Established executive chef Pete Taylor and renowned food blogger Heather Scholten have been turning up the heat with the most creative spice blends and innovative kitchen accessories to hit the market. Their company, Spiceologist, makes premium pure spices, unique rubs, and stylish kitchen gadgets alike that push the boundaries on spice, style, and flavor.
Spiceologist’s beginnings are rooted in successful crowdfunding campaigns and driven entrepreneurial spirit. Taylor initially pitched the concept of a unique spice company at the first-ever Startup Weekend in Spokane,Washington, back in 2012. He wound up winning the weekend and, with the big “W” in his pocket, he was ready to bring the concept to market. Taylor knew he needed to find someone with the same passion for flavor and spice that he had if he was going to make this dream a reality and, thus, he sought out a partner with a knack for photography, web, and graphic design. The woman who had all of these skills and more was Scholten, acclaimed blogger responsible for the well-known food blog Farmgirl Gourmet.
The pair took to the internet, debuting Spiceologist’s website with a fresh look in May of 2013 and launching a Kickstarter campaign for their Spiceologist Block™, a beautiful European beech block housing 22 glass vials of fresh spices, herbs, and salts. The campaign was wildly successful and raised over $50,000 to spur the young company’s growth (we have some strange Kickstarter campaigns that didn't do so hot here). By January of 2014, the pair had picked up a wholesale gourmet food broker in Seattle. One whirlwind rebrand later, the wholesale gates flew open and, by the end of 2014, Spiceologist was in over 800 stores nationwide — talk about incredible growth.
With their newfound wholesale success, the duo scraped up enough money to take a leap of faith, buying a booth at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. Not knowing what to expect, they put together a pop-up sign and some products and got on the plane. That show opened doors to some of the biggest retailers in the nation.
One fateful day in February of 2015, the phone rang from a buyer at Williams-Sonoma. After several months spent perfecting packaging designs and testing, thousands of Spiceologist Blocks™ and 4-Pack Rub Gift Sets were sent out nationwide just before the holiday season.
On the heels of deals with some of the nation’s leading purveyors and brick and mortars, Spiceologist has made a name for itself as the go-to brand for premium spice rubs and the efficacious, beautiful Spiceologist Block™. The brand specializes in off-the-wall flavor innovation, sexy package design, and ultra-premium ingredients. More recently, Spiceologist unveiled the "World's First Thai Peanut Seasoning.” This blend is the perfect formulation of dehydrated peanut butter, exotic Thai spices, coconut, chiles, and palm sugar. This Thai Peanut Seasoning pairs perfectly with shrimp, salmon, chicken, pork, steamed cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and so much more.
Amidst ongoing innovation, the brand just launched into natural products this year with an all-new Kickstarter campaign surrounding its Certified Paleo and Whole30-approved line, Spice Cave. These all-natural, all-in-one seasoning systems include such drool-worthy blends as Land (a garlic, mustard, cumin, and Himalayan pink salt combination perfect for any creature that comes from the land), Sea (lemon, garlic, pepper, and Himalayan pink salt — a great blend for foodstuffs from the sea), Wind (a oregano, orange peel, fennel, and Himalayan pink salt blend that suits, you guessed it, anything that flies), and Fire (a heat-packed mix of smoky paprika, ancho chile, habanero, and coconut palm sugar that is the best way to make any dish spicy). Spice Cave became the most funded edible campaign on Kickstarter, raising $187,173 in funds and surpassing the team’s original goal by 748 percent. Expect to see Spice Cave in Northwestern Whole Foods later this year.
Spiceologist and Spice Cave think outside the grill and take the guesswork out of the ultimate question: What’s for dinner? Utilizing any of these ultra-premium blends on your favorite foods elevates the dish to another level without worry or hassle. With creative blends like Black & Bleu (the first-ever Cajun, dehydrated blue cheese spice rub), Cowboy Crust (an espresso-chile rub set off with smoky mustard and sweet brown sugar), the first-ever Thai Peanut seasoning, and Raspberry Chipotle (a sweet and spicy rub with dehydrated raspberry powder, paprika, and chipotle) to name a few, Spiceologist has a propensity to make home-cooked meals and snacks alike truly, irrefutably badass. We’re talking a Raspberry Chipotle Waffle Monte Cristo and Black & Bleu Popcorn – is your mouth watering yet?
Spiceologist is available online at www.spiceologist.com, as well as at retailers nationwide such as Williams-Sonoma, World Market, and Bed Bath & Beyond as well as over 1,000 other retailers. Please visit www.thespicecave.com for product info, recipes and locations.
The accompanying slideshow is provided by The Daily Meal's Angela Carlos.