Diaspora Co. is a direct trade, single-origin spice company dedicated to building a better spice trade. We put money, equity, and power into the hands of Indian farmers, to disrupt, and decolonize an outdated commodity spice trading system.
Through extensive taste testing, farm visits, and collaboration with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research, we source the very best spices that India has to offer.
Why do you call yourself a “queer” food business?
We’ve been thinking very deeply about this - about what it means to state that a business is a queer business, and what work that does, if any? Does it just serve to further alienate folks? Or does it further the hope that queers can take over the world? Here’s what we’ve come up with -
For us, it is about claiming space— in a time where the LGBTQ+ community is not afforded the rights, respect or safety that our heterosexual counterparts enjoy, acknowledging that this space and this standard of excellence was and continues to be built by queer folk is an active tool against erasure and towards normalizing our right to exist. The queer archive is in constant threat of being deleted, and if a successful, sustainable business can work against that, we feel that we are serving our community.
Queer theory goes far beyond simply a sexual preference or gender identity, it is also about the collective liberation of all peoples, and a resistance to systemic oppression and injustice. Applying queer theory to our business gives us a clear north star to work towards every day and a deep understanding of why we wake up to do what we do, even when it all feels difficult and immense.
By being a queer business we are centering the tremendous labor and legacy of women of color and people of color in the Global South and in Diaspora who are often left out of the present day food system and not given a seat at the table. We are dedicated to making space for everyone at the table.
What does decolonizing mean and how does it apply to your business?
The original intent of colonial conquest of the Indian subcontinent was a desire for domination of the spice trade. So as a postcolonial business at the crossroads of food and culture- decolonization of food is our founding principle. It is putting power and resources into indigenous spice farming and creating a radically new and equitable vision of the spice trade, decolonization a commodity back into a seasonal crop, and a broken system into an equal exchange.