While travelling through the South China Sea and the Gulf of Thailand four years ago he was enamoured with the spices, herbs and flavors he encountered. With his curiosity piqued, he embarked upon a little journey in discovery and adventure as he unlocked the ancient secrets of the spice trade.
The Maritime Silk Road is the name given to the ocean networks linking the East to the West. Stretching from the west coast of Japan, through the islands of Indonesia, around India to the lands of the Middle East and then across the Mediterranean into Europe. Alongside cargoes of silk, porcelain, precious metals and gemstones, was great demand for spices; so desirable and precious, that many were deemed to be worth more than gold.
Indeed, they were considered to be so valuable, that countries were brutally colonised for them, men fought to the death in the pirating of them, and kings and queens signed special decrees enabling fierce and fearless buccaneers to legally pilage and pilfer these exotic offerings in return for great riches.
And so came the inspiration for the reimagining of a little bar on Courtenay Place, Wellington. C.G.R. Merchant & Co was born. A little nod to the bravado of the ships’ captains of days gone by, who with their daring and may haps, passion for wealth and adventure, succeeded in spreading the spices of life and passion throughout the new world and the old.