As an economic developer, I spend much of my time talking about, thinking about, and working with clients on supporting and growing entrepreneurship in the communities where we work. Entrepreneurship is an important buzzword in economic development, but how many economic developers have experienced entrepreneurship from the inside, as entrepreneurs? With BusinessFlare, that is how we understand entrepreneurship, from the entrepreneur’s perspective which enables us to assist clients in a manner that is grounded in cold, hard reality and personal experience. At BusinessFlare we have not one, but two entrepreneurial stories: Flarehead Farrell Tiller’s Live Free Diving (which you will learn more about in a future post), and my and my wife’s own venture, Goodnight’s Red River Spice Company.
Our venture into entrepreneurship was inspired by my wife Lina’s vast knowledge of food, which I have been fortunate to experience during our 19 years of marriage. Raised in New York City, in Yorkville, her early food influences were the neighborhood’s Polish, Hungarian, Greek and Italian diners. After moving back to Colombia in her teens, she learned to cook from her grandmother many Colombian staples. In college she had a Syrian roommate whose family she became close to and learned to cook middle eastern food. More recently, her office has an executive chef that has helped her polish her skills as a saucier or sauté chef.
My family has a rich food history too. We are descendants of the early settlers (and entrepreneurs) that ventured out to Texas on their Chuck Wagons, the original Food Truck concept. The youngest memory I have about food, I was 2. My uncles competing amongst themselves to see who won best Brisket. BBQ and grilling were a way of life and learning how to cook Beef was a rite of passage. Between my aunts and the ladies, it was who takes the title for most outstanding Pie. These are traditions we still practice.
I learned to appreciate many international flavors during my time in Central and South America in the Army, and then living in Miami with Lina our taste in food has continued to mature. With Miami’s Seafood, Cuban, Caribbean and Asian cuisine entrepreneurs so prevalent it is unavoidable. We have perfected some dishes like the Cuban Pork Shoulder and my famous Conch Fritters.
With my Texas background and my wife, the Yankee, we have been raising the culinary bar with each other ever since we met. She loves to cook, and I love to eat. How perfect can this be? Which brings me to how we started Red River Spices. Since cooking was a shared passion, one day the lightbulb went off. We decided to venture into entrepreneurship and create some spice blends that we use regularly and came up with (5) essential blends. Today we have (7) more for a total of (12) which round out the necessary blends to achieve our signature dishes. Our small homegrown business has allowed us to do what we love and make a little side money.
Goodnight’s Red River Spice Company is part of the BusinessFlare® family, a network focused on economic revitalization, education and entrepreneurship. We are a veteran-owned company that provides authentic, flavorful blends to cooks everywhere. We develop our blends with the attention to detail learned in the United States Army, when I learned the true importance of flavor. Cooking is both a very personal and social experience, and we strive to give our customers the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in the kitchen and on the grill through our flavors and our recipes, which are available in our recently published cookbook.
Check back soon to learn why we named the Company Goodnight’s Red River in a future post.