Spicing up Launceston

Man in white shirt smiling at the camera standing in front of shelves stacked with packets of speciality teas and spices

Business owner Yousef with some of the delicacies for sale at his family owned spice market

This story was first published on Tuesday 18 June 2019. If you wish to use this content, please contact media@dese.gov.au to confirm that the information is still current.

Moving to Australia presented a range of challenges for brothers Yousef and Yasin Mohammadi, but with help from Entrepreneurship Facilitator Talitha ‘Taz’ Devadass they realised their dream of opening a spice market.

After a long journey from Afghanistan via Iran, brothers Yousef and Yasin were settled in Launceston with their family through a refugee program. They knew they wanted to open their own business but just didn’t know how to do it in Australia.

“When we arrived in Australia we couldn’t speak any English and it was really challenging,” Yasin said.

“We had no idea how to start a business and it’s totally different when you want to start a business here in Australia than in our country,” Yousef said.

Enter Taz, an Entrepreneurship Facilitator who provides support and assistance to people starting their own business, including connecting people with other business support services in the local area.

“When I met the brothers they came to me with a really clear understanding of what they wanted to do. They just needed some help establishing how they do it,” Taz said.

“We got talking and were able to establish some business goals and it became apparent that we needed to find a place for the business to operate out of.

“We had a number of potential shop locations but each time something would happen it would fall through. Finally, we found this place and it was perfect.”

The shopfront is only a few blocks away from Taz’s office, making it convenient for her to drop in and answer questions.

“We wanted our business to share Afghani food and culture with the Launceston community. We sell things that you wouldn’t see on the supermarket shelf here in Australia such as carrot jam, dried plums and different types of spices,” Yasin said.

Hazara Market has developed a reputation in Launceston as a community hub that offers Tasmanians a taste of the Middle East.

“Yasin, Yousef and the Hazara Market have a very special place in the hearts of the Launceston community,” Taz said.   

Entrepreneurship Facilitators are on-the-ground in 23 locations across Australia, providing aspiring entrepreneurs with free mentoring and support to start their own business or become self-employed. 


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