BY: ALYSSA MAHADEO
For those that know how to put together an exquisite culinary masterpiece, they understand that the spices they use can either make or break a dish. As with any food dish, the blend and ratio of spices used are designed to entice, appeal and satisfy the five senses. The combination of spices used determines the base for the flavour to be achieved, and these days many turn to a wide variety of spices to add flavour in order to decrease the fat and salt content of a meal.
Twenty-two-year-old business owner and founder of Crowned Spice Trading Company Leshan Patterson has always had a passion for cooking.
“I love to cook, my mom taught me how to cook since I was eight years old,” Leshan shares. “I do a lot of cooking, and I like to create a lot of new dishes, and introducing new flavours by using different ingredients and spices.”
Leshan’s passion for cooking has impressed even his own mother, who has asked him to recreate a new variation on his family’s Curry Chicken recipe in which he includes tomatoes that introduces a rich creamy consistency in the sauce, and adds a beautiful colour mixed with the curry.
Leshan was born in Jamaica, and he has always adopted a very proactive and action driven mindset when it comes to business. When he was a young boy, his parents groomed him to become a doctor, however by his first year of University he knew that was not the path he was destined to take.
“I come from a family rooted in entrepreneurship,” Leshan explains, my great, great grandfather, and his son and then his granddaughters were all entrepreneurs with their own visions and goals, and my dream is to take after him as well.”
Being raised in the Caribbean, Leshan recalls how hard his own mother had to work just to be able to put food on the table.
“She was very much an entrepreneur herself, working in the markets having to sell her own crops; these are all things that have really pushed me into the world of business,” Leshan shares.
Leshan has been living in Canada for fourteen years now, and since entering University, he has embarked on many various business ventures. “I was involved in about six different tech startup opportunities that didn’t amount to their potential,” he says. “It was a lack of contributions from the other people who were involved, but having gone through those experiences is what has allowed me to establish the Crowned Spice Trading Company.”
After months of research and meticulous planning, Leshan was able to pull together the legalities and establish a business plan for his company.
“Spices will never go out of business, and they are recession proof,” Leshan states. “There are people here in Canada who are looking for the products that we offer and we will continually be searching for more to bring to Canada.”
As a man of action Leshan commits to a plan and follows through. “If something is not available, and I truly need it I will go ahead and find it myself.”
After going to Jamaica, and taking the time to speak with ladies and gentlemen who have been in business for over twenty years who make their own organic seasoning and products he saw there was a potential market to break into.
“If I truly and really badly need these products then there must be someone in my area, in my community in Canada that may need it as well,” Leshan says. “I gathered my resources and reached out to suppliers, established vendor relationships and I was able to construct with the help of so many people our wholesale and distribution site online.”
Leshan explains that Crowned Spice products are unlike those currently found on the market.
“The government allows 20% contaminants on some of the big name spice and seasoning companies which means that there are things like rat hairs or dirt from the factory that could potentially get into the product during the packaging process,” Leshan explains.
“I’ve seen the soil that my products grow in and the facility that it’s been packaged in. I have a great level of communication with the managers and the owners of the companies who package our products for us and I would never sell anything that I myself wouldn’t eat.”
The Crowned Spice Trading Company is located here in Canada, but they have plans on expanding into Jamaica, the US, as well as Africa. They are working to take action against the lack of healthy ethnic food alternatives offered for the ethnic population in the local communities and the availability and increasing demand for these products is the solution.
At Crowned Spice, they take their superior products to the consumers by catering to their favourite restaurants and providing them with easy access by distributing to their surrounding markets. Their mission is simple, by using the finest of ingredients, they produce the best and most authentic food products for the members of the local communities.
“Our company is different from other companies as our consumers never have to question the origins of our products,” Leshan says. “I believe everything, if our customers are not happy, then we’re doing something wrong.”
Crowned Spice Trading Company is dedicated to empowering the communities they operate in, and this same dedication has driven them to partner with the Alliance of Jamaican Alumni Associations (AJAA) to provide support to our communities. With every product purchased you are helping to empower our youth and future leaders.
Leshan is currently finished school but has intentions of going back to study and pursue accounting and finance. His sole focus is on the business, he is fueled by his passion and knows that this business will be a success. His foundation and groundwork are strong, and his dreams for the future are bright.
“I feel confident that going forward we can provide great value to our customers through our great service and great products,” Leshan says. “There are so many immigrants coming from the Caribbean, and all over the world and we want to be able to cater to them.”
Crowned Spice Wholesale Sourcing & Production is available online, they are hoping to connect with even more restaurants and local markets in the community to distribute their products that range from pimento allspice seasonings to spicy jerk style marinades.
They are looking to venture into many other ethnic communities not only the Caribbean, and they encourage their patrons to share in this organic and authentic spice adventure!