A former Oil & Gas sector professional and civil servant, Hong Spices founder Lai Poon Piau returned to his family's agricultural roots and opened Hong Spice's Kampot Pepper farm in 2013.
The vision behind Hong Spices was founded on two purposes:
From the original 2,500 pepper vines, the farm has expanded to over 10,000 vines and is well on the way to achieving these goals; providing stable employment for 50 local residents and helping to push the region's pepper industry forward.
The amazing Kampot peppercorns are grown in the foothills of Kon Sat commune (Kampot, Cambodia). The local terroir and organic farming give rise to the amazing flavours in our pepper berries.
Hong Spice's Kampot peppers are grown only from cuttings taken from local vines
to ensure the genealogical character of our peppers.
Cuttings take three years to mature and produce peppers, with only the very best berries selected for our traditional pepper production process. Picked by hand between February and May, the berries are soaked in boiling local spring water and sun-dried.
We believe in an organic approach employing bio-nutrients and micro-organism techniques to maintain soil health and provide effective pest control without the need for any harmful chemical pesticides.
The earliest mentions of pepper cultivation in Cambodia can be traced to court
records from the 13th century Song Dynasty of China. However, modern pepper
cultivation truly began with French colonisation in the 19th century.
With their unique understanding of "terroir", or 'sense of place', the French realised that the mineral-rich soil and coastal winds of Kampot Province made the area exceptionally suitable for cultivating pepper of uniquely high quality.
After this initial success, the knowledge of growing Kampot pepper was almost completely lost under the Khmer Rouge. Pepper production dwindled to almost nothing and has only recently started to revive.