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Byron Shire
June 18, 2024

Spice Palace: a mecca for Middle Eastern dips and spice mixes

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L to R: Basil, Tom, Bec and Wren – the Jacksons are the recently-installed down-to-earth royalty at the Spice Palace.

Victoria Cosford

The business was a natural fit for Bec and Tom, new owners for the past few months, of this successful little operation. 

Spice Palace, mecca for Middle Eastern dips and spice mixes, has long been a familiar presence at the farmers’ markets – but regular customers need have no fear that a change of ownership translates as changed offerings. 

‘It felt like an honour,’ Bec tells me, ‘to take on something so established… we were very aware the products were gorgeous.’ The natural fit owes to the fact the couple has long been making their own yoghurt, bread, sauerkraut and sauces; Tom, originally from Sydney’s Bondi, has always been ‘passionate about organics, food co-ops, food I could trust,’ he tells me.

Based at Main Arm, they ran the Mullumbimby Commons for six years, right up until the floods, operating it as a community centre, offering lots of home-schooling programs. They’d always known of Spice Palace, Bec being a regular pecan buyer, so when the opportunity presented itself they seized it. That many of the ingredients in the dips and mixes could be grown by them in their own garden was another drawcard. ‘We’ve been growing garlic for eight years’, Bec says. ‘It’s exciting to be growing for the business rather than just for us.’ The next batches of basil will be ‘our own basil’, she says. Pumpkin, coriander and parsley seedlings are all in the ground and ‘we just planted a whole load of citrus.’

My eye is caught by a favourite Spice Palace product, the red harissa. I’d only recently emptied a jar of it, having used it in so many ways: dolloped alongside poached eggs or stirred into scrambled ones; plopped atop pizza; spooned beside grilled fish; whisked into mashed potato…

Spice Palace is at New Brighton Farmers Market every Tuesday from 8 to 11am and Mullumbimby Farmers Market every Friday from 7 to 11am.

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