Fear causes us to miss out.
When my brother was younger, he refused to eat anything red for at least a year. That’s right. If it was the color red, he flat-out refused to eat it. His justification? He thought it was “hot.” To be fair, some red things are spicy, but not all of them. He missed out on apples, ketchup, and those little red pimentos in green olives – all of it.
How many times do we have one poor experience that proceeds to paint our personal perspective?
Spice can be a source of apprehension for many. Perhaps they came from a family who didn’t use much spice in their dishes or maybe they were not taught how to use them. Salt and pepper might have been staples on the kitchen table growing up, but there are so many other options to add to one’s repertoire to satisfactorily elevate any Thursday night dinner.
Gather Food Studios Spice Shop was officially established in 2021 after about four years of keeping spices in-house to create the blends necessary for their classes. After a while, they started getting requests for their spice blends, so students wouldn't have to spend $40 on multiple jars of spices to create a blend they would use once or twice. As students of Gather Food Studios are able to take recipes home with them, they had the ability to re-create these dishes, but sourcing the spices was tricky.
So, co-owners Dave Cook, Jr. and Cortney Smith started there.
Spices + Other Staples
They began selling their in-house blends and then expanded to carry other staples like preserved lemons and black garlic. Salt sourced from an underground ocean in West Virginia, olive oil from a family-owned, 100-year-old grove in Greece, or honey from local beekeepers at Lockhart Farms are all items you can find in the Gather Spice Shop, as well.
Asked what spices she would recommend for the novice spice collector aside from salt and pepper, Cortney recommended a good Spanish or Hungarian paprika, a Ceylon or Vietnamese cinnamon, and cumin. The Gather Spice Shop has some class recipes sprinkled about the store for shoppers who need a little inspiration. Cortney and Dave are also around to aid in choosing what spices might be right for your home.
And classes are available for those who want to expand their cooking repertoire. It never hurts to learn from the experts.
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