Welcome to Heray Spice

Cultivating Hopes One Saffron Threads at a Time.

We believe in women empowerment, supporting education, and community up-lifting.
At Heray Spice we are empowering Afghanistan farmers by promoting fair trade practices and sustainable agriculture, while providing the highest quality spices to our customers. Additionally, we are committed to empowering women and supporting education in Afghanistan through Heray Education Fund.
For a better Afghanistan

We started Heray Spice for three main goals:

  • Helping Afghanistan farmers to cultivate saffron instead of poppy
  • Making authentic Afghani saffron accessible to chefs and food lovers globally
  • Employing women, and contributing to education projects by giving 10% of our net-income

We cultivate and import the following single origin spices:

Afghanistan Authentic Saffron, Afghanistan Wild Mountain Cumin, Herati Coriander Seeds, Fennel Seeds, Fennel Ground, Tamil Nadu Turmeric, Cloud Forest Cinnamon of Sri Lanka, Infused Saffron Oil, Afghanistan Green Tea, and more spices. 
Heray Saffron, Black Pepper, Herati Coriander Seeds
Heray Spice is a local business based in Chicago Illinois with a social mission to help farmers with better wages while helping chefs with freshest and highest quality spices from Afghanistan.
Heray Spice owners are a group of Afghan immigrants and farmers from Afghanistan. All of the founders worked with US Army and Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) inside Afghanistan from 2008 to 2014. And they have been traveling back and fourth between US and Afghanistan to source the best saffron and other spices directly from local farmers.

We are also a farmers co-operative based in Herat Afghanistan where we bring farmers together to train them on food safety, standard packaging, and safe processing of saffron. To import the highest quality saffron and pay our farmers better wages, Heray farms are owned by local farmers and has partnership to only supply saffron for Heray Spice. Our farmers are being paid based on fair-trade principles. 
Afghanistan best saffron

We are also proud to help farmers cultivate saffron instead of poppy, and make a better living for themselves. Every year, we partner with new farmers and make sure they get better wage while making the world a safe and better place for everyone. 
heray farmers in Haji Rahman land

What Does Heray Mean?

Heray or Heraywa is the ancient name for the current city of Herat. Heray was a famous and important city of Khorasan province during Sasanian dynasty. It was also named as the “Crown of Khorasan”.
We named our company Heray Spice, because 90% of Afghanistan saffron is cultivated in this province, and Heray is our hometown.
Mohammad in Blue Mask of Herat Afghanistan

Who Are The Founders?

Our founders are a group of hardworking individuals with a dream of helping our farmers and communities back home while supply our customers with the highest quality of saffron and other spices. 

Mohammad Naeem Salehi
CEO & Co-Owner

Mohammad grew up in a farming family in western Afghanistan. His parents were farmers for their entire lives. After finishing high school in Afghanistan, he became a cultural advisor for United Nation in 2009.
He immigrated from Afghanistan to Chicago in 2013 where he later started Heray Spice.
Mohammad holds a bachelors of science in Information Technology, and masters of IT Management from Illinois Tech.
Mohammad with saffron

Shahram Mohammadi
VP of Supply Chain & Co-Owner

Shahram was born and raised in Herat Afghanistan. His family and himself are still farmers. He manages Heray Spice supply chain in Afghanistan. He is also the manager of Aqiq Saffron, our sister company in Herat.
Shahram holds bachelors of science in civil engineering from Herat University.
Shahram in park

Meet Our Farmers!

Heray Spice Coop Farmers
Heray farmers in our cooperative in herat Afghanistan
Juma Gol our farmer for the last few years in heray spice
Agha Mir our farmer in Herat saffron farm
Haji Hafizullah saffron farmer
Haji Jalal

mosa farmer in our coop

Abbas Ali our farmer
Mohammad in his farm in Herat Saffron farm

farmers after work



Saeed Mama and his farm

What Are The Farmers Co-Op Updates?

  • 3 farmers in our co-op
  • 6 seasonal women employed
  • Sales $27,652 
  • Farmers & Afghanistan Employees Benefited  ($7,350)


  • 9 farmers in our co-op
  • 12 seasonal women employed
  • Sales $46,340
  • Farmers & Afghanistan Employees Benefited  ($11,578)



    • 20 farmers in our co-op
    • 25 seasonal women employed
    • Sales $35,571
    • Farmers & Afghanistan Employees Benefited  ($8,700)


    • 30 farmers in our co-op
    • 25 seasonal women employed
    • Sales $77650
    • Farmers & Afghanistan Employees Benefited  ($21,450)


    • 35 farmers in our co-op
    • 28 seasonal women employed
    • Sales $83,450
    • Farmers & Afghanistan Employees Benefited  ($23,780)