We met Tom riding around on his pop’s custom Triumph motorcycle at London’s Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride back in September. After chatting about this and that (bikes, mainly), we found out that Tom was a fan of Bailey Nelson since his first purchase while living in Sydney (yay!). He also shared about his super-delicious-sounding turmeric latte brand, GoldSpice, from Byron Bay. We knew we would be in luck to get him on board for our Covent Garden launch party to supply visitors throughout the day (and night) with refreshing cold (yep – cold) turmeric-spiced coconut milk beverages. Seriously – you’ll have to try it to taste how good it is.
So you seem to have quite an eclectic history, from founding an ethical surf wear brand to running a ‘Jaffle’ toastie food truck, and travelling back and forth between Sydney and London in between! What was the defining moment when you realised what you wanted to pursue?
I fell in love with Sydney and the Aussie lifestyle from the moment my feet touched that golden sand, and it’s also where I bought my first pair of BN clip-ons! I went over, like a lot of Brits do, to do the classic bar work in Kings Cross and labouring over in Manly. Eventually I fell into the world of natural health, getting a job with a spiritual healer!
Soon after that I developed eczema, which as bizarre as it sounds was actually a bit of a blessing. Bondi was the perfect place to learn how to cure myself naturally, and ultimately changed how I lived my life, but the dream came to an end when my visa expired.
Back in London, I was feeling a little lost, but it took one evening meditating to decide to follow my true passions – I learnt this from a teacher in Sydney- the power of the breath is incredible; just a moment of clarity keeps you on track.
So your true passions being motorbikes, health and wellness and bees? What?
Yeah bees are a bit random, huh? In 2006 the world experienced a colony collapse disorder- all of the world’s bees were disappearing and no one knew why or where. I soon learned how intrinsic they are to the world, and how amazingly intelligent they are. Einstein is quoted as saying, ‘If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.’
I took off south on my Triumph through Europe, heading for my mate Harry, in Crete, and stopping off to learn about bees on the way.
What did you find on your trip, and what were the best and worst parts of it?
Well, I found out a lot about bees! I remember in particular the first place I stayed - it was an organically-run apiary (or beehive plantation) in France. My ‘bedroom’ was the back of a shed filled with honey-drenched equipment with a nice sheet laid out on the floor. The boxes of drying onions and garlic added beautifully to the overwhelming aroma of mouse wee, and I quickly noticed that the place was covered in droppings.This was one of my most testing times, followed by riding through a hail storm in Tuscany.
I had a lot of unreal moments on that trip. One of the most amazing experiences was uncovering a pot whilst working on a Minoan archaeological site – I was the first person to touch it since around 2000BC! The whole trip put a lot in perspective.
So what made you want to go back to Sydney (our hometown, by the way!)? Is that where you came up with the idea for GoldSpice?
Well, it was the start of what led me to GoldSpice – Sydney is where I learnt about health and wellness and holistic healing. I can’t think of a more beautiful city where one minute you’re in the CBD and literally 20 mins later you can be on one of the most beautiful beaches.
After Europe I made a plan to continue my adventure and go to NZ to learn more about bees, but I made sure I stopped off in Sydney on the way. The plan was to catch up with some friends (actually, one girl in particular!) for a couple of weeks and then move on to NZ, but something in the back of my mind told me to go to Byron. One of my biggest inspirations in the bee world is Flow Hive, Based in Byron Bay. I figured I’d go see them, tell them how much I loved their brand and what they were doing, and try to get a job.
Awesome! What happened?
After days of riding all over Byron, literally up and down mountains, I hadn’t found or got hold of them. I decided to stick to my original plan and head to NZ, but on the last morning I woke up with a buzz. I went down to the ocean very early and experienced what I can only describe as an absolutely magical energy. Everything was beautiful. You know when you’re just filled with that amazing feeling, like everything is going to be alright? I’ve had it a few times in my life, and something incredible has always been around the corner. You can call it the law of attraction or whatever – it’s hard to explain! My phone rang – and it was Stuart, the founder of Flow Hive!
Yeah it was – he’d heard about my search and invited me for a tour. Obviously, I said yes and immediately tried to work out how I could fund staying in Byron. It was Friday morning and Mullum music festival was just starting for the weekend; perfect for cash work.
I got a hitch from a guy named Robert, who turned out to also have a huge passion for bees. After a day of hanging out, Robert offered me some short-term work. Either he genuinely liked me or I was about to experience a real life ‘Wolf Creek’, but I decided I had nothing to lose.
Looks like you survived alright though?
Absolutely – I’ve met some special people on my travels, but no one quite like Robert. I was invited into his family home and worked for him over 9 months, caring for bees and learning about mindfulness and deep meditation. It all sounds a bit strange, but sometimes people are just super kind and genuine. It takes a lot of trust to find that out.
Then I met Bill, one of Robert’s friends. He’s a doctor that treats people 100% naturally and I asked him about my eczema and I have honestly never been hit with so much information! He told me a lot of what I already knew; it was a gut problem, auto-immune response, too much inflammation, and so on. He suggested something that changed my life. He told me about a powerful mix of spices based on traditional ancient medicine with maximum anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and suggested taking it with coconut milk twice a day. Introducing, GoldSpice!
And it cured your eczema?
After two weeks my skin was better than ever. Robert and I couldn’t remember the last time we had felt so good! We immediately gave it to friends and family and everyone raved about it! People without obvious health concerns even said it made them feel more energetic and active. I decided that we needed to share this and spread GoldSpice around the world!
The joy of finding ‘Gold’ was cut short when my visa ran out, again.
Uh oh…how did you make it work?
I was gutted. I came back to the UK excited to start things off here, while keeping Byron at the heart of our brand.
Tell us more about the spice – what makes it so special?
GoldSpice is a blend of eight spices. You’ll recognise all of the spices, and be aware that some of them are ‘good for you’, but probably didn’t realise just quite how powerful they are! Ginger is a classic and up every mum’s sleeve, and turmeric is getting a lot of media attention at the moment because of recent studies proving its effectiveness. The others are perhaps less obvious in terms of health benefits, but have been used for thousands of years in ancient medicine for their amazing properties, and it is now being realised that when taken together they provide even greater benefit. You’ll often see black pepper alongside turmeric for example, that’s because it contains piperine, which has been shown to boost the absorption of turmeric by up to 2000%!
Our eight spices have been specifically formulated so that each one is in the right proportion to offer maximum benefits. We also use 100% organic ingredients of the highest quality for maximum potency. More about the extent of the health benefits can be found on our website, but essentially GoldSpice is highly anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, as well as cleansing.
One misconception is that a turmeric latte contains coffee. Generally they don’t, and it just translates to turmeric milk. However, we’re really encouraging everyone to come up with their own ideas and recipes, so why not chuck a shot of coffee in too. You might just nail it!
So what does GoldSpice mean to you?
GoldSpice to me is about health, nature, and making the most of every day. Whether that’s jumping in the surf, exploring the beautiful coastline, or heading inland to those breath-taking mountains. People there are active and full of a need for adventure.
After all I have experienced and learned, I believe in a totally holistic approach to improving health. We need to be as kind as we can to our bodies inside and out, giving them a helping hand in this crazy polluted world. I want to encourage people to think more about their health, to get up and active, and to live the adventure they’ve been dreaming of.
Read more about the benefits of GoldSpice, as well as how-tos and information on sustainable production, at gold-spice.com. Try it in the wild at Island Poke and Nomad Athletics Club, and keep an eye out for more locations soon. (P.S. If you head online add a strainer to your Shopping Cart and use code GO4GOLD for a complementary strainer!)