Born in North Africa and growing up in the Middle East, Mike Asaad heard many tales of adventure on the high seas. His gather told stories of how the Middle East and North Africa dominated and monopolized the spice trade for centuries. Their close proximity to to China's rich supplies of spices and silk kept Arab middlemen very busy and kept the Middle Easterners very wealthy indeed.
Back then, spices were so much more than just flavor enhancers for food. They were used to make medicine and perfumes. They preserved meat. They were even used to embalm the dead. While Spain dueled Portugal over cloves and the English fought the Dutch for nutmeg, it became increasingly clear that obtaining possession of spices was fueling violent battles. Back then, spices were as valuable as gold is today.
To stop their fighting, England drew up a peace treaty with the Netherlands which included a gift of a tiny Indonesian island call Run. This island was full of nutmeg trees!. In exchange, the Netherlands tossed a few colonies of their own into the bargain. No big deal, just a little island they owned across the pond, called Manhattan!
By the 1400's England was ready to compete globally in the spice trade. Ships were built that were sturdy enough to withstand the ocean's fierce waves. The first explorer that was sent out to sea by the ling and queen were in search of India. Spices there were abundant. Unfortunately for the original spice man, Christopher Columbus, he found America instead. He was disappointed. But as a consolation he called the natives 'Indians' and 'Peppers' – names that have stuck until today.
Centuries later, visions of sailing ships and brave adventurers filled the dreams of another spice man. Mike Asaad built his internationally renowned spice business from the ground up, with hard work, dedication and a fierce commitment to quality. “Choosing Fort Myers to locate my business was the easy part,” says Mike. “I came here on a vacation and fell in love with the beautiful, tropical lifestyle, friendly people and amazing sunsets!” Fort Myers is quaint and historical, Mike says he loved the dining locally with the ever-present availability of fresh produce and seafood. It was logistically perfect from a business standpoint as well. Having access to the international shipping docks in Tampa and Miami is ideal. He loved the prospects and the freedom that comes with being an entrepreneur and dedicated himself to making his lifelong dream come true-creating a world class spice company!
Mike started out in a warehouse working alone. He spent late nights formulating spice blends and mixtures. He went door to door in a small van to every restaurant in the county. He was up against big competition, but he had confidence he could succeed because he loved what he was doing. Mike wanted to give the customer 100% of his time and he listened to what they wanted. Those late nights and personal touches soon resulted in restaurants around the area resounding with orders and requests of their own. Mikes' motto: “Be thankful for for everything God has given us. Work hard, be generous in actions and spirit, and never get discouraged by failure.” As Thomas Edison said in pursuit of the light-bulb. “Each time you fail you discover what works and what doesn't work, keep looking for what works!”
Today, Mermaid Spice is nationally renowned and is the top selling spice company in the food service industry.
Visit our website at www.MermaidSpiceCorp.com and check out Mermaid Spice's other special blends, hot sauces and rice. We welcome you on your journey to discovering the world's best spices.
Mermaid Spice is located at
5681 Division Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33905