Mudgeeraba Spices and Curry Blends first began operation in 1993 by Maria Tate (nee Kumarakulasingh) and Allan Nielson when the couple moved with their four children to a 10 acre block of land in Mudgeeraba, the Gold Coast hinterland. Here Maria’s love of gardening took over and soon a 1/3 of the block was cleared and planted with curry leaves, vegetables, lemons, limes, mangoes, chillies, lemon grass, turmeric, galangal amongst other things. With the excess from the garden pickles and chutney’s were made and curry blends were produced as gifts for friends and neighbours. These in the early days where packaged into small bags and recycled bottles. These were the very humble beginnings of the business that later became known as Mudgeeraba Spices.
Maria was born in Malaysia to a Sri Lankan father and Chinese mother. Growing up in the Kampong (or small village) surrounded by families from all over Asia such as Tamils etc. This was where Maria’s love of cooking began as recipes from all over India and Sri Lanka were passed on. A lot of these recipes are still used today. The recipes we use come from many Indian and Asian regions - we have authentic North Indian, South Indian, Keralan, Malabarese, Malay, Sri Lankan, Thai, Tamil, Rajasthani and Kashmiri foods.
Maria and Allan’s belief in providing a superior product than those available out there soon came to the forefront as the pickles and chutney’s were produced using the old traditional and timely methods. Made from only the freshest fruit and vegetables, using only natural preservatives such as olive oil and apple cider vinegar. The curry blends are made from the best whole seeds and ground from whole spice to guarantee the flavor and quality. Maria’s love of cooking and diversity in this area is demonstrated as more than 300 different product lines have been manufactured over this period.
The range of products produced varied from curry blends to pickles, chutneys, sambols and chillie pastes. Products were sold at markets around the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, NSW and Northern Rivers region. As the products began to grow in popularity and demand these outlets also stretched to a variety of different shows in places such as Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Rockhampton, Lightning Ridge, and as far as Emerald, Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra to name a few.
In 2001 due to the demand production was placing on the small home based business The Windmill Restaurant was purchased in partnership with the couple’s youngest daughter Marissa Moore. An Indian restaurant was opened here on the 5th December 2001. With the restaurant open in the evenings 5 nights of the week the couple manufactured there products during the day. Maria was busy imparting her knowledge of Indian and Asian cooking to her daughter and partner during this time. During the time of operation of the restaurant otherwise known Prasanth Fine Indian Cuisine and Catering or Prasanth Indian Restaurant dishes from all North and South India, Tandoori Cuisine, Sri Lankan, and Malaysia where produced to tantalize the taste buds of its patrons.
In October 2002 Marissa began producing a range of frozen meals for sale at farmers markets alongside the curry blends pickles and chutneys already sold here. These where such a hit at the markets that new products where offered such as Naans, frozen instant sauces, frozen meals, Indian springrolls and samosas, frozen dips, curry pastes, Sri Lankan yellow rice kits etc. With this side of the business growing significantly over the next five years the restaurant was finally closed to allow for more production time.
As the two businesses grew together and worked in conjunction together utilizing the varying skills of the three family members it was a logical decision to amalgamate the businesses. Finally in February 2009 Prasanth Fine Indian Cuisine and Catering and Mudgeeraba Spices and Curry Blends became one – Mudgeeraba Spices Pty Ltd. Along with the new business came a new direction to help satisfy the demand for our products.
Mudgeeraba Spices still manufactures approximately 200 different products and is now gearing up for expansion into the retail sector.