Lajina Leal is a one-woman spice dynamo from Shropshire who, with her brand Lajina Masala, is teaching us all how to cook easy, healthy and authentic Indian food packed with flavour. With her easy to use Masala Spice Pots she has given us the freedom and opportunity to cook great Indian food at home. Find out more in our Meet the Producer blog.
Owner of Lajina Masala
In three words describe your spice pots:
Tasty, healthy and convenient
Tell us what readers can expect when they find you at the Ludlow Food Festival?
They can taste a simple lentil daal made with the curry spice pot, they can ask me how I can help with their cooking, their events and gifts for their loved ones and they can buy garam and curry masala spice pots.
How did you start?
I started in Oct 2013, after my friends persuaded me over a curry in an Indian restaurant that there was a gap in the market with home style cooking. I will always remember that night as a turning point to my life and thank them for giving me the confidence and self belief.
Who have your influences been in creating and building your business?
Kevin Guerin from the Ironbridge Catering Company for his support and tips, esp the scaling up ones, he is an expert foodi and I will always be grateful to him for his guidance and belief.
Chris Haycock, the digital marketing EXPERT if he supports me, then I must be ok, totally humbled that I have such a professional to guide me.
Chris Burt for using my spice mixes and supporting not only me, but all of Shropshire's foodie.
David Hyner, his rhino vision, pyramids and talks.
Julie Dodsworth she has such fine taste and is the perfect female role model.
My customers, who inspire me every day, thank them so much, because without them, there is no hope or vision.
What do you like doing the most in your business, cooking, teaching, demonstrations, popups?
I still love spicing and to this day, I spice as if it's for my home cooking, the cleaning, roasting and grinding hasn't changed, it's deeply therapeutic and a very special time for me.
Equally, I love to teach cooking as I am around people and people are so interesting, learning is very much a two way process.
With all that has been achieved in your business so far, what are you most proud of?
My own personal journey and winning awards, I have never achieved anything before the business, I have found contentment and it's very special.
What are you looking forward to most about the Ludlow Food Festival?
It is simply an honour to part of such a prestigious food festival, thank you, it's such a great atmosphere.
Quick Fire Get To Know You Questions:
Favourite Colour? Red
Favourite Food? Cake
Favourite tipple? Kir Royal
Favourite Restaurant? Peach Tree, Shrewsbury
Hobby? Learning new skills
Favourite place to visit in Shropshire? Home - I never seem to be here!
Lajina is also prod mum to Sam and wife to Krish - who if often at events with Lajina supporting her. Make sure you find Lajina Leal on the Saturday of the Ludlow Food Festival where she wil be launchng her new look website as well!
Interview by Louise Welsby | Buy-From Shropshire