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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Spiceology is ready for its close-up: Spokane spice company making a splash with TV chefs

If you’ve been keeping up with the latest seasons of “MasterChef,” you might’ve noticed a familar label or two popping up around chefs’ stations .

Between “MasterChef,” “Hell’s Kitchen” and “American BBQ Showdown” – among others – Spiceology has appeared on 18 seasons of various cooking competition shows in recent years. With four more appearances soon to follow, what has been the key to their success?

It all started in 2020 when Tony Reed, Spiceology’s senior director of innovation and partnerships, got a call from “American BBQ Showdown” supervising producer Avery Pursell. Pursell, who owns and operates her own boutique catering company in Los Angeles, has held culinary supervising and production roles on a host of other reality cooking shows including “Next Level Chef,” “Hell’s Kitchen” and the various versions of “Master Chef.”

Pursell first discovered Spiceology through mutual friends and chefs on Instagram.

“I saw their branding and thought it was amazing,” Pursell said, explaining how the Spokane company’s “by chefs, for chefs” approach drew her in. So she reached out, they sent her a few samples and “it just kind of spiraled from there.”

“They were obviously very in tune with what spices and herbs should be and how they should be cared for, presented and handled,” she said.

Spiceology uses a small-batch manufacturing process that keeps their product fresher than competitors’ spices, Reed said. But beyond the quality of the spices and blends, chefs appreciate the packaging system.

“We call it the periodic table flavor,” Reed said. “For chefs, just like in regular life, efficiencies are very key.”

Each container is color-coordinated by type with corresponding spice name abbreviations on each label, allowing chefs to spend less time searching for a particular spice or seasoning.

“They just really know, what is needed and what is lacking – and the quality and the freshness of the spice and herbs … really set them apart,” Pursell said.

Pursell also said the idea of supporting a smaller local business was appealing, watching Spiceology progress since then has been even better.

“Of course, they’ve gotten larger, which is great – I love seeing them grow,” she said, mentioning gradually stumbling across their products in stores across the country. “It’s like … watching like Justin Bieber. Onboarding small local players, watching them expand.”

And even as they’ve grown, she said, they still have that local, personable feel.

“I can always reach out to somebody and talk to them personally – they’re not about the ego and the corporate situation,” she said. “There’s a friendship in that type of business relationship.”