Introducing London Fields members, co-founders of Mirchi & partners of Shoulder to Shoulder 2022 AKA the suppliers of the delicious rum you were drinking
We caught up with Harry & Arslaan to find out how Mirchi came to be, why community is key and what’s next for Mirchi (potentially something you can enjoy at a picnic…)
Introduce yourselves & the brand
A: Yeah, I’m Arslaan
H: I’m Harry
A:We’re the co-founders of Mirchi, a modern flavour company inspired by our West African and South Asian roots. Our first product is a natural spiced made with real ingredients, it’s carbon neutral, plastic free and distilled locally in the UK. We just wanted to take the best bits of our culture and combine them with how we experience flavour today.
How did Mirchi come about and why the name?
H: Mirchi was actually born out of lockdown, during this period Arslaan and I reconnected. So I used to cycle down to Arslaan’s house and I’d pick up a bottle of spiced rum and one day we made one of those off the cuff comments like ‘why don’t we create our own spiced rum?’ And it became very apparent to us that this spiced rum space is rooted in tradition.
It’s been built on a colonial foundation. So it was very important for us to create a product that is aimed at young creatives like ourselves and the name Mirchi means Spice in Urdu, which ties in our culture and our love for flavour.
"Mirchi is a modern flavour company inspired by our West African and South Asian roots. We wanted to take the best bits of our culture and combine them with how we experience flavour today."
What has been the biggest challenge since starting Mirchi?
A: I’d say the biggest challenge for us has been maintaining a healthy work life balance. We still obviously work full time as well as on Mirchi. So I think knowing when to take a rest is very important, but also being efficient with our time – burnout is real so you need to take time for yourself.
What advice would you give to other young entrepreneurs?
H: I’d say not holding back and not being scared to ask. This could be, you know, negotiating with suppliers or reaching out to creative people within that space. Like we’ve met some incredible people that have enabled some amazing opportunities. So if you don’t ask, you don’t know and you don’t get.
Can you tell us a bit about your partnership with Second Home so far?
H: Yeah, we’ve done some amazing events. The first one was with Second Home’s Annual Members Party in collaboration with SXWKS, that was sick to see so many people drinking out of Mirchi cups. We then produced an Out of Office end of year party as well in collaboration with Liberia with DJs from our community, like the Mirchi was flowing.
It was such a good vibe to just round off the year.
What does community mean to you and what is the value in being part of a wider community like Second Home?
A: Community for us is like everything, it’s like the most important aspect of our brand. We initially started Mirchi because there weren’t any spirit brands that felt like they were authentically speaking to young communities of colour. And I guess, yeah, being part of a bigger, wider community like Second Home, I think the most important thing for us is connecting with like minded individuals and exchanging ideas and conversations.
An important question for two guys in the drinks industry: what is your favourite cocktail?
A: Our favourite cocktail is called Style and Fashion, which is a name we’ve created ourselves. It’s one of our own cocktails and basically it’s a remix of an Old Fashioned. Essentially it’s made with Mirchi and I guess the key thing is it’s made of the homemade jaggery syrup, which has black cardamom and cinnamon infused in it.
And for those, I don’t know, Jaggery is like an unrefined cane sugar from, I guess India and Africa.
What is next for Mirchi and what does growth look like?
A: Batch two is on the way and I guess the thing we’re looking at right now is finance. So if you want to invest in us, shout us please. Other than that, more parties, more products and more vibes.
What is the next flavour?
H: So being a modern flavour company, we’ve left it open. So we’ve had some ideas of another product which you can enjoy with friends, probably at a picnic or, you know, different motives. Potentially a product you can season your hot wings with or have with your favourite dish. But yeah, we’ve kept it quite open so we’re still scoping it out.
Check out their vibes on Spotify.
"Community for us is everything. Being part of a bigger, wider community like Second Home, I think the most important thing for us is connecting with like minded individuals and exchanging ideas and conversations.