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Camino Spice: Flavors and Philanthropy

Camino Spice’s Pumpkin Pecan Pie with Last Best Chocolate

Article by Carla Little

Photography by Sasha Woods, Kristen Soppe, & Laura Munson

Originally published in Bozeman City Lifestyle

A walk on the Camino de Santiago–the historic pilgrimage trails in France and Spain–can lead travelers to new insights about themselves; sometimes philosophical, sometimes spiritual, and sometimes, quite simple but profoundly life-changing. 

“My journey taught me to listen to the little voice within me,” said Sasha Woods. “Trust it and be vulnerable; be open to where it leads.” 

In this case, it led her to open Camino Spice, a company that has offered her wonderful new opportunities to share her love of food and flavors with others, and give back to her community.

Her first spice blend was the result of honoring that inner voice. While feeling ill and severely congested one night, she started sautéing garlic and reaching for spices, when something within said, “Write this down.” 

She blindly grabbed spices, measured, and documented, and Divine Inspired Spice was born—a unique mixture of cayenne, cinnamon, cumin, curry, ginger, turmeric, clove, and nutmeg—all anti-inflammatory spices. She loaded it on the garlic and added vegetables and lemon. After eating the concoction for a couple days, her sinuses opened and she recovered. 

That little mixture turned out to be the perfect complement to many other dishes, not to mention the flagship product for her new company. She has gone on to develop several other spice blends, her Mexican Hot Chocolate Mix, which won a Bronze Sofi award from the Specialty Food Association, and spicy “Last Best Chocolate” bars. This year, Camino Spice was voted Best Specialty Spice and Seasoning Store in Montana.

In 2017, a search for commercial kitchen space led her to Livingston, where she first used the Livingston Food Resource Center kitchen, and eventually found a storefront for Camino Spice in 2019. 

Giving back has been part of her company’s mission since its inception, and 10% of her chocolate sales has always gone to charity. Some organizations that have benefited include Give a Hoot Community Foundation, Montana Freshwaters Partners, Livingston Food Resource Center, Western Sustainability Exchange, and Stafford Animal Shelter.

In the aftermath of the Livingston area floods this summer, Sasha expanded her community efforts. During the flood and for several months after, she gave 10% of all her product sales to local flood relief. 

As a small business owner, Sasha works nonstop, taking every opportunity to grow a loyal following for her products. Summers are spent on the farmer’s market circuit, and winters at holiday markets and trade shows. Recently, she began teaching “Smoke and Spice” classes at Chico Hot Springs, in which participants learn to make drinks such as a Smoked Old Fashioned, where the glass is smoked and the drink is infused with spices. (Want to try it at home? She now offers a “Smokin’ Old-Fashioned kit.”) 

Along with the Livingston store (113 W. Park Avenue, Suite 5) and the online shop (caminospice.com), Camino Spice products have expanded to grocery and gourmet markets around the state (6 of which are in Bozeman).

At the end of the day, Sasha is most gratified when her spices, food products, recipes, and classes make people feel a little happier. “When I used to do photography, my goal was to create pictures that evoked goodwill and hope,” she explained. “I hope Camino Spice can do that, too.” 

It’s all about the journey—why not add flavor to yours?

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