June 7, 2018

They're just mad about saffron ...

FedEx awards $25,000 small business grant to purveyor of the mellow yellow spice.

By DC Velocity Staff

A tin of Rumi Spice saffron
Rumi Spice received a grant from FedEx to help it sell Afghan spices in the U.S. Growing saffron gives Afghan farmers a viable alternative to opium cultivation, Rumi says.

Fans of savory dishes like risotto Milanese, Spanish paella, or Indian biryani are familiar with saffron, the Middle Eastern spice that lends a golden yellow color and distinctive flavor to food. Transport and logistics giant FedEx Corp. may have gained some foodie cred when it awarded a $25,000 grant and $7,500 in business services to Rumi Spice, a Chicago-based business that markets saffron from Afghanistan to restaurants and consumers throughout the U.S., offering Afghan farmers a sustainable alternative to opium farming.

The prize was part of FedEx's sixth annual Small Business Grant Contest, which is aimed at helping small concerns grow their business both in the U.S. and internationally. Judges selected 10 winners from a field of 7,800 entries from across the country.

In addition to the grand prize, FedEx awarded $15,000 and $5,000 in FedEx Office services to the second-place winner, eco-friendly bottling company Drop Water of Menlo Park, Calif. Eight other businesses each received a $7,500 grant and $1,000 in office services. The recipients included Back of the Yards Coffee (Chicago), Blended Designs (Jacksonville, Fla.), Booze Dogs (Greenville, N.C.), Buckle Me Baby Coats (Londonderry, N.H.), Dauntless Wine Co. (Gaston, Ore.), Fiddlershop.com (Pompano Beach, Fla.), Locker Lifestyle (Grand Rapids, Mich.), and ZZZ Bears (Winston-Salem, N.C.).

Watch a video about Rumi Spice and its efforts to help Afghan farmers below.

Resources Mentioned In This Article


Strategy Videos


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you're not already logged in, you will be asked to log in or register.

Subscribe to DC Velocity


Feedback: What did you think of this article? We'd like to hear from you. DC VELOCITY is committed to accuracy and clarity in the delivery of important and useful logistics and supply chain news and information. If you find anything in DC VELOCITY you feel is inaccurate or warrants further explanation, please ?Subject=Feedback - : They're just mad about saffron ...">contact Chief Editor David Maloney. All comments are eligible for publication in the letters section of DC VELOCITY magazine. Please include you name and the name of the company or organization your work for.