It’s a bitter spring morning. The kind where the cold is in our bones and no matter how many jumpers we layer, there’s no escaping the chill. 

Then, news from Turkey: our first shipment has cleared customs.
The spices are loaded in a container on MSC Sarah, and are leaving Istanbul Port imminently, heading westwards.

It’s amazing how much a fragment of news can change the mood. Weeks of liaising with customs brokers, registering as an importer, mastering the certification, import tariff codes — it’s all paid off. We’re officially spice traders!

I ask Clara if she has any photos of Istanbul Port — from the six years that she lived in Turkey — which we could pop on Instagram. She has a quick root round in old files, and comes across this shot of breakfast at a rooftop cafe in Sultanahmet.

We’re transported to the banks of the Bosphorus: strong and dark coffee spiked with cardamom, menemen Turkish eggs with pul biber, white cheese simit and olives. This is the power of food, particularly spices: to transport. 

The adventure has only just begun. 

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