“What started out as a crazy idea—hoping we could impact a handful of farmers in Afghanistan—has grown to impact hundreds of farmers, thousands of women, and is the leading Afghanistan agricultural importer to the US.” —Keith Alainz, President & Chief Executive Officer
Founded by a team of military veterans who served in Afghanistan, Rumi Spice was developed with an intimate understanding of Afghan culture and built on the foundation of trusted relationships. Since day one, supporting agriculture and local economies in Afghanistan has been their core mission, including empowering farmers and women workers to tap into the international marketplace.
“Rumi Spice has been a dream for us since its inception—given our experiences in Afghanistan as deployed soldiers, we grew to love the people and the land and wanted to find a way to contribute to Afghanistan. Rumi has also been an inspiration to many other entrepreneurs who want to start businesses in other war-torn countries, and I’ve been fortunate to share my experiences with them to help them grow.” Kimberly Jung, former CEO
Even beyond Rumi Spice’s origin story, Keith and Kimberly tie it all back to their brand’s core mission. Though no longer full-time at Rumi Spice, Keith continues to serve as a Board Director and remains heavily involved in the Afghanistan-US business community. Since stepping down as CEO in 2018, Kimberly continues to share word of Rumi Spice’s mission, and stays in contact with Afghan partners and farmers.
Read more about Rumi Spice’s journey here.
More brands owned by veterans:
Bare Bones was founded by Navy veteran and classically trained chef Ryan Harvey while he was working in San Diego’s fine dining industry.
Grey Ghost Bakery is owned by Vietnam veteran Manning Frankstone and his wife Katherine.
Founder of Over Easy, Kyle Maggard, is a former Army Captain.
Brands supporting veterans:
Apis Mercantile donates to Warrior Surf Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit providing free surf therapy, wellness coaching, yoga, and community to veterans struggling with PTSD, anxiety, depression, transition issues, and other mental health issues.
In addition to being owned by veterans, Grey Ghost Bakery actively seeks to hire veterans.
Nielsen-Massey Vanillas donates to local nonprofits focused on supporting four focus areas: youth, education, veterans, and the environment. They don’t publicly announce the names of these organizations, but you can find details about their involvement here.
Partners Coffee hires from employment organizations such as America Works, a company matching veterans with employment opportunities.