Spice Up Your Life with Monsoon Coast

January can feel a little bland. Grey skies, wet weather and a lacking abundance of fresh seasonal produce make for dull days and dull food. That is, of course, if you don’t have the secret weapon of spices and sauces to kick-start your kitchen into a laboratory of aromatic and flavourful joy! For culinary magic all year long, Saltspring Island’s Monsoon Coast has your spice-cupboard covered.


Monsoon Coast was created by Doug Hall, a culinary traveller who was inspired by his worldly travels. With a well-developed palate and immaculate attention to detail, Doug experimented in his kitchen by selecting, roasting and hand grinding spices, and then selling his creations to enthusiastic neighbours. He gradually expanded his following on Vancouver Island and the mainland through retail opportunities with local vendors.


Sixteen years later the business has grown in popularity, but not necessarily manpower, and while Doug has stepped down, new owner Andrea LeBorgne has kept the company a one-person show. With a business background and a passion for food, LeBorgne has taken on Monsoon Coast with excitement and zest by expanding marketing opportunities, updating the ever-expanding recipe section on the website and introducing a Memphis inspired BBQ Rub, as well as a holiday Mulling Spice.  From spring to fall, LaBorgne sells her products at the Saltspring Island Saturday Market and invites any curious customers to get in contact with her for a personal consultation to discuss likes, dislikes and products suited to their needs.


LeBorgne understands that the exotic flavours Monsoon Coast deals with might be a tad intimidating to some, but assures skeptics that with the right products, they can create internationally inspired culinary delicacies in no time and with minimal effort. LaBorgne’s goal is to do all the work for her clients so that they can simply toss in dash of this, or a rub of that, and have a complex dish made from simple steps.


So how can you add a little spice to your life? With over 20 products to choose from, it might seem overwhelming. That’s why LeBorgne recommends starting with one of their gift boxes such as the Tajine Gift Box which features Ras El Hanout, Tunisian Harissa, and Moroccan La Kama, so you can mix, match and experiment with the suggested recipes included within. Or if you want a versatile spice that is great as a rub and seasoning, LaBorgne recommends their Monsoon Balti, which has a wide range of uses and medium to low heat. If you’re already well versed in Monsoon Coast products and anticipating their next big thing, stay tuned for a Pulled Pork recipe using the BBQ rub that will be out this spring..

Monsoon Coast Trading Company, #9-315 Upper Ganges Rd. Salt Spring Island B.C. 250-537-7535 monsooncoast.com

*For other retailers across British Columbia and Canada check out the “Sales” section of their Website


Victoria retailers that sell Monsoon Coast products:

Market on Yates – 903 Yates St Victoria, BC (250) 381-6000

Market on Millstream – 125-2401C Millstream Rd Victoria, BC (250) 391-1110

Ethno Concepts – 709 Douglas St Victoria, BC (250) 590-1306

Seven Valleys – 2506 Douglas St Victoria BC (250) 382-9998

Abkhazi Garden Gift Shop – 1964 Fairfield Rd Victoria, BC (250) 598-8096

Dan’s Farm and Country Market – 2030 Bear Hill Rd Saanichton, BC (250) 652-9100.

Niagara Grocery– 579 Niagara St. (250) 383-1223

Fairfield Market– 1275 Oscar St. (250) 590-1772


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