As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, we will launch an importing business that Louise will run when we return to Toronto. Our dream is to bring superb Kampot peppercorns to as many North American tables as possible. More details below.
But, importantly, we have a question for you – our fellow foodies: what top two online communities/channels do you go to for inspiration about recipes and new ingredients? We’d appreciate it if you could respond to us through the WordPress site, on Facebook or by contacting one of us directly. Please also share this post widely with all of your friends and acquaintances who might be interested in Kampot Peppercorns. Thanks!
We expect to launch our online store in mid-June. We’ll keep you posted!
Pepper grows on peppercorn vines like miniature bunches of grapes. Popular around the world for its flavor-enhancing qualities, peppercorn plants are native to tropical climates like south India and southeast Asia. There are many different types of peppercorn and some of the popular names include India Malabar, India Tellicherry, Malaysian Sarawak, Indonesian Lampong and Madagascar. But of all of the different peppercorns, Kampot peppercorns are often said to be the best in the world. During the time we spent in Cambodia, we visited many Kampot Peppercorn plantations and were struck by their wonderful fragrance and taste. We blogged about it here.
We wanted to learn more about the peppercorn trade, and a good place to do that was in Goa, attending the International Spice Conference. I wrote a guest post about the conference for the Toronto Food Lab’s blog. Check it out here.
A Kampot Peppercorn plantation:
Since visiting the plantations, we’ve enjoyed Kampot Peppercorns with practically every meal, relishing how the peppercorn enriches our dishes’ flavours. The pepper is exponentially better than the regular peppercorns on the shelves of grocery stores.
Our trip has been about realizing dreams. For a number of years, we had dreamed about freeing up the time to travel together as a family. Setting up an importing enterprise is another dream of ours. It will be one of the ways for us to retain some of the time and flexibility that we freed up by taking this family trip together.
Our enterprise will import organic Cambodian Kampot black and red peppercorns to serve the North American market. We want to enhance as many dishes on as many tables as possible. Kampot peppercorns are grown using farming techniques that are centuries old and proven to deliver the best flavour. We can trace each peppercorn back to the farm and small community from which it originated. This helps us understand how the peppercorns you buy help support Cambodian farmers. And like Champagne, Kampot peppercorns have a Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) that safeguards their unique qualities. The PGI ensures that Kampot peppercorns deliver the subtle flavours and fiery heat that transform your food and linger on your palate.
Our dream is that our pepper will make your food extraordinary. And if it’s already extraordinary, our peppercorns will make it even more so.
We made our decision to import Kampot peppercorns early in our trip and we’ve already developed several aspects of the business. We’ve learned that a lot of business planning and setup is possible on the road using an (intermittent) internet connection, a basic mobile phone, an old iPad and a Bluetooth keyboard. Some of the details we’ve been able to take care of include:
- We’ve established relationships with different peppercorn growers. Our first order of peppercorns will ship to Toronto in May.
- We’ve developed the first iteration of our webpage, logo and branding with the help of a Washington DC-based graphic designer.
- We’ve consulted our tax advisor and will incorporate a few days after we return to Toronto.
- We’ve learned the regulations for importing peppercorns from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and how they apply to our business.
- We’ve developed a social media strategy that incorporates Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn and Reddit.
Along the way we’ve had tremendous support from our friends and family. They have been of enormous help with their great ideas and enthusiasm.
As we continue to work towards a mid-June launch, we’d love to get your input on websites/online communities to help us create social media buzz prior to launch. What are your top two online communities/channels do you go to for inspiration about recipes and new ingredients?