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Mar 14, 2023

What Seasoning Is on That Meat? Indira’s Spices!

That homemade fried chicken or roast pork leg might have had you talking about just how tasty they were, but the secret behind that delectable goodness is the seasoning. And many a cook seems to choose those that are prepared by Indira’s Spices at the Michael Finnegan Market. In fact, this family’s seasonings are so popular that they often times get orders from huge restaurants internationally, but turn them down because the business is just not large enough to supply them. Rosita Rivero, co-owner of Indira’s Spices, explains in this edition of Kolcha Tuesday how something as simple as a job landed her in the business of making many people’s stomach happy. News Five’s Marion Ali reports.


Marion Ali, Reporting

If the food you ate for lunch was superb that you just have to return for more, chances are they cooked that meal using Indira’s Spices – yes, seasonings that were grown, crushed and packaged right here in Belize City by a company bearing the same name. They can blend and mix any type of seasoning for any dish imaginable and chances are, they have your favourite mix among the two hundred types of spices they sell.


Rosita Rivero

Rosita Rivero, Co-owner, Indira’s Spices

“We have two hundred types of spices as you can see.”


Marion Ali

“Two hundred?”


Rosita Rivero

“Two hundred. We have – Belize is well known as the spice – we love a lot of spice. We have Anato, better known as recado (Belizean; we have black and we have it red. And then we have black pepper and different type of – any, you name it, we got it. And if win uh got it, we make it.”


The business is so famous that many of their customers believe that Indira is the name of the co-owner, Rosita Rivero. She shared with us today how it all got started almost forty years ago.


Rosita Rivero

“As a little young girl, I find a job with an international man from the United States, name Mr. Hewlyn Jack Tanner, and he hired me and I got interested in the business. He died and he put it in my name. So we try keep it local. He used to live in Punta Garden, so we used to get everything organic from Punta Gorda, especially the turmeric, better known as yellow ginger. And we try buy everything that Belize produce, you know, we start with the herbs and also spices.”


Some of the spices that the company sells are made from herbs and seeds that they buy from farmers. The rest, they plant themselves, after which they grind them into a powder and mix them to create the seasonings that we so love. But knowing what blends together and what doesn’t is a masterful art that doesn’t come by happenstance. Rivero explained that she wanted to learn so that she could become independent in life and it paid off.


Rosita Rivero

“The reason why I learned is because I wanted to be my own boss. And that’s the reason why own this company. Because whenever the, the person that was hiring me, he died so I went in the business and I own it now because he died and transferred to my company name, name Indira’s Spices.”


The business is so popular that the small company started getting requests from big restaurants all the way in the Middle East and the United States, but they turned them down because they would not be able to meet those demands.


Rosita Rivero

“Most of them come to my company and offer me and I cannot keep up with millions. When you’re dealing with outside, you have to deal with millions. At the edge weh I deh I done retire and I cannot supply them, but they love it. They love it, love it.”


Marion Ali

“So you have customers from where?”


Rosita Rivero

“We have all through – lately Dubai offer me to go and”


Marion Ali



Rosita Rivero

“Dubai. United States offered me also to go to the expos. Many people, many people offer me, but I cannot supply because it’s only one man company. It’s day and night working, sir. Millions of pounds. I cannot supply that right now.”


But while providing for huge countries is not within the scope of this couple, Rivero says everyone can become their own boss, whatever the job might be that they’re engaged in.


Rosita Rivero

“I would like to advise any Belizean, whenever you are working, try work to learn and to own your own business that one day it’ll belongs to you also. And that’s the reason I am blessed with the best right here.”


So what is the difference between Indira’s Spices and imported spices? Rivero’s husband, Vildo, said it’s in the constant daily routine he and his wife does to keep their spices as fresh as possible.


Vildo Rivero

Vildo Rivero, Co-owner, Indira’s Spices

“The advantage we have over the imported spices is that ours is always fresh. We get a fresh harvest every year. We grind it fresh every day. Every day we are grinding something. Every day we are grinding something. So it’s so always our stuff is fresh. Not like in the States where they have to grand is such a huge quantity and then they have to keep it on the shelf sometimes for more than a year before they distribute it. But here, it’s fresh. Every day. Every day we grind, we package. Every day. We grind. We package. As you can see. That’s what we’re doing right here.”


And the packages can be as little as a one-dollar bag for household use or a pound for Belizean restaurants. But whatever your choice of seasoning or size of the package you choose, the Riveros say they can help you to wow your family and guests at dinner time with one of their most popular blends.


Rosita Rivero

“We can help you season your – whatever you want with, especially with Nature (Seasoning) we have the nature season here. You know, Belizeans ask me “what is nature, what is it made out of?” We make it out of – this is made out of garlic, onion, and celery seeds. So we give it in name, “Nature” in Belize. That’s the secret right there.”


Marion Ali for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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