Note that this is the first post of three in this series. You can read Part 2 (Summer’s Secret Seasoning review here.
One of the many reasons I love writing this food blog is meeting and chatting with new people. I’ve recently had the delightful opportunity to talk with Summer from Summer’s Secret Seasoning about her entrepreneurial endeavors within the food industry. It seems that a lot of us have numerous business ideas when it comes to food, but so many of us have never really done anything about it. Summer is an exception to that rule. Not only has she produced Summer’s Secret Seasoning, but she has gone on to create a few jam flavors (with more in the works).
What’s extra cool is that Summer has sent me a sample of each of these products, all for the purpose of reviewing here on my blog. I’ve definitely enjoyed sampling these products over the past little while and look forward to sharing the full review with all of you soon. However, before we get to the review, I wanted to share with you a short interview that Summer and I had over email so you can hear in her own words how these products came to be. So, without further adieu, here’s Summer.
I have been fortunate enough to travel in the US, Mexico, England, Italy, Spain and the Caribbean. Over the years of my life, I have had a variety interests and a background that includes jewelry making, weaving, newspaper production, legal secretary, interior design, website design, sailing – especially racing!, snorkeling, travel, online chess and Scrabble, card playing (for fun only!), and – of course – cooking. I am either very well-rounded or I have a short attention span.
While I enjoy exploring art museums and architecture in new places, I particularly love trying all kinds of food when I visit a new place. I enjoy wine and champagne, too, and continue to learn how to pair them with food.
I am a mostly self-taught cook, having started cooking early with a school friend who also liked to cook. We had some disasters and some successes, but always had fun. I enjoy cooking for and with family and friends – whether a simple dinner for a few friends, or a large holiday meal. In addition to developing and marketing Summer’s Secret Seasoning, mango hot sauce, and a line of pepper jams, I work as a wedding planner. My husband of 37 years is a boat captain and dive master.
I told her I would work on the probem, and came up with Summer’s Secret Seasoning. I gave it to friends to try, and they started using it on everything … And demanding more! While my charter boat friend was the instigator of SSS, I also kept in mind friends who don’t know very much about cooking or using different – and often expensive – spices. I developed recipes that are easy to make and have those recipes free online. (Influenced here by the portion of Chef Gorgon Ramsey’s progam where he shows people how to make a fast, easy, home-cooked meal.) My seasoning mix is available at a number of stores in the VI, and I love it when customers tell me how they use Summer’s Secret Seasoning.
There is a lot of research that goes into getting a product from idea to reality, and there is financial risk involved, too. But I think that the biggest “hardship” I faced was having to write down my recipes! I have always been a seat-of-the-pants cook, adding a little of this and a little of that until the food tasted the way I wanted it to. With people asking for recipes, I suddenly had to measure every ingredient, write down the amounts, break the cooking process into easy steps, take pictures along the way, and then put it all into an easy-to-follow format. Quite a chore for someone who used to measure spices in her hand!
Thanks again Summer for sharing your thoughts! If you have a question for Summer or would like to comment on this interview, please do so in the comments below.