A broken spine and a passion for healthy cooking became the start of Ginger Diamonds, a new alternative to sweets, gum and breathe fresheners based on pure and fresh ginger roots. Martin Chab, founder and culinary entrepreneur, is an excellent example of how you can turn misfortune into fortune with a bucketload of determination and a sprinkle of imagination. “Ginger Diamonds was created by accident, literally. I broke my spine in 2014 and became paralyzed. I was unable to leave my bed for two years,” Martin says.
After a year of painful rehabilitation, Martin turned to one of his greatest interests, cooking, to distract his mind and keep himself on his feet as much as possible despite the discomfort. One day, he asked a friend to bring him some ginger root to make tea. “My friend returned with more than 1 kg, and I thought to myself, what am I supposed to do with all this ginger?”
Martin immediately applied his creativity to the task and started to experiment with different recipes and flavors. After four months of hard work and several incidents with accidentally setting off the fire alarm, Martin was happy with the final product that provides a crunchy, spicy and refreshing taste sensation without any chemicals and preservatives. As it turned out, all his friends loved it too.
“The consensus was that I should start selling the product.”
Increased production presented Martin with a new challenge: how to do this complex process on an industrial scale? With a background as an industrial consultant with some clients in the food industry as well as many years of experience in creating special effects for the cinema where he had to invent new technological solutions, Martin came up with a prototype for a machine.
“I had to refresh my knowledge on 3D modeling and tried out many different software packages until I found the right one for me,” Martin explains. He also had to study software programming to build the automation, design the packaging, create the company profile, search for funding, understand the legislation and find suppliers. But the enterprise was on its way!
Ginger Diamonds come in beautiful, sustainable and practical packaging, specially designed for the product. It is made from paper and has a lid that can open and close many times without damaging the function of the locking mechanism. Externally it is cello wrapped for protection. Each display box contains 39 units.
Today, the production has moved from Martin’s kitchen to a factory in Malmö and already enjoys international sales to supermarkets, coffee shops, and health food stores.
Ginger is a favorite ingredient in cooking and has been used in traditional medicine for thousands of years. It can be taken in various forms, fresh, dried, powdered or as ginger oil and tinctures. The ginger root is packed with nutrients and beneficial bioactive compounds, of which gingerol is the most potent. This remarkable plant has been reported to possess anti-parasitic, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties which act to reduce nausea, pain, and inflammation.
“During the whole developmental stage, I connected with some wonderful people who inspired me and cheered me on. Without their support I would never have been able to succeed with this project in such a short time and with such a high standard,” says Martin.
In the record time of two years, Martin had created a multicultural company and now exports his product to Italy, UK, Ireland, and Turkey with more countries being added to the list continuously. “Next up is China, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Singapore. I even get inquiries from countries I have never heard of before,” Martin smiles.
Ginger is native to the tropical rainforest in Southern Asia, and some of the biggest producers in the world include China, India, and Indonesia. Martin has been struggling to find an organic supplier that will not request a minimum order of one tonne. So, for now, his line does not have organic certification, but this is something Martin is aiming for in the future, as soon as the production volume is large enough. Ginger Diamonds has a current installed capacity to produce up to 200.000 units a month, and since the technology was developed in-house, the production can easily be scaled up.
Ginger Diamonds is an effective natural breath freshener and a healthy alternative to gum. Customers appreciate Martin’s tasty product because of its organoleptic characteristics such as texture, flavor, and taste but also for its speedy acting results.
Ginger Diamonds is made by concentrating the ginger in a process where the essential oils are preserved, thus the active ingredients gingerol, gingerenome A, zingerone, shogoals, paradol, and 1-Dehydro-10-gingerdione are not only accumulated but as some studies suggest, potentiated by the manufacturing. “This is very much reflected in the comments by our customers who tell us about the immediate relief of symptoms such as gastric pain,” says Martin.
Just like the ginger root itself, Ginger Diamonds is versatile and pairs well with both salty and sweet flavors. There are endless possibilities to create new uses for this delightful vegan snack. You can, for example, sprinkle it over your favorite food or treat, use it in baked goods, as a coffee sweetener, or add extra spice to your cooking. “Our customers include salad bars, bakeries, and ice cream makers,” says Martin. At the moment, Ginger Diamonds come only in one flavor, but four more are being developed using other roots and peels.
Ginger Diamonds expansion from Martin’s kitchen and out into the global market is an inspirational story about overcoming difficulties, trusting in your capabilities and never giving up. Even bad experiences can lead the way to wonderful adventures and valuable friendships. With a strong belief in yourself and the support of others, you can accomplish anything if you put your mind to it!
Ginger Diamonds will exhibit at the Natural Products Scandinavia & Nordic Organic Food Fair in Malmö this coming 14-15 November. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet Martin Chab and try out his healthy and delicious snack!