Newsletter Autumn 2016

You know that our mission is always to bring you the very best that we can.  To this end, as you know, we mix our own blends, including za’atar.  As we now offer our customers a choice of imported or top-quality Australian-grown thyme and oregano, we think it’s only right that our za’atar contains the more premium versions of these herbs.  You’ll see at a glance that the colour is brighter, and you’ll find and the flavour more lively and vibrant.


Do you know what you’re eating?  How vigilant are you when it comes to reading the labels of your groceries?  If a fruit juice promises “50% less sugar”, perhaps water is listed as the main ingredient – check it out.  If a supermarket spice blend calls itself a Bush Spice, perhaps the last two, least-by-weight, ingredients are the only native spices in there – it’s up to you to read the label and be sure you know what you’re buying.


Having done our traditional ham for Christmas, we found we had a little jar of leftover marinade sitting in the fridge in January.  Not wanting to throw out this lovely mixture of grainy mustard, star anise and marmalade, we used it to coat pork chops cooked in the pan … just delicious!




As the years tick by, and we are (all too obviously) growing older, questions such as “What’s your exit strategy?” have become more and more common. Let us tell you here and now, we have no plans of retiring and Herbie’s is here to stay.  That said, it would be foolish to believe we are invincible, and, based on the belief that it’s better to take action before anything unforeseen affects our ability to work, there are changes in the air.


The main change is that our retail store in Rozelle will move …. to serve you with the same prompt, friendly and personal service as always, via internet and mail order.  We have loved our personal interaction with so many of you during our days in the shop, and will miss the stimulation of your conversation, repartee and company.  But we won’t be far away!  We’re still as close as ever to answer your questions and supply your favourite spices – just jump on the website and there we are!  If you’re not an internet-savvy person, pick up the phone and speak to us … we’re still right there on the other end of the line, and we’ve got a new phone number that’s easy to remember – 1800 HERBIE.  (With the stress and cost of driving and parking in the suburbs of Sydney, think how ordering on-line will keep you sane. And we’ll enjoy not having that long drive from our home on the Central Coast to Rozelle every week!)


One element of the change that excites us is that we will be free to do more travel, interstate and country-wide, to do our spice classes not only for Sydney-based customers, but for you all out there in the other fabulous parts of Australia. Let your local stockist know if you’re keen to see us in your area, wherever you are.  We’ll keep you informed via the newsletter, also via the Latest Events section on our home page.





The last thing we want to do is leave you stranded.  We know there are residents in Rozelle who run in at the last minute to grab that all-important ingredient, and for you who are local to the area, we’re happy to say that The Essential Ingredient, only four doors up the road, will carry a large range of Herbie’s Spices.


Although we won’t chat personally with so many of you after the change, there’s lots of activity on our website.  You can order using your phone while you’re in the train or bus, and check what Herbie’s discussing in his frequent blogs.  It’s easy to ask us a question or make a comment, and we’ll get back to you promptly, we promise!


Our brand new Box of Ideas for Autumn is full of enticing ideas to welcome in the cooler weather … although there are places in Australia where the recent summer seemed more like an autumn prologue than a proper summer!  Featuring our new Za’atar mentioned earlier, Tunisian spice blend, sambar powder and ground black limes (loomi), we’re thinking tasty meals in one dish, to enjoy by the fireside or on the patio, depending on that changeable autumn weather.  In an autumn-leaf-coloured red box, it’s $25.00 as usual.


Well, we knew it was coming … the cost of mailing a letter has risen to $1.00.  This makes our regular newsletter mailout a very expensive exercise that would put too much strain on our budget.  (We don’t want to increase the cost of your packs of spices in order to pay postage!)  Sadly, this current letter will be the last to be sent to our present mailing list.  We know that not everyone uses email, so if you want to continue to receive this letter by mail, just let us know and we’ll put you on a new mailing list. We promise not to abandon you if you still want it the old way.


Holidays are over and it’s lunch-box time again.  Keep it interesting with some added spice:

Cajun chicken salad (recipe on back of the Cajun pack)

Za’atar lunch-box salad (recipe on back of the Za’atar pack)

Fresh salad sandwiches enlivened with a sprinkle of Sumac

Curried egg sandwiches using our Mild Curry Powder

Soup of any seasonal vegetable, with any spice mix to add zing

Classic Greek salad with Oregano and Sumac

Cup cakes and muffins enhanced with Fragrant Sweet Spice


Everyone is wanting cheap, cheap, cheap, and the supermarkets are promising to keep it that way.  This means that the ingredients coming into Australia are aiming for the lowest common denominator, and – it’s no surprise – the quality is frequently compromised.  We are finding inferior spices on offer more and more, and our mission to have the best is a constant challenge.  If you miss our smiling faces at Rozelle, take comfort that we are using that extra time to keep up the vigilance that keeps Herbie’s Spices of the quality and standard that you have grown to love.


Happy Spicing – don’t forget to let us know if you want to continue snail-mail!


Herbie and Liz