Spice & Green Will Take You Back To Your Grandparents Kitchen
Melanie Hadida, Owner
I’m a Montrealer with a pretty diverse (and typically Canadian) cultural background. I studied International Development and Women’s Studies at McGill University and it was my studies that first brought me to India where I lived and worked in an urban clinic offering free integrative healthcare to survivors of environmental contamination. The clinic treated patients using a combination of western style medicine as well as yoga therapy, Ayurveda and freshly cultivated herbs. In the years to follow I returned to the clinic India several times and learned a great deal about Indian cooking traditions, as well as Ayurveda and the range of healing properties in herbs and spices.
About 7 years ago I moved to the UK and continued to pursue a career in grant-writing and fundraising for NGOs and charities but over time my passion for cooking and nutrition really began to expand. I received my qualification as Nutritional Consultant and began teaching cooking workshops in my community. Teaching others about the use of herbs and spices in everyday cooking has become my main mission.
After recently relocating to Toronto I began my small-business “Spice & Green” creating small-batch handmade spice blends and specially food products, while continuing to pursue my work as a Nutritional Consultant and cooking workshop facilitator.
Spice & Green was born out of a desire to spend as much time of my day inhaling wonderful spices and experimenting with flavour combinations.
I began creating spice blends that combine different whole-roasted spices and herbs, and grinding them together to create various “all purpose” spice blends for countless cooking projects. I currently have 3 Masala blends: Sweet, Spicy & Golden and I also produce small batch specialty food products. My current most popular product is marinated feta. I use local Ontario feta, and marinate it olive oil (which is a preservative for the cheese) I add upcycled ingredients, such as citrus peel and balcony-grown to the oil to infuse everything with fresh and interesting flavours.
The idea for this brand came about a year ago (late summer 2017). I first had the idea to begin creating spice blends when my friends would complain to me that they’d use the recipes on my cooking blogs, but couldn’t capture the “exact flavour” of the curries and dals I was cooking for them in my own kitchen. The reason for this was simple: I am an ingredients hoarder. I have an arsenal of spices that most people wouldn’t even consider cooking with. I realised that in order to get a real full-bodied and dynamic flavour to cooking endeavours, a wide range of spices is needed.
Spice & Green spice blends are for people who are intimidated by cooking, or for people who are highly experienced but want to taste unique flavours that they might have only encountered a few times in their lives. I want my blends to trigger glorious sensory memories for people--their grandparents kitchen, meaningful travel experiences—and to inspire them to learn more about the multitude of flavour and wellness benefits that whole spices and herbs can bring to our lives.
I am currently popping up throughout Toronto at various farmers markets and in local shops. My Masala blends are currently stocked at First Batch Goods in the new foodhall at Upper Canada Mall, Newmarket Ontario, and in Common People Shop in Parkdale, Toronto. My Marinated Feta will be at The Thin Blue Line gourmet cheese shop in Roncesvalles Toronto. I will be at the John Street Farmer’s Market on Wednesday afternoons (until it gets too chilly!). I’ll be popping up on Saturday October 6th at V de V on Ossington in Toronto, as well as the Bunz Flea on October 9th at the Gladstone Hotel. I’m currently not yet selling online, although this is my next goal; however, I am available to make local deliveries of my spice blends as well as the marinated feta.
My favourite item is definitely my Golden Masala, it’s a turmeric-based spice blend rich in warming flavours. It contains roasted lentils, dry mango powder, fennel, fenugreek and a few other comforting spices.