We are Nomena and Aina, two childhood friends born in Madagascar, who have made Toronto our home for the past 15 years, and now co-founders of Vanilla & Spice.
In 2019, Nomena travelled back to Madagascar and met small vanilla growers who were seeking to enlarge their horizons. Big importing corporations from North America are mostly working with large producers who are dominating the export market. The biggest challenges faced by small growers are the geographical distance, the language barrier and the cultural differences. Seeing an opportunity to support small vanilla growers and bridge the gap between the two worlds of Madagascar and Canada, we decided to set up Vanilla & Spice.
In the beginning, we approached bakeries and other wholesale companies. It didn’t take long for the word to get out and the demand for our products was more than we could have ever imagined. In fact, the demand increased so much that we created our own online retail store: Vanillaandspice.ca.
Our vision is to supply Canadians with the highest quality vanilla beans and vanilla products. We source our vanilla directly from small, local producers in Madagascar and then handcraft our premium products in Toronto, Ontario. We also aim to support the local community in Madagascar and Canada and ensure that a percentage of our profits is redistributed to supporting charitable causes in both countries.