Our Spicy Story
Pete, an executive chef, pitched the concept of a unique spice company at the first ever Startup Weekend in Spokane WA in 2012 and won the weekend. He was ready to bring the concept to market and knew he needed someone with the same passion for flavor and spice as he does. Someone with a knack for photography, web and graphic design, so he reached out to Heather, the acclaimed blogger behind the food blog Farmgirl Gourmet.
The pair hit the ground running at the beginning of May 2013 by relaunching the website with a fresh new look. A Kickstarter campaign quickly followed for their Spiceologist Block™. A European Beech block that holds 22 spices on your kitchen countertop stylishly. The campaign was a huge success raising over $50,000 to help the young company grow.
By January of 2014 they had picked up a wholesale gourmet food broker in Seattle. This would be instrumental in getting their rubs into retail outlets like Sur la Table stores nationwide. The rub line was doing good, but by April 2014 Pete and Heather knew something needed to change. They were sitting in the Spice Cave, their first production facility, brainstorming ways to take the brand to the next level. The lightbulb came on and at that moment they decided to shift from Savorx Spice and Flavor Co, a brand that was hard to identify with, to Spiceologist. Within 20 minutes they had masterminded a new brand, came up with a logo (the one still in use today) and it was on. Heather used her graphic design skills to redo their rub labels, polish up the logo and they hit the ground running. The wholesale doors flew open and by the end of 2014 Spiceologist was in over 800 stores nationwide.
With their newfound wholesale success the duo scraped up every excess dollar they had, took the leap of faith and bought a booth at the Fancy Food Show in San Francisco. Not knowing what to expect they packed up a popup sign and some product and flew to SF. That show opened doors to Home Goods, which picked up rubs for their Epicurean Stores, but the word spread fast within the TJX Group and they were quickly courted by Marshalls, TJ Maxx and TJ Maxx Canada to carry the blends as well. The experience paid off and Pete and Heather knew they needed to find a way to book the NYC show in July.
One afternoon in February 2015 the phone rang in the office and Heather answered. On the other end of the line there was a voice that said "Hey this is the senior buyer at Williams-Sonoma, who do I talk to about getting your products in our store?". That was a pivotal day for the brand as they worked with Williams-Sonoma for several months perfecting packaging designs, and testing, before sending out thousands of their Spiceologist Blocks™ and rub 4 Packs for the 2015 holiday season.
Knowing they couldn't go to the NYC show with just a popup sign, they commissioned their woodworking friend, the talent behind the gorgeous Spiceologist Block™, to make something more aligned with their style. The wood backdrop would have a shelf of enormous erlenmeyer flasks under lit with LED lights and filled with dry ice to billow fog. It was mad scientist meets Pottery Barn and it was incredible. Flocks of buyers from all of the country were coming by to see this new kid on the block and many great new contacts and fog filled selfies were created that weekend. Including our newest friends at Cost Plus World Market and Bed Bath & Beyond, to name a couple.
What's next for the brand?
In January there will be new offshoots of the popular Spiceologist brand including a line that will be grocery ready. 2016 is going to be spicy and EPIC and Pete and Heather are pumped to share it with their spice fans.
About the team:
|Pete Taylor spent 15 years perfecting his craft as an executive chef before launching Spiceologist in 2013 with co-founder Heather Scholten. Pete's entrepreneurial background coupled with his passion for flavor has helped grow the company immensely within the first 2.5 years. Pete is also the resident "Spices & Herbs" expert on About.com.|
|Heather Scholten came onboard in May 2013 as co-founder and CCO/CMO of Spiceologist. Heather’s background as a nationally recognized food blogger, recipe developer, web & graphic designer and photographer was just what Pete needed to take the spice company to the next level. Heather creates and photographs the recipes found on spiceologist.com as well as her food blog farmgirlgourmet.com.|
Spiceologist is all about off-the-wall flavor innovation, sexy package design, and ultra-premium ingredients. Those three traits have helped this young company pierce into the spice industry with plenty of momentum. Not only does Spiceologist offer a complete line of gourmet rubs, and over 150 fresh spices, herbs and salts, but they're also responsible for creating the award-winning Spiceologist Block™, which holds 22 gourmet spices on your kitchen countertop stylishly.