Prem likes to make life spicy

Armed with heritage and traditions passed down through generations, Prem’s Spices draw their inspiration from a time when rare and exotic spices were treasured more than gold and smuggled across land and sea by daring spice traders under the noses of those who would seek to monopolise the eastern trade route.

Over 30 years since launching our first market stall, Prem’s Spices’s passion for delivering only the best quality products available still continues to attract customers from far and wide. Our products are all manufactured in-house, from the roasting & grinding to the blending and mixing of herbs & spices, to bring you a unique flavour that will take you on a culinary journey around the world.

Richard Fernandes left India at the age of 18 to explore the world, sailing on square riggers, clipper ships, schooners, and the typical Mediterranean “daddies” yachts. With his marine engineering background and his passion to travel has seen him dock and live in over 30 countries and become savvy in many languages and dialects, as a result. (Many of our migrant customers would pop in and enjoy a conversation with Richard in their mother tongue.)

The year of 1970 finally brought Richard to Australia, where he chose to anchor his life more permanently. Passionate about the marine industry, Richard initially journeyed throughout Australia building boats and becoming involved in several marine activities from the Torres Straits to Port Headland. During this time, he even began his own boat building business on Breakfast Creek in Brisbane.

Circumstance & Opportunity

Several changes in his life, one of the greatest being diagnosed with a degenerative eyesight condition known as Retinitis Pigmentosa, resulted in Richard leaving the boat building business behind. Until its close in 1989, Richard pursued work in an organisation called IINA (“we are here” in Torres Strait Island language) which was devoted to creating opportunities and skills development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island individuals and communities. During this time, he met his future wife, Alice who came to Australia in 1988 due to the Fiji coup, and has a family background in sugar cane farming and an educational background in accountancy. 

With the state of his eyesight worsening, Richard and Alice decided to enter into a spice business as an alternative way to ensure an income for their family should his eyesight fail completely. Together, they reinvented themselves to become experts in the spice trade. Trial and error, and many long hours of hard work resulted in a successful small retail and wholesale business that became a household name for many within the Brisbane ethnic communities, restaurants, caterers and more.

New name, new vision

In 2015, a decision was made to move in a new direction and reform as a manufacturing company that traded as Prem’s Spices. Having recently achieved a “4 star Eat Safe Brisbane Food Safety Rating” from the Brisbane City Council made trading with Prem’s Spices even easier and assured quality.

It has been a long journey from the Paddy’s Market stall of 30 years ago to become world class herb and spice manufacturers. The products are still manufactured onsite in Queensland – from the roasting to grinding, blending and mixing of herbs and spices to the packaging of products that you enjoy.

Now and into the future

In 2018, after 29 years in the business, Richard decided to retire but did not want to close down Prem’s Spices, his legacy. Fortunately, he was given the opportunity to pass the Prem’s Spices legacy on to Lisa and Vaughn Henry. As a result, the business operations moved from Virginia to Mudgeeraba on Queensland’s Gold Coast in December 2018.

Richard would like to thank each and everyone who have followed Prem’s Spices from the beginning and those who have joined us along the way. We hope that you will join us, as you always have, to show your support for the business by welcoming its new owners, Lisa and Vaughn – a dynamic duo, with an eye on the future and will give you professional and high-quality service where you will still be able to order all your favourite spices. You will also get to enjoy a wider range of products as the Kumari line joins up with Lisa and Vaughn’s current product lines – Cobra Chilli, Mudgeeraba Spices and Kumari Spice World.