You’ve been asking what we’ve been up to since we discovered Kampot peppercorns in Cambodia. Here’s a little behind-the-scenes glimpse into what we’ve done. For us, it’s a story about connecting with people over food - and the central character is the world’s most popular spice.
Green Kampot Peppercorns, fresh from the vine.
When we left Toronto back in September with a one-way ticket to Phnom Penh, we’d heard about these incredibly delicious organic, single-origin Kampot peppercorns. We were intrigued and wanted to try them for ourselves.
One of the first things we did when we landed, was to visit a pepper plantation. The story of the farms was fascinating and the peppercorns were delicious. We felt like we truly tasted pepper for the very first time. Our girls got to run around in the pepper plantation, playing with kittens and puppies. It was a little slice of heaven.
A night shot of The Kampot River, where we lived for two months.
We were immediately hooked on the idea of bringing authentic Kampot pepper to the North American market. This would give us all a chance to upgrade the musty old flavourless pepper in our pantries with perfectly balanced flavourful peppercorns.
Armed with a smartphone and a bluetooth keyboard, we set out to make it happen. We relied on serendipity, chance encounters and used new and established relationships.
We wanted to know the growers and understand the peppercorn market. We built relationships with farmers and producers in Cambodia. We attended the International Spice Conference in Goa. We got to know the man known as the Spice King of Kerala.
We got started on building our brand and logo. We reached out to a fantastic graphic designer friend based in the DC area and launched conversations about our vision. He instantly got it and started producing moodboards and unique images for our logo, website, packaging, etc.
We strategized with family and friends about penetrating the pepper market, about the best ways to reach our customers, about trademark considerations, about our social media presence. As we were trying to figure out packaging, one night in Botswana it suddenly dawned on Nigel that he used to play frisbee with someone in Toronto 20 years ago who worked in the packaging industry. We set up a Skype call with that friend and before we knew it, he’d built a prototype for our DRØM Pepper packaging.
Early drafts of our packaging, hot off the press
In Toronto, we’ve become fast friends with our local post office and the UPS delivery guys. We discovered a fantastic cheerleading squad amongst our neighbours and even at the bank and our rock n’ roll accounting firm (look it up; that’s what they are).
We tackled the mechanics of measuring out pepper wearing latex-free rubber gloves, hairnets and mouth masks. We researched dispensers of all kinds imaginable, including gumball machines, peanut dispensers and kibble dispensers. We finally came up with a great solution that carefully distributes your delicious peppercorns into great-looking cartons that we mail to you for your own consumption. You might even like to give them as a hostess gift?
And so here we are, launching the business. We’d love it if you’d help spread the word that the world’s best pepper is now for sale online through drompepper.com
And please connect with us on Instagram and Facebook and through this blog. We’d love to hear from you - and see pictures of the food you season with DRØM Pepper.