In this series, the Georgia Straight visits different vendors at the Vancouver Farmers Markets to learn about their business, products, and why they love being at the weekly markets.
Vendor Profile: Trudy Ann’s Chai & Spices owned by Trudy Ann Tellis.
What do you sell? I sell all organic, hand blended products—masala chai, caffeine-free teas and dry-roasted cooking spices. I make everything I sell in small batches in East Vancouver at the Uncommon Commissary.
How did you get into your business? I love teas but many out there are not organic, have additives or essential oils added. I began this business with the quest to make organic teas and spices without additives.
The cooking spice collection started when I had the realization that there was a need for organic dry-roasted cooking spices made from whole ingredients and not powders. I wanted to have real flavours of India, just the way we prepared food back home, and I decided to share with others.
What’s your specialty? I bring the traditions of Indian cuisine right here to Vancouver. I am known for my Masala Chai blends as those were the first teas I made. Perfect with an extra ginger kick and great for the winter or iced in the summer. I also teach cooking classes and will have a cook book out soon so stay tuned for some Traditional Indian Cooking!
Favourite item you sell? It has to be my Bombay Masala Chai. The Apple Pie chai is a big seller too along with the Turmeric Ginger Tonic. It’s $10 for a bag of tea or any three for $25.00.
The Garam Masala, Butter Chicken and Tandoori masala are top sellers in the spice category. They are $7 each or four for $25.00.
Favourite thing about the city’s farmers markets? I love the farmers markets as I get to meet local Vancouver shoppers and help them with their spice or tea selections depending on their palate. I also absolutely love shopping at the markets, knowing where all the food I eat comes from and meeting the farmers that make it.
There is a lot of trading that goes on as well between vendors and that is always great!