Trader of the Week: Rafi’s Spicebox, York

EVERY week we shine the spotlight on the independent companies that make York truly special.

If you want to nominate a York dealer – or maybe you have a local business and want to tell us what makes you special, you can tell us more via this online form:

www.yorkpress.co.uk/trader/

Here is her story:

Rafi’s Spicebox at 17 Goodramgate, York, run by Kevin Fernandez

York Press: Rafi's Spicebox in Goodramgate, YorkRafi’s Spicebox in Goodramgate, York

How long has the business been around?

Rafi’s Spicebox has been running for over 30 years (the first store opened in Sudbury, Suffolk in 1989); the York store opened in 2004.

What does it sell?

Easy-to-use Rafi’s Curry Packs that are hand-mixed to order and tailored to your taste. Each spice mix comes complete with instructions for you to take home and cook an amazing Indian meal for your family and friends.

Tell us why this company is special?

Rafis has been on a mission to change people’s perception of Indian food since 1989. Forget rich, fatty dishes and be inspired by fragrant, colorful combinations. We understand that modern life is hectic and busy, but we believe in making time for food – even when it has to be fast! Our dedicated team is at hand, helping you make the difficult decision of which delicious Curry Pack to choose from through meal planning, recipe advice and cooking tips.

York Press: A fresh Curry Pack is hand-blended at Rafi'sA fresh Curry Pack is blended by hand at Rafi’s

How did it adjust during the Covid-19 crisis?

Luckily, we already had an established mail order department based in York, which meant we were able to continue to serve our loyal customers online and deliver their favorite Curry Packs right to their door. Once our stores reopened, the safety of both our team and customers was made our top priority. We installed perspex monitors, made hand sanitizers readily available, and asked everyone who could to wear masks.

Has it won awards?

OFM Awards: Best Independent Retailer 2017 Rafi’s Spicebox

What is your favorite story about this company?

Rafi Fernandez was not afraid of a challenge. If no one knew what to do with her herbs, she would inspire them. “She did cooking demos and workshops,” says Kevin (her son and director of the company). “She would teach at the local school, she was always in the local press doing performances and charitable events. She was relentless. It was really about giving people more confidence in the kitchen.”

Be our Next Trader of the Week!

If you would like to nominate a York dealer – or maybe you have a local business and would like to tell us what makes you special, you can tell us more via this online form: www.yorkpress.co.uk/trader/

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