As the iconic slogan states, we’ve come along way in the last five years! I know this may sound cliché, but it really does feel just like yesterday that we were filling our first spice jars at our kitchen table in Clarkville, Colorado. Looking back on that time, I never really expected our little side business would end up being the sole enterprise for both my husband B.J. and myself. We have been so incredibly blessed to be a part of this great adventure!
As I stated before, High Plains Spice Company had its humble beginnings in the spare room of our Northeast Colorado home. B.J. and I have always had a great passion for food, him for cooking, me for eating, so the idea of something in the culinary realm just came naturally. We recognized a trend in the food industry that included more spices and flavors in home cooking, and being adventurous eaters ourselves, B.J. decided to try his hand at putting blends and seasonings together. I was happy to taste test.
After creating our first blends at our kitchen table and testing our packaging and products on family and friends, we began attending craft fairs and offering our products online. After a very positive reception, we quickly concluded that a retail location would lend legitimacy and increased productivity to our business. We took the leap and opened High Plains Spice Company at 312 Main St. in Sterling, CO on October 25th of 2013. I soon quit my job to run the shop full-time.
In the spring of 2014 we were awarded a grant from the El Pomar Foundation after winning the top prize in Northeastern Junior College’s Business to College business plan competition. The grant allowed us to expand our current product lines and streamline many of our production processes. During this time, we also added a selection of olive oils and balsamic vinegars to our current spice, seasoning blend, loose leaf tea, and whole bean coffee product lines.
In the following years, we have added many more products, including BBQ sauces, pickled olives, cocktail salts, cocoa mixes, and many more spices and seasoning blends. Additionally, we have partnered with local producers and craftsman to include products like pickles, Bloody Mary mix, hot sauces, and local honey, as well as handmade cutting boards, cheese slicers, spice racks, and custom kitchen utensils.
In addition to all of the changes in the spice shop, we further increased our product offerings in the fall of 2015 by opening High Plains Winery inside High Plains Spice Company. As a Limited Winery, we can make up to 100,000 gallon of wine, as well as carry wines produced in the state of Colorado. We currently offer 19 different varieties of wine from five Colorado wineries/vineyards. We are also in the process of creating two small batch wines that will be available as a limited release under the High Plains Winery label.
The internet has also created an excellent platform for the expansion of our business. Through our website we sell and ship products to customers in all 50 states, a part of our business that has seen exponential growth in the last two years. We also offer our spice and seasoning blend gift sets on multiple third-party seller platforms, including Amazon, Etsy and Walmart.com. We also provide custom gift options for many corporate clients, a side of our business that is also growing.
With the addition of our 2 ½ year old son Emmett and another baby on the way, the last five years have certainly brought a lot of changes to our family and our business. We thank you, our loyal customers, for supporting us through this wonderful adventure. It has truly been a privilege to provide you with tasty products! We hope that they have made your days better and meals more memorable! Thank you again, here’s to another five years!
Lacey and B.J. New