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Spicy Organic LLC: Modern Day Spice Merchants




When sprinkling red pepper on a pizza or indulging in a cinnamon roll, most people probably don’t give a second thought to the spices on their food and where they originated. Often taken for granted in modern times, spices were extremely difficult to obtain at one time, and the measures taken to secure them played a profound role in shaping human history. Some spices were once more valuable than gold and gems. Pepper was even used to pay Roman soldiers or rent in ancient times. Although spices are extremely affordable and accessible today, the undertakings that made this possible shaped economies and cultures, even leading to the discovery of new continents.

In Ancient times, Arabian spice merchants would tell stories of the mythical origins of the cinnamon and cassia they sold to maintain an aura of mystery surrounding the origins of their products and keep their foothold on the market. They dominated the market for 5000 years until the Middle Ages. In modern times, however, the spice trade looks different. One family whose story began in India and has crossed the globe, are extremely transparent about the origins of their products, making it a point for them to be traced back to the source.

What began as a small spice shop opened by Sunil Kumar and his family in 1980 in the Village of Lisora in Uttar Pradesh, India has since become a transnational company and the largest supplier of wholesale and bulk organic spices in North America. Just like the explorers and spice merchants of the times gone by, the Kumars help distribute spices across land and water, always maintaining their mission to provide organic and sustainable products. They have relationships with over 10,000 organic farmers and growers, and their legacy spans over 40 years.

How the Spice Trade Shaped History

Spices were the first globally traded product. Archaeologists believe humans have been using spices to season their food since 50,000 B.C. Cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, turmeric and cassia were some of the first to be traded across different lands. Records show cinnamon and cassia arrived to the Middle East more than 4000 years ago. Ancient Arab traders would tell stories of cassia growing in shallow lakes and guarded by winged animals.

Ceylon (modern-day Sri Lanka) and the Spice Islands (modern-day Indonesian Moluccas) served as important trading points at one time. Later on, Alexandria, Egypt became the world’s largest center of trade when it fell under Roman rule. Indian spices traded in Alexandria reached other territories of the Greek and Roman empires. For 300 years after Ptolemy XI gave Alexandria to the Romans in 80 BCE, trade between India and the Romans flourished.

In the 10th century, the trade rivalry between Venice and Genoa led to the Naval War of Chioggia in 1378. Venice emerged as the victor, which allowed them to dominate trade in the Levant for the next 100 years.

Age of Exploration

As shipbuilding technology evolved, the British, Spanish, and Portuguese sailed in search of the fabled spice lands, with the goal of finding alternative trade routes and eliminating the middleman. Christopher Columbus, sailing for King Ferdinand II and Queen Isabella of Spain, famously failed to reach the Spice Islands but discovered the Americas instead. Portuguese explorers successfully found a route to Asia and reached India in 1498. For the next century, they dominated the market.

Fleets from Holland set sail for the Spice Islands in the late 1500s, which led to the establishment of the Dutch East India company in 1602. Other European countries soon followed and established their own East India Companies. Although Portugal dominated the spice trade at one point, it was surpassed by the British and Dutch. The pursuit of spices fueled globalization, technology, and established empires. There was a dark side to their success, however. During this period, European countries established their colonial presence in Asia and other parts of the world at the expense of indigenous peoples, leaving a legacy marked by violence and oppression.

Evolution of Tastes in the Western World

Some may wonder why spices were in such high demand in Europe. Modern European cuisine is not known for incorporating many different spices. Other cuisines, such as Chinese or Indian, are known to be more layered and complex, with contrasting flavors, whereas western European dishes combine similar flavors. One example is the use of cinnamon; its sweet aroma is typically used to enhance sweet dishes in the west, whereas in India and the Middle East it is common to use in savory dishes. Western food is known for being less seasoned than other cuisines. However, this was not always the case.

At one time, Europeans incorporated more spices in their dishes. A beef pie recipe from 15th-century Germany, for example, includes meat, butter, salt, pepper, cinnamon, and cloves.

A 16th-century English recipe for custard-  a savory quiche with meat, includes veal, red wine, parsley, sage, hyssop, savory, pepper, cinnamon, cloves, mace, saffron, salt, dates, prunes, and ginger.

So what changed? How did European access to spices change their palate? While affording spices was a status symbol at one time, as spices became increasingly common, it became more elegant to do the opposite of what the masses were doing. So instead of masking food in spices, it became popular for the upper classes to bring out the natural flavors of foods by using minimal seasonings. This is why European food tends to uses fewer spices, preferring herbs, salt, and pepper instead to enhance the natural flavors. However, in the last few decades, the popularity of spices have made a revival as a result of globalization and immigration. One prime example is chicken tikka masala, which is considered to be the national dish of England and a symbol of its multiculturalism.

The Kumar Family’s 40-year legacy

As the largest wholesale and bulk distributor of organic spices and herbs in North America, the Kumar family delivers the tastes of India to North America. They allow Indians abroad to enjoy the tastes of home and non-Indians alike to discover the flavors of India without compromising on quality or price. They help people across the globe continue their family culinary traditions by bringing organic, high-quality spices, making them affordable and accessible.

