About Monsoon Coast
We are a small company located on beautiful Salt Spring Island. Over 20 years ago, we began with a vision to make traditional Indian and South Asian spice blends. Since then, we have followed our taste buds to other parts of the planet: Africa, the Levant, the Far East and West. We meticulously crafted our blends so you can transform an everyday meal into a taste sensation.
We always begin with carefully-sourced, high-quality whole spices, which get roasted by hand, ground and blended with care. Always fresh, always small-batch; that’s what we believe in.
Our website has a library of 100 inspiring recipes (and still growing), which we accumulated through our travels in India and other places. Our Chef constantly creates and adds new traditional and contemporary dishes to showcase the full culinary potential of our blends.
Although we do not have our own retail space, our website is a terrific place to order online securely, or to find supporting stores which carry our fresh spices.
Our Culinary Vision
Fresh top-quality spices made with care, blended to make you love cooking and entertaining, and to nourish with delicious healthy cooking.
The importance of home cooking, whether you eat alone or with others, has in our opinion an immeasurable effect on our well-being. The simple fact is that when you cook, you transform raw materials (all the better if they are locally produced by your community) into delicious concoctions in an act of pure alchemy and humanity.
We aim to make the magic of cooking easier and more enjoyable for you by providing you with our fresh spice blends, so you do not need to worry about sourcing all the different spices to layer flavour and depth into your dishes.
Not only will your dishes fare better when you cook with our spice blends, but so will you. Spices are full of antioxidants, and if you are a fan of the heat, that adds bonus benefits to your health.
We actively update and expand our recipe repertoire (available online for your convenience) to make it easy for you to decide what to cook with your Monsoon Coast blends. Many of our meals can be done in about 30 minutes, although we also appreciate how our spices shine in long braises and roasts like Moroccan Chicken Tajine and Mahavira's Dal.
Monsoon coast was founded in 1998 by Doug (Satva) and his partner Chintan. Natural cooks and foodies, they traveled extensively in India, and were fascinated by the spice Wallas who are integral cogs in Indian kitchens, from hole-in-the-wall spots to fine dining restaurants. Satva watched the “spice boys” meticulously and skillfully blend spices for their chefs to form the basis and essence of the various feasts they were preparing. After settling in salt Spring Island, Satva decided to bring this treasure trove of the recipes he obtained in India, and the fine spice blending art, to the beautiful Canadian West Coast. Here on the Western shores of British Columbia, the frequents rains of the Salish sea brought back memories of the Monsoon in India, and he thought why not also bring home the art of traditional spice blending.
Over 10 years, Satva explored spice blending from India to the Levant, Africa, the Far East and the Far West (the New World). Monsoon Coast now boasted twenty spice blends from all corners of the globe.
In its second decade, Satva passed the torch of Monsoon Coast to his apprentice and spice devotee: Andrea. Andrea continued the tradition of wholesome small-batch hand-blended spices. She streamlined the offerings of Monsoon Coast and fully introduced it to the online market. Thanks to her, Monsoon Coast flourished to reach a wide fan base all over Canada, the United States and abroad.
Now in its third decade, the spice torch has been passed down to Chef Shadel. Born in the Levant of Arab and Armenian heritage, his passion for food, and specifically spices, has been part of his identity since he can remember. Growing up in the Levant (East of the Mediterranean), he has vivid memories of the aromas of spices during his upbringing; the smell of cardamom-infused Arabic coffee on Easter morning, or that of roasted cumin with fish for family feasts on the weekend, or the smell of bay leaf and cinnamon in his mother’s Rice pilafs. He also remembers being sent to the local spice shop, where spices are ground fresh to order. Shadel has also been cooking since he was a teenager, and good food cooked wholesomely is one of his absolute joys and passions.
And so, the story of Monsoon Coast begins a new chapter with a third generation, who continue the tradition of flavour, quality and love put in freshly roasted, ground and blended spices from Salt Spring Island, BC. Monsoon's Coast wonderful story will continue to spread the joy of good food and wholesome cooking.
Thank you for your loyalty all these years, we hope to make you as happy as you make us when you enjoy our products.
As a scientist and engineer for part of his life, Chef Shadel traveled and lived around the world, and in the process gained more appreciation for authentic international flavors, family cooking traditions and freshly made spices. He also worked in the spice & culinary world in Vancouver for over 5 years after graduating from Northwest Culinary Academy there. He now is the operator, chef and spicemaster of the wonderful Monsoon Coast Trading Co.
Shadel's Monsoon Coast favourites include Arabian Baharat, BBQ & Roast Rub, Goan Vindaloo, Ras el Hanout and Mahavira's Feast.
Pete Gryschuk is the Creative Director for design and online presence of Monsoon Coast. With a strong background in visual design, web development and a keen perfectionist eye for aesthetics and functionality, he is the force behind the branding and digital image of Monsoon Coast. Of course, Pete is also adamant about honouring the history and traditions of Monsoon Coast and its founders by preserving the most iconic elements of Monsoon Coast image, and channeling it with strength into today's modern world.
Pete is also a fan of the spices and contributes culinary advice and recipes as he plays with his favourite blends. He has many exciting ideas for the future of Monsoon Coast.
Uno is our loyal Spice Dog and we just love him. Just look at him.
Uno's Monsoon Coast favourites include any of our naturally sourced paper packaging he can get his paws on. He is one crazy guy that keeps us busy. He eagerly sniffs our clothing every time we return from the spice mill to ensure utmost quality. However, he does not like cinnamon.