Kimberly Jung

Rumi | Chicago

Works directly with Afghan farmers to import exceptionally high quality saffron.

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Rumi uses Afghan saffron plants to create authentic spices.

Company Description…

We are former Army officers who served combat tours in Afghanistan. Since leaving the military, we still have unfinished business to support Afghanistan and its people. We founded Rumi Spice to work directly with Afghan farmers to import exceptionally high-quality saffron. In Afghanistan, we’ve hired 384 Afghan women, created three processing facilities, and partnered with over 90 Afghan farmers. Rumi saffron now graces the tables and kitchens of Michelin-star restaurants. We are laying a foundation for peace one flower at a time. 

I started my business because…

We wanted to bring Afghanistan back into the international economy through business partnership.

What makes my company unique…

“Where there is ruin, there is hope for treasure.” – the poet, Rumi. We, at Rumi, believe Afghanistan has so much to offer: its land, culture, people, and saffron.

Mantra I live by…

“What will you do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver.

You should vote for me because…

Our ideas are bold and truly world-changing in the geopolitical sphere. We at Rumi have the ability to inspire others to think more globally and pursue that “one wild and precious life.”

Top 3 goals for my business are…

  1. Allow Afghanistan to become the center of the luxury food scene through saffron.
  2. Saffron replaces opium as the cash crop for Afghan farmers.
  3. Rumi saffron is on weekly grocery lists of the American consumers.

Women entrepreneurs are…

Holding the keys to shaping the future. We are fierce, nuanced, and broad-thinking. We see what others don’t see, and we’re able to bring people together to work in a team.

Being a Tory Burch Foundation Fellow would allow me to…

Grow the business and expand Rumi’s network. We want to be mentored by other innovative business leaders who have taken similar paths, grown a brand from nothing to a household name, and made an indelible, positive social impact on the world.

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