What Happened To Rumi Spice After Shark Tank?

Without a doubt, we've seen some of the best foods on "Shark Tank." From mushroom jerky to condiment slices, "Shark Tank" has featured countless innovative food items over the course of its 14 seasons (per IMDb).

One such innovation appeared on Season 8, Episode 23 in 2017 when three combat vets pitched ethically sourced spices from Afghanistan, according to Shark Tank Tales. Emily Miller, Kim Jung, and Keith Alaniz proposed a company called Rumi Spice. Not only does Rumi Spice bring delicious flavors within our reach, but it also helps farmers in Afghanistan.

Saffron, the company's primary product, is widely grown in Afghanistan and can be pricey (via Shark Tank Recap). However, the trio was determined to make this dream a reality, and so they asked "Shark Tank" investors for $250k in exchange for 5% equity. After much hemming and hawing, Mark Cuban offered Rumi Spice $250k for 15%. So where is the company today? 

Rumi Spice and ethical sourcing

Although there's no denying that Rumi Spice sells high-quality saffron and other spices, perhaps the most impressive thing about the company is its mission. Rumi Spice promises to "help provide reliable wages and economic stability" by partnering with women and farmers in the Middle East. Furthermore, the company also strives to change Americans' perception of the Middle East from that of "war and strife" to that of vibrancy.

After Rumi Spice began sourcing its saffron through Afghanistan, the company offered wages five times that of opium poppy harvesting. As of 2023, Rumi Spice also employs more than 4,000 Afghan women farmers, providing them with opportunities they might not otherwise have.

Unfortunately, the saffron industry does come with a cost. A single pound of saffron sells for $5,000, making it the most expensive spice in the world. A single gram, therefore, costs $18 and takes 150 hours to process. Needless to say, that's quite a hefty investment, but one that many people have been willing to take part in.

Where is Rumi Spice today?

After Mark Cuban offered Rumi Spice $250k for 15% of the company, Rumi Spice raised an additional $32k through Kickstarter and received a $2.5 million investment from InFrontier (via Rumi Spice).

Today, the company's website sells a wide variety of products, from spices like saffron, garam masala, and harissa, to seasoned salts. Most spices sell for around $10 when bought as singles. On the more pricey end, Rumi Spice offers saffron in various weights, from 0.5 grams for $8.99, to 1 ounce for $169.

Rumi Spice also has a bundle deal, which allows customers to save 10% on a purchase of three or more items. What's more, spice fiends can subscribe for savings of 15% and exclusive recipes. But even without a subscription, you can still check out the website's recipe page for dozens of fun dishes to try. Easy tandoori chicken, here we come.