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There is a path to even the highest mountain

Before I met the team at Rumi Spice, about the only thing I knew about saffron was that it was a very expensive spice used predominately in some Middle Eastern and Mediterranean recipes. I was woefully under-educated about saffron, to be certain.

What initially attracted my attention was the personal story that Kimberly, Emily and Keith told about how and why Rumi Spice was formed. I’m a pushover for a good story. If I ever quit what I’m doing, I want to be the next Steve Hartman of CBS News’Everyone Has a Story” and “On the Road” segments. Steve is one of the best reporters I’ve ever seen at telling inspiring and entertaining personal stories (or letting the people tell it themselves.) The Rumi Spice story is one he ought to tell.

I grew up in the South. We love good food and we love good stories and sometimes they converge to create a cultural phenomenon that gains world-wide attention. I’m not just talking about New Orleans or Charleston based celebrity chefs or Memphis-in-May barbecue mavens. In my hometown of Birmingham, Alabama - recently recommended by the Washington Post for its world class restaurants among other reasons - there are numerous James Beard award nominated chefs and a restaurant that has been nominated for the past nine years – recognition that rivals the best restaurants in America.

So when I learned the story of the creation of Rumi Spice and the difference they were making in the lives of Afghan farmers (especially Afghani women,) added to the fact that the James Beard Foundation last year built an entire dinner menu around Rumi Spice’s saffron, I knew there was something extra special going on. Based upon what I know now, “extra special” is an understatement.

Rumi Spice saffron is gaining the attention of food lovers in ways that could hardly have been imagined by the three US Army veterans when they started their company in 2014. Theirs is not only the story of building a sustainable business model for Afghan farmers, or helping them turn former poppy fields to saffron production, thereby eliminating sources of opium. Rumi Spice is laying a foundation for peace one saffron flower at a time.

Oh, and did I say that the flavor Rumi Spice saffron adds to rice, paella, ice cream and even gummy candy treats (seriously, yes!!!) tantalizes the taste buds? Well, it does! The taste sensation their saffron provides is the best part of the Rumi Spice story. And I know a good story when I hear it.

The Rumi Spice story is one worth telling and repeating! It is a story being told in the finest restaurants in America. It is even being told by “grits and gravy” Southerners like me. It is a story I hope others will get to know. Rumi Spice saffron will change the way you think about food. It may also help change the world for the better by cultivating peace. What a wonderful thing that would be.

 

by: David Olive

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