Since 1980, Sunil Kumar and his family continue their spice trade across land and sea and show us what the modern-day spice trade looks like. So although we may take the accessibility of spices brought to us by companies like Spicy Organic for granted, they helped shape much of history, making huge impacts on economies, cultures, and history. Wars were fought, empires gained and lost power, technology improved, and society became more interconnected.

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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The Ultimate Guide to the Essential Social Skills in Business




Effective communication and strong relationships are essential for success in the workplace. One factor that can greatly influence these qualities is emotional intelligence, often abbreviated as EQ. EQ refers to the ability to identify, understand, and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Research has shown that individuals with high levels of EQ are better equipped to handle stress, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively with others (Chamorro-Premuzic & Sanger, 2016).

Research has consistently shown that emotional intelligence (EQ) is an important predictor of job performance and success in the workplace. EQ is comprised of a set of skills that allow individuals to recognize, understand, and regulate their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. In addition, individuals with high EQ are better able to communicate effectively, build relationships, and navigate complex social situations. As a result, they are often viewed as effective leaders and collaborators, and are more likely to achieve their personal and professional goals.

In fact, a number of studies have demonstrated the significant impact that EQ has on job performance and success. For example, one study of 85 upper-level managers found that those with higher EQ scores were rated as more effective leaders by their subordinates (Law, Wong, & Song, 2004). Another study of 151 employees found that those with higher EQ were more likely to be promoted within their organization over a five-year period (Carmeli, Brueller, & Dutton, 2009). These findings highlight the importance of EQ in the workplace and suggest that developing these skills can lead to significant benefits for both individuals and organizations.

According to a study conducted by TalentSmart, a leading provider of EQ assessments, EQ is responsible for 58% of success in all job types (Bradberry & Greaves, 2009). In contrast, IQ only accounts for about 4% of success in the workplace. This suggests that EQ is a crucial skill set for individuals in any professional field. Fortunately, EQ is a skill that can be developed and honed over time with practice and awareness.

There are several key components of EQ that are particularly important for success in the workplace. These include: 

Self-Regulation: This refers to your capacity to recognize and control your emotions. Sometimes treating them when they arise may be necessary. Understanding how to manage your anger is essential. However, it can also cover how to control the feelings you’ll experience.

Self-Awareness: This implies recognizing and understanding your own feelings. Do noisy places make you nervous? Do other people talking over you make you angry? Knowing these truths about yourself shows that you are working on your self-awareness. Being conscious of yourself is necessary for this phase, which can be more complex than it sounds.

Socialization: This category focuses on your capacity to manage social interactions and direct relationships. It doesn’t entail dominating others but knowing how to work with others to achieve your goals. This could entail presenting your ideas to coworkers, leading a team, or resolving a personal disagreement.

Motivation: Strong motivators include external forces like money, status, or suffering. Internal motivation, however, plays a significant role in Goleman’s concept. By doing so, you demonstrate your ability to control your cause and initiate or continue initiatives of your own volition rather than in response to external demands.

Empathy: It’s equally critical to be sensitive to others’ feelings. This may entail learning to identify different emotional states in individuals — for example, can you tell the difference between someone at ease and someone anxious? — but it also requires comprehension of how other people may react to their current situation. Empathy is one of the essential traits in business and business leadership.

A thought leader in this space, Michael Ventura has built a career advising organizations on the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. In his book, Applied Empathy, Ventura highlights the value of empathy in business and provides strategies for developing and applying this skill set. With two decades of experience as a leader, facilitator, and educator, Ventura’s work has made impact in with prestigious institutions such as Princeton University and the United Nations as well as corporate clients such as Google and Nike.

Through his work, Ventura advises leaders to focus on the development of EQ in order to help individuals improve their communication, collaboration, and leadership skills, ultimately leading to greater success in the workplace. Experts like Ventura continue to support the growing body of research on the value of EQ in business, and the evidence that organizations who invest in the EQ of their teams help to create a more empathetic and successful professional environment.

And it’s worth noting that EQ isn’t just important for individual success in the workplace, but also for overall organizational success. A study by the Center for Creative Leadership found that EQ was a better predictor of success than IQ or technical skills in the workplace, and that teams with higher levels of EQ tend to be more effective and productive (Boyatzis, Goleman, & Rhee, 1999). By cultivating a culture of empathy and emotional intelligence, organizations can improve their overall performance and create a more positive work environment for their employees.

In conclusion, emotional intelligence is a crucial component of success in the workplace, and individuals and organizations alike should prioritize the development of these skills. The ones that do not only develop a leading edge in their category, but also become a meaningful place to work for their teams. And in today’s rapidly changing talent landscape, the retention of highly capable, emotionally intelligent leaders is one of the greatest keys to unlocking success.


Boyatzis, R. E., Goleman, D., & Rhee, K. S. (1999). Clustering competence in emotional intelligence: Insights from the emotional competence inventory (ECI). In R. Bar-On & J. D. A. Parker (Eds.), Handbook of emotional intelligence (pp. 343-362). Jossey-Bass.

Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional intelligence 2.0. TalentSmart.

Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Sanger, M. N. (2016). Does employee happiness matter? Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 3(2), 168-191.

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