Wildman’s: The Local Spice Trade

What makes your shopping experience feel good?

In a world dominated by conglomerates such as Walmart, there is nothing like the local, family owned business. Especially those family owned businesses that have been in your community for years. They have invested in your community, and they live in your community. These family owned businesses are what made America. The entrepreneurs of America are the backbone of our communities. And they are the families who care about their name, their services, and their products.

In our small town in Northwest Ohio we have a family owned spice house called W.H. Wildman’s Spices. This  business was started in 1895 in Norwalk, Ohio by the Wildman family. It was moved to New Hampshire, Ohio, in 1977. It is owned and operated by Scott Gray and his son Isaac Gray. They have herbs and spices from all over the United States and the world at large. When I think of spices, I always think of the line from the movie, Sense and Sensibility when Alan Rickman says, “The air is full of spices.” And that is exactly what Wildman’s smells like. The location is a beautifully restored train depot. The train depot is where they store the herbs and spices, and they bottle and ship them all over. You can come to the business and purchase them in bulk, you can place orders over the phone, or go to their website to order spices in bulk or by the bottle.

My sister Skyla has worked for this family owned business for over ten years. We are all very proud of their products. It is always nice to get spices from Skyla for your birthday or Christmas.

The heart of good cooking is good ingredients, and we love Wildman’s spices and special blends. We use them for everything. Spaghetti would not taste the same without the oregano, thyme, marjoram, and basil. Turkey would be so drab without the sage. And apple pie would not be apple pie, without the high oil grade Vietnamese cinnamon. It is a wonderful blessing not to have to go all the way to Columbus to get really exotic herbs and spices. Take a look around your area and decide to discover and support family owned, local businesses. You might find that like us,  they can take you to faraway places, but be located just down the road.

I like to use the Wildman’s spice blends to make life easier for myself. Here is a recipe for salmon that is quick and tasty:

Cajun Salmon:

  • 1 pound package of wild caught salmon pieces or fillets
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground Wildman’s Telicherry black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Wildman’s Cajun spice blend
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

Take all the spices, salt and brown sugar and combine together. Then take out a cast iron or cast iron enamel skillet and put it on your stove on medium heat and melt the butter. Take the salmon pieces or fillets and dredge them in the sugar and spice mixture. When your butter is bubbling, lay the spice covered fish in the butter and cook for about two minutes on both sides. Serve with a salad and a baked potato. ~Starla

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"You know you work for a good company when you start working for that company at 19, and thirteen years later, you're still workinf for them. I left for a while, but no other working environment compared to Wildman's. Everyone's like family here and Scott is a really kind and generous boss. He's really passionate about quality, flavor, where his products come from and how they are produced. That passion is contagious. I've done a little bit of everything in this shop--from silk screening the bottles to packaging, to talking with customers on the phone. i feel really good being a part of a company that strives for excellence. I know that when people buy Wildman's, they are getting a really good, quality product." ~Skyla

“You know you work for a good company when you start working for that company at 19, and thirteen years later, you’re still working for them. I left for a while, but no other working environment compared to Wildman’s. Everyone’s like family here and Scott is a really kind and generous boss. He’s really passionate about quality, flavor, where his products come from, and how they are produced. That passion is contagious. I’ve done a little bit of everything in this shop–from silk screening the bottles to packaging, to talking with customers on the phone. I feel really good being a part of a company that strives for excellence. I know that when people buy Wildman’s, they are getting a really good, quality product.” ~Skyla

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Wildman's Natural Blend is my go-to spice to put quick meals on the table for my family. Add it to any protein and throw it in the oven, crockpot or grill, and you have instant depth of flavor. I try to stock up on Wildman's spices every time I go home to visit family in Ohio. I usually don't mess around with the the bottles--I buy in bulk and store my spices in recycled jelly jars. Once you've tasted the flavors of Wildman's spices, it's hard to go back to the second rate store bought stuff. ~Shanna

“Wildman’s Natural Blend is my go-to spice to put quick meals on the table for my family. Add it to any protein and throw it in the oven, crockpot or grill, and you have instant depth of flavor. I try to stock up on Wildman’s spices every time I go home to visit family in Ohio. I usually don’t mess around with the the bottles–I buy in bulk and store my spices in recycled jelly jars. Once you’ve tasted the flavors of Wildman’s spices, it’s hard to go back to the second rate store bought stuff.” ~Shanna

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Another great way to use spices from Wildman’s is to make Indian Spiced Chai. There are hundreds of ways to make Indian Chai, but here is our version:

Indian Spiced Chai 

(made in your coffee pot!)

  • 2 star anise
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 1 cracked whole nutmeg
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 to 5 telicherry black pepper corns
  • 1 cardamon pod
  • 3 allspice berries
  • 1 piece fresh ginger
  • 3 teaspoons loose leaf black tea
  • 3 cups of water

(Should make about four small tea cups, or two coffee cups of tea)

Using a regular drip coffee maker, place all your spices in the bottom of the empty carafe. Put your coffee filter in and add the loose leaf tea. Then add water to the coffee maker. Turn your coffee maker on and brew the tea. The tea will brew with the spices in the carafe and should steep for about 7 to 10 minutes. Add your tea and spice mixture  to a warm mug or tea cup and add honey, sugar, or coconut sugar to taste, and cream. This will send you to the moon. It is the essence of exotic comfort in a cup!!!!

Recipe by Sierra 

 

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Here are some of Wildman’s most popular spices and blends:

  • Chef’s Seasoning (they make this blend without MSG, you just have to ask)
  • Hickory Smoke BBQ
  • Natural Blend
  • Peppercorn Steak Seasoning
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Celery Seed
  • Cream of Tartar
  • Mexican Blend
  • Cumin
  • Dill Weed
  • Garlic
  • Blacken Spice
  • Hickory Smoke Salt
  • Madagascar Vanilla Extract and Vanilla Beans
  • Nutmeg
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • Cloves
  • Allspice
  • Cinnamon (Vietnamese-5.5% oil content)

If you are interested in this local, family owned and operated business, you can visit their website to check them out and place your order today! If you’re in the area, drop by and visit!

www.wildmanspice.com

Wildman’s Facebook Page

Here is their contact information:

Phone: 419.568.7531

Address: 25956 U.S. Route 33 New Hampshire, OH 45870

Hours: Monday – Friday 9 am to 4 pm

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