Nestled in the picturesque Fleurieu Peninsula is a beautiful family business – Spice Girlz Gourmet (SGG). Having been around for 19 years (and counting), SGG specialises in creating unique combinations of condiments, the ingredients of which are all locally sourced and cater to a range of dietary requirements, including being vegan-friendly, gluten-friendly, and 100% natural. With accessible and tantalizing recipes such as Moroccan Chicken with preserved lemons Pizza Pin Wheels on their website, SGG encourages their customers to push their culinary skills in the kitchen by bringing together a range of flavours that are bound to be a party pleaser!
In anticipation of their participation in the upcoming Hahndorf edition of the Gathered Design Market (11 – 13 December, 2020), I was fortunate enough to have a chat with Wendy Hardy about SGG’s journey so far – here’s their story:
Tema: Can you please tell us a bit about yourself, Wendy?
Wendy My husband and two children emigrated from the UK 24 years ago, and we moved straight to McLaren Vale, where I have worked in the wine industry for local cellar doors ever since. In 2015, we had the opportunity to purchase the already successful Spice Girlz Gourmet business. Both myself and my son James are involved in the day to day running of the business.
Tema: How long has SGG been in business for and how have you found the journey of being a small-scale business based in SA so far?
Wendy: Spice Girlz Gourmet has been operating since 2001. We were fortunate to be able to purchase the business in 2015. As with most family owned businesses, there is always lots to learn, being able to adapt and adjust to new situations, which has been particularly significant this year!
Tema: What inspired you to focus on a business model around spices in particular?
Wendy: I was always a huge fan of SGG’s products, having discovered them while working in a local cellar door that used both Moroccan Jam and Zulu-lu on their platters. When I was given the opportunity to purchase the business, I already knew what a premium and popular business model it was.
Tema: Since your inception, how has SGG grown, in terms of the diversity and variety of products that are offered at present?
Wendy: Our comprehensive range of products has continued to grow and since purchasing SGG’s, we have now leased a warehouse nearby for the production of our dukkah and preserved lemons.
Tema: What do you think helps SGG stand out from the rest in the industry? What about SGG is unique and that attracts your customer base?
Wendy: The uniqueness and success of the SGG range of condiments is the versatility of each product, as they can be adapted to use as dips, marinades, pizza bases or a tasty addition to many favourite recipes. We also strive to source as many of our ingredients from South Australia/Australia.
Tema: How did you navigate through the COVID times with running your business successfully?
Wendey: We were unable to operate our food service supplies as most of our customers were unable to keep their businesses open, so we focused on our online business model, which helped to increase our retail sales.
Tema: What are some of the most stand-out spices that you offer via SGG?
Wendy: In our range of condiments, the most popular is Moroccan Jam closely followed by Hakuna Matata then Preserved Lemons, Traditional Dukkah is a great favourite followed by Italian dukkah.
Tema: Do you primarily operate online or have you got a few stockists around, where customers can access your spices?
Wendy: All of our products can be bought from our website, many local and national Foodland’s IGA’s Drakes, independent gourmet and health food shops plus some McLaren Vale wineries.
Tema: What can your customers anticipate from your participation at the Hahndorf edition of the market?
Wendy: To be able to taste our range of gourmet condiments, dukkahs and infused oils plus be able to share our range of recipes.
Spice Girlz Gourmet will be participating at the Hahndorf edition of the Gathered Design Market from October 11 – 13, 2020.