Diablo Seasonings - The Independent Tees Collective

5 Jun 2021

Source: Diablo Seasonings

If I've said it once, I've said it again, we have got such amazing variety in the businesses across our region. While each of them are unique in their own way, I feel like today's Independent Tees Collective feature may be one of the most unique. After a bit of Googling, I'm not sure there's another business in our area that specialises in taste tested and hand packaged spice mixes, both for consumers and other businesses. Caught your attention? Keep reading!

We're so lucky in Teesside that all of our indie biz owners are so lovely, welcoming, and super friendly, but there are none quite like Diablo Seasonings. Not only are Diablo's seasoning packs incredible value for money and loaded with flavour, Peter, the face of the brand, is just an all round great guy. He's always ready for a virtual chat or a chinwag at a market, and he is a loud and proud Teessider through and through. I love his spices (especially the taco seasoning - you have to try it!) and I have such admiration for him as a businessman, so take a look through the rest of this post so you can fall in love with his business too.

Hello! Let's start with a bit of an introduction. Who are you and what is your business all about?

I'm Peter Mckeone, the founder of Diablo Seasonings. We're a spice merchant business that strives to bring the best spices in the world, to the North East of England. We provide spices and seasonings to home-cooks, retailers, caterers and we attend a lot of different farmer's markets. We tend to document our food journey on the Diablo Seasonings social media pages.

Source: Diablo Seasonings

Where did the inspiration for Diablo Seasonings come from? What made you want to kickstart it?

I spent a lot of the last decade travelling to a variety of different places around the world. I was always cooking from quite a young age, and as soon as I discovered those spice markets abroad, I was hooked in. Some of my favourite places that we travelled to were Bethlehem in Palestine, Jerusalem in Israel, Petra in Jordan, Luxor in Egypt and Ovacik in Turkey. The people I met along the way have had a huge impact on my life and have inspired me to build Diablo Seasonings.

Which of your seasoning packs do you recommend and which is your bestseller?

I love most spices, and at the moment I can’t get enough of the Tandoori Seasoning, but I go through phases. One week I'm hooked on Middle-Eastern food, the next it'll be Indian, Mexican and so on. The best seller is Chinese Salt and Pepper Seasoning, with Mexican Fajita and Aleppo Pepper a close second and third.

What is your favourite thing to make with your seasonings?

So many lush options, but I'm going to go with beef tacos... I can’t get enough of them! Especially with loads of soured cream, guacamole, lettuce, and tomatoes on the side!

Source: Diablo Seasonings

What do you enjoy most about running Diablo Seasonings?

There are a lot of things I enjoy about working with spices all day, but the thing I enjoy most is interacting with so many different people, especially when I get to have dealings with people from other fascinating cultures. It's an absolute pleasure to be honest! Sometimes I get calls from places like Indonesia, India, Vietnam, Tanzania and South Africa, and it's mad, but I love it!

What has been Diablo Seasonings' biggest achievement so far?

We're the primary spice provider for some great companies, and we also feel we've navigated the pandemic pretty well, which is quite commendable. But the thing I’m most proud of is learning Arabic (well, enough to get by!) and travelling to Morocco to make episode 1 of ‘Searching for Spices’. This was basically a vlog we made in Rabat, which documented our journey as we went to discover new foods and forge business links at the spice markets. It was the scariest but most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.

What do you love about the Teesside independent scene?

Since Teesside was formed on the banks of the Tees, it's always been an entrepreneurial and creative town. I feel this shines through in the quality and variety of the many fantastic indie food companies in the region. People are so approachable too - if you go to a farmer's market, everyone is supporting each other's businesses and sharing tips on different things to help each other. It's a very accepting scene, from the bloggers, to the producers, to the more experienced Teesside food companies, to the new starters, everyone is welcome and encouraged to bring new ideas to the table. There's enough sunshine for everyone.

Source: Diablo Seasonings

What's next for Diablo Seasonings? What do you hope for the future?

In September 2020, we were meant to go to Beirut, Lebanon to make episode 2 of Searching for Spices, but the explosion at the port and covid-19 curtailed that trip. In 2021, we have India and Nepal booked up for October. We won't hold our breath for that happening either, but it is what it is, we'll get there eventually. We just want to continue improving as a company, keep adding to our team and our operation, continue to create helpful food content for the foodie community, and keep providing.

And finally, recommend one other Teesside independent to us!

Choosing only one is really tough because so many outstanding companies have supported us since we launched and I love them all to bits. To keep it fair, I’ll go with the last person who messaged me and that was James at Deja Food Truck, who is a total foodie genius.

Like I say, Peter is such a kind and knowledgeable person, so if you're a bit of a spice newbie, he can give amazing recommendations. He's always popping up at markets, so keep your eyes peeled on his Facebook or Instagram to see where he'll be next. But you can also pick up his spice kits online, and in several butcher's and farm shops. Basically, he's taking the Tees by storm and its amazing to see.

Make sure you check back next week for another incredible Teesside independent!

Would you like to comment?