With a passion for the chemistry of flavor profiles Stefano Dongowski, Chopped Jr. Contestant, is pushing the limits for what it means to cook great tasting food. Spice Squad was founded to be a community to help you learn how to use superior spices to enhance the dishes you prepare.
As Stefano became more involved in school activities, I took over Spice Squad in 2019 to usher in the next chapter.
I share Stefano’s love for cooking. My grandfather, a chef in the US Navy during World War II, taught us to use the best ingredients and cook simple dishes. Like Spaghetti Aglio e olio, a dish of a few key elements.
I apply the same philosophy to Spice Squad. Whether I’m creating a seasoning blend or a new recipe, I choose the finest spices and showcase them simply. Check out our growing recipe collection to become inspired.
Empowering Your Spice Adventures
Spice Squad – Empowering Your Spice Adventures
Spice Squad is a family-owned small business that purveys fine spices and craft seasoning blends. We promise to bring you the best quality, ethically-sourced, and freshly-milled spices and seasoning recipes from around the world to empower your spice