Our Mission And Story at Heray Spice

Heray Spice Values

At Heray Spice, we believe in providing quality products and a quality way of life. By quality of life, we are talking about the lives of our customers, our farmers, and our community. We also do this by promoting fair trade practices and sustainable agriculture.

We are a Chicago-based company, importing the best quality spices grown in Herat, Afghanistan, where our founder, Mohammad Salehi, was born. His hometown meant a great deal to him, which is why he named our company after it. ‘Heray’ or ‘Heraywa’ is the ancient name for Herat, formerly known as the “Crown of Khorasan”. He spent the majority of his life in Herat, where he grew up amongst farmers, so he was familiar with their way of life. Not only did this inspire him to create Heray Spice, but it was also what sparked him to uplift his community.

Here at Heray Spice, we offer a variety of spices, our most popular being saffron. Saffron is one of the toughest spices to harvest due to the time and effort it takes for our farmers to cultivate. Before this, they were only cultivating poppy, which wasn’t enough to support them. For that very reason, we are proud to support our farmers and help them make a better living.

We also have a social mission to support children with their education, and we do this by giving 5% of our net income to Heray Education Fund. In addition to that, we provide job opportunities to women in Afghanistan because we believe that by empowering women, we are empowering everyone. Thanks to the hard work of our farmers, we can deliver farm-to-table produce to you, our lovely customers. We are committed to giving you spices of the highest quality to add to your quality of life. On top of that, we want to make Afghani saffron accessible to everyone - our customers, chefs, and food enthusiasts!

About Our Founder

I am Mohammad N. Salehi the owner of Heray Spice. I grew up in Herat, Afghanistan and lived there up until age 21 which equals to September 2014. Right after high school, I got a job as a Local Military Linguist for US Army & US Marine in Camp Stone (Camp Zafar my fellow veterans knows that name) in Herat Afghanistan. I served as a local linguist and cultural advisor for US Armed Forces in Afghanistan for four years.

I have been living in Chicago and traveling back & fourth to Afghanistan since 2014. I immigrated to Chicago IL from Herat Afghanistan in September 2014. I devoted seven years of my life to go to college and became the first person in my family generations to ever complete a college degree. I have a bachelor’s & master’s degree in computer & cyber forensics from Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT).

Growing up in a farming family, I noticed how farmers are struggling for survival and making a basic living in Afghanistan. I decided to start a company (a cooperative in Afghanistan) where farmers get paid better for their saffron and crops, send their children to school, and make a brighter future for themselves.

Heray Spice is a Public Benefit Corporation, we believe in providing a quality way of life for our farmers via direct sourcing, fair wages, and sustainable farming practices. I am strong believer of everyone making a sustainable and fair income in farming.

I founded Heray Spice on April 2017, we launched our product in 2018. We started with 3 LB of saffron of my own family. And now we have 45 farmers and 36 independent farms in our cooperative. As of last year, we imported and sold more than 150 LB of saffron.

What Makes us different from others?

We are transparent in sourcing, we know the name of each farmer in our cooperative, and I personally talk to them at least once in a month.

We pay them on time, no credit payment, no late payment, no hacks or tricks.

We don’t bargain with farmers, we pay them better than local market and we pay them with fair trade principals in mind.

We believe in pure and highest quality product, each batch of the saffron we import, has a Certificate of Origin (COO), ISO 3532.2 Standard Lab Result with Category #1 results, and a third-party Certificate of Analysis (COA)

We contribute 5% of our net income to educational charities in Afghansitan. And we are more than happy to contribute to any non-for-profit organization inside USA, with money, product, service, or combination of all depend on the situation. Just email myself at Mohammad@herayspice.com, explain me the cause, and I would love to help as much as we can do.

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.

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. 


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