delivered boxes from 21 counties and counting!
Meghana Moya was born in Bangalore, India and grew up in Bahrain and loves traveling, having explored much of Europe, the Middle East, South Asia, North and South America. Her husband, Luis, is from Venezuela and spent his teens in Mexico. Between the two of them, they represent 5 countries and 3 continents!
Kim grew up in a Vietnamese-American home in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Her parents came to America as young adults. She spent time studying abroad in France and is an avid world traveler, venturing internationally at least once a year in her adult life.
At the moment both Meghana and Kim are exploring the streets of Hong Kong and you can catch their adventures on their instagram account here.
Meghana has a business background, and has worked at Fortune 500 and private-equity backed companies, where she focused on strategy and global innovation. Kim has a background in Computer Science and has had a 13-year career in IT, with roles focusing on technology consulting & software development.
For both of them Spice Madam is their first foray into entrepreneurship. Their biggest obstacle so far has always been having so many ideas for the business and wanting to implement them all at once! As the business has grown, they have learnt the importance of laser-focus on key elements to drive growth and taking it one step at a time!
Their plans for the future include taking Spice Madam to homes all across the globe, delivering culinary adventures in real-time (think foodie adventures in foreign cities) and delivering new ways to help people connect with their loved ones over food!
On being asked what advice they would give people who are working on their start ups, this is what they have to say: “We always say, we wish we would have started sooner! To all the budding entrepreneurs out there, don’t hesitate! Give it a chance and don’t worry too much about ‘failure’ – you’ll be able to pivot on those lessons learned and try something new that wouldn’t have existed if you hadn’t given your idea a shot at success!”
If you love good food, and spices I highly recommend their boxes to you. The quantities of spices are perfect for people who like to try different cuisines but do not want to hoard on a particular spice fearing that they will not get much use out of it.
A special discount code is up for The Novice Housewife readers. Use promo code : “NOVICE10” on their website here , for 10% off a first box, including gift subscriptions.
Both Kim and Meghana have a passion for giving back to the community, and have built this into the business. A portion of the proceeds of each box sold is given to a non-profit that supports kids & education.
The current Spice Madam benefactor is Cafe Momentum, an organization that provides mentorship & life skills training through a gourmet restaurant for at-risk teenagers. If you subscribe, you know a portion of the money you spent is being put to good use.
When I shot Meghana and Kim for this post I was treated to one of the most delicious homemade Baklava I have had. They were kind enough to share the recipe with me to share it with y’all today. Make it, share it and if you love spices do check The Spice Madam boxes out.
- 1 cup walnuts
- 3⁄4 cup almonds
- 3⁄4 cup pistachios
- 2 tsp ground cinnamon
- ½ tsp ground cloves
- 1 cup of butter, melted
- 1 (16oz) package of phyllo dough pastry sheets (not the pre-shaped phyllo
- 1.5 cups sugar
- ¼ honey
- 1 cinnamon stick
- orange zest from one small or half a medium orang
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Make syrup: Place sugar, honey, cinnamon s ck & orange zest in a medium
- saucepan with 1 1⁄4 cup of water and bring to a gentle simmer on medium heat. You’ll know it’s ready for the next step when small bubbles appear on the surface of the liquid.
- Reduce heat to low, let it bubble away, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the liquid has reduced by a third. Leave to cool. (The syrup must be cool when it is poured over the pastry, otherwise the pastry will become soggy.)
- Chop up the nuts in a food processor until they resemble large coarse breadcrumbs (it’s fine to have some larger pieces), then pour nut mixture into a bowl and stir the cinnamon and cloves into it.
- Lightly grease a 9 x 15 or casserole-sized pan with the melted butter (using a pastry brush if you have one). Gently unfold the phyllo and cover with a damp tea towel to stop it cracking.
- Gently unroll the phyllo dough & layer individual sheets of it in the baking pan. If your dish is bigger than the dough sheets, gently cut the dough to fit. Don’t worry if you have some uneven pieces of dough – you can always layer them into the baklava!
- Brush each layer with melted butter. After 4 layers, scatter over half the nut mixture; repeat with 4 layers of phyllo & butter, then the rest of the nuts.
- Top with the last 4 layers of phyllo, then generously butter the top. Cut into diamonds with a sharp knife – ensure the blade goes right to the bottom.
- Bake on the middle shelf of the oven on a hot baking sheet for 30–35 minutes, or until golden brown and crisp, reducing the temperature to 330 F if the baklava is browning too quickly.
- Remove the baklava from the oven and spoon half the cooled syrup over the top. Leave for 5 minutes, then spoon over the remaining syrup. Allow the baklava to cool before removing the individual pieces from the dish.
And if you still need more convincing to get their boxes here is preview into the kind of recipes you get when you subscribe.
Thiboudienne (Senegal fish and rice dish)
Senegal rice pudding
Habenero chile sauce