Spice company wins award for bringing the flavors of the world to Victoria

A group of enterprising immigrant women from Victoria, British Columbia, were recognized for their spice blending business.

Mosaic Tastes, which was created by nine women participating in Camosun College’s Markets as Incubators program, this year received the Canadian Western Bank Women Makers and Creators Award for Best Business Implementation.

Lucy Marquez, who came from Colombia to Canada, said the group was delighted to be nominated.

“Winning the award is a whole different story. We are so blessed and happy to receive the award,” Marquez said.

The group, made up of women from around the world, met for the first time in January. Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, they worked together to develop three distinct spice blends: baharat and za’atar from the Middle East and sazón from Latin America.

Marquez says they sell their blends at the James Bay Farmer’s Market and also through an online store.

“We didn’t know it was going to be successful. We were nervous because we’re all new to business,” she said.

Mosaic Tastes currently offers three spice blends: sazón from Latin America and two from the Middle East: baharat and za’atar. (Mosaic tastes / Facebook)

Mi Oh, from South Korea, says the blends have been warmly received by customers.

“In Canada, I think there are some tasteless tastes,” Oh said with a laugh. “These are authentic flavors.”

She recommends sprinkling some za’atar on a boiled egg with olive oil for a tasty snack.

Marquez, who says using sazón reminds her of being back home in Colombia, says the flavor is a great way to explore the world – especially when we can’t do it in person due to the pandemic.

“As they say, to taste is to travel, so we invite everyone in Victoria to try our blends so they can travel with the flavors,” Marquez said.

8:35Victoria Spice Trade Land Creators and Makers Award

Mosaic Tastes, a spice company created by a group of immigrant women with the support of Camosun College, has just received a Canadian Western Bank Women Makers and Creator’s award. Designers Mi Oh and Lucy Marquez chatted with Rohit Joseph about their business. 8:35

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