Our Story & Legacy
From Susan Stewart, owner and wife of Colonel De Stewart
Many years ago, a young man in Louisville, Kentucky, named De Stewart, worked at his grandfather’s poultry and fish market. When urban development forced the market’s closing, De’s father and grandfather opened a produce market where young De continued to work. These jobs were the genesis of his lifelong love of all things culinary. In 1999, De was appointed a Kentucky Colonel.
Fast forward many years and many careers later, to the infancy of the Food Network. De, ever the entrepreneur, pitched an idea for a cooking show to a Northern Kentucky cable channel. His idea was to show how spices and herbs could change the flavors of everyday foods. The show was a success and people wanted to know where they could buy the spices, herbs, and blends they saw on the show.
In 2005, De and I set up two card tables and with a handful of items began selling them at Farmers’ Markets. Looking for a logo and a name for the new business, De asked an artist friend to create a logo. The logo included a caricature of a man with a bushy mustache … and Colonel De Gourmet Herbs & Spices was born!
In 2006, our first store was opened at the historic Findlay Market in Cincinnati, Ohio. With De and I working behind the counter, the store quickly outgrew its initial space.
Having started with less than 100 items, the store now offers over 500 culinary, herbs, spices and custom blends, and two more stores have been opened: One inside Jungle Jim’s Eastgate Market in Cincinnati, and the world headquarters in Fort Thomas, KY. In 2018, Colonel’s Restaurant & Kitchen opened, featuring the Colonel De herbs and spices our customers have loved for years.
Sadly, in 2018, Colonel De passed away, devastating the Northern Kentucky and Cincinnati culinary community. He was known throughout the region for his love of helping everyone from the everyday home cook to the finest chefs in the area. The Colonel’s knowledge of spices, his unfaltering willingness to help others, and his signature mustache continue to be missed by all.
Today, I (always known as Mrs. Colonel) along with our son, Ashley and wife Christi, are committed to the legacy our beloved De started and was committed to.
One thing Col De always wanted to give his customers was a website that was just like the in-store experience. He was adamant that a Col De customer should be able to buy as little or as much as they wanted or needed–from 1 gram to 1 pound of anything we sell!
This website was a big project De was working to create for you before his passing, and we know it would bring him great joy to see that his vision is alive and well.
Just like our stores, you can buy as little or as much as you need or want, and if you need help, we have a helpful direct line to a Colonel De Gourmet Herbs & Spices staff expert through the chat box in the lower right corner of each page on this website. Just like the store -- helpful staff to answer your questions.
Of course, our stores continue on as well, and if you live in or visit the Northern Kentucky/Cincinnati area, we hope you'll stop in, smell the fragrant atmosphere, and chat about what you're cooking. Let's see how we can make it even more tasty.
Lastly, please be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram because that is where we share the latest happenings, reviews, recipes, Spice Of The Week, and so much more!