We are a family run business and we flippin’ love food!
As soon as we’ve had breakfast we are always thinking about what we are going to make for lunch and dinner! We talk about food all day and we love to chat with our customers about it.
Since opening the first Rafi’s Spicebox in 1989 the ethos has remained the same. We want everyone who comes to see us to feel confident they can go home and cook delicious food to feed their families and friends. Whether that’s a bag full of goodies or simply a couple of pinches of spice and a recipe idea.
We pride ourselves on our personalised service and our expert knowledge. Knowledge which Rafi passed down through her family, the Spicebox team and her numerous cookbooks. We have a passionate team who we invest a lot of time training, to give you the best experience possible.
Our team have a thirst to continue learning and exploring the fascinating and varied world of spices and Indian cookery. We are always coming up with new ideas and recipes to share with you.
We’ve now got shops in Sudbury, York, Harrogate and Newcastle, as well as sending all across the world via mail order. Wherever and whenever we see you next, we hope we can inspire you to get in to the kitchen and cook up something tasty!
Rafi Fernandez moved to England aged 21 in 1965, marrying her Malaysian childhood pen-pal shortly afterwards. She was born and raised in Hyderbad, India.
Through their combined heritage and many travels around the world, Rafi became an expert in Indian and Malaysian cooking. She wrote a number of cookbooks and taught many classes to people in her local community.
In 1989 she made the brave decision to open her own Asian delicatessen, perhaps not the kind of shop one would expect to find in a quaint town in rural Suffolk! This was done with the help of Rafi’s second husband, Den. Rafi was a determined and passionate lady, and her shop is still there today; a testament to her hard work and unforgettable personality.
The now famous ‘Rafi’s Curry Pack’ came about a few years later, as customers to the spice shop regularly asked Rafi to put the spices together for them for certain dishes. Rafi packaged up spices and other ingredients and sent customers away with recipes and advice for cooking a curry using the pack she’d just made for them. Our most popular product was born!
Her love of cooking and of sharing her foodie knowledge was obvious to all who met her, as many of our customers and staff still fondly remember.
Rafi sadly passed away in 2013, but her memory lives on as an integral part of our business, now run by her two sons Kevin and Lee and a team of avid foodies.
I officially joined the Spicebox in 2004 when we opened the York shop although I can still remember the day the family were stacking shelves in the first shop in Sudbury back in 1989. The Spicebox has changed considerably over the years I am enormously proud of our achievements as a business and as a family.
To say I am food obsessed is an understatement and to be able combine this with work and a fantastic team is great!
Whilst managing the business keeps me very busy it also offers me the freedom to enjoy my other passions including travel, music and The Mighty Spurs, with my very supportive wife Donna and daughter Lily.
I started working with my Mum in 1998, back then It was just my mother, her partner and myself running the business. I have been so passionate to develop the Spicebox from the moment I started and have put my heart and soul in to it over the years. Once my brother joined in 2004 we really began to modernise and allow the Spicebox to grow.
I am very proud of what we have achieved as a family and it is wonderful to see our passion in our fantastic team as they now continue to take the business forward.
I love training staff and sharing my knowledge. Talking about food all day and inspiring people to cook, what could be better?!
I am obsessed with food and love to cook, being able to share my passion through working at Rafi’s is great. My role here is very varied, looking after the communications, promotions and operations of the Spicebox. I love hosting feasts, baking bread and pulling faces at my cat.
I love experimental cooking and previously lived in Spain where the choice of fresh fish and seafood was awesome. I have worked at Rafi’s Sudbury since 2007 and currently live in Sudbury with my musician husband, grumpy teenage son and two hamsters. I love engaging with customers and passing on my passion for our products.
I've been part of the Spicebox since 2011 and I work in the Mail Order Unit. It’s great working in such a foodie environment; we spend a lot of time talking about food and swapping tips and ideas. I enjoy walking, especially in the amazing Yorkshire countryside, and eating good food.
I've been working at Rafi's York shop since 2014, though I've been getting the packs for a few years. Indian food seems to be something a lot of people only think of as a takeaway but I enjoy encouraging people to cook it at home.
I have worked for Rafi’s Sudbury since 2009 and enjoy the experience every single day. I love engaging with regular customers and introducing new ones to Rafi’s world of mixes. Outside of work I love travelling and finding out about of different places and tasting new flavours.
I have worked at Rafi's since 2015, and I manage the Mail Order Unit. I love using our products and developing new and interesting ways to use them, sharing that knowledge with customers and colleagues. As well as my job with the Spicebox I am a trained chef and also an actor and musician.
I've been working at Rafi's York since March 2015, I love working with spices and getting to eat lots of yummy curries! I'm also a musician and an artist, and I play the Javanese gamelan and study Indonesian martial arts.
I have been working as the manager of our Harrogate store since we opened in August 2014. I love discovering new ways to use spices and exchanging ideas with my colleagues and customers. Baking is my true passion. You can usually find me in my kitchen covered in flour, sugar and cookie dough.
I’ve worked in Harrogate as a Curry Crafter since May 2015. Talking about cooking all day with customers is probably the greatest thing you could ask for in a job, so I have really landed on my feet here! I love adventures, being outdoors and food food food!
I've been working at Rafi's York since March 2015, just a month after leaving Italy. I love to ask our customers for culinary tips and tricks to get new ideas for my cooking. When I'm not in the shop complaining about the British weather I enjoy a good read, playing video games and stereotypically preparing pasta sauces.
I've work at Rafi's Newcastle, which I joined in October 2015. I enjoy experimenting with the curry packs to find tasty new combinations of ingredients (although not as much as I enjoy eating them!) Some of my other hobbies include reading, playing the piano and spending inadvisable amounts of time on the computer.
I became the manager of Rafi's Newcastle in November 2015, just after I moved here from London. The best part of the job is seeing the York customers faces when they realise we are in Newcastle! In my spare time I love cooking and going for long muddy walks with my two dogs in Northumberland.
Even on the coldest and darkest days, Rafi's is full of laughter and chat about cooking. York is full of great restaurants and food shops and Rafi's is a wonderful place to learn new skills, from staff and customers alike.
Working at Rafi's in York is so refreshing because of the camaraderie between the staff. We all love food and share cooking tips all day; we are not afraid of a few calories, but are all health conscious.
I have been working for Rafi's since March 2003 (roughly!). Before joining Rafi’s officially, I used to help collect stock from London and helped Rafi and Den do food shows, we had a great laugh and many happy times.
I am Pooja and I am from Odisha, India. I came to York in 2014. I have been working at the Spicebox, as a Mail Order Supervisor. I enjoy working here, it’s a great place to work. I love cooking spicy Indian food and experimenting with new dishes.
I love working as part of the team in the mail order department, ensuring everyone gets great service when they order online. It keeps me very busy! It's great to be part of a family business that takes such pride in its product. The passion for food amongst the staff here is infectious. I love how just a few spices can transform simple vegetables into tasty dishes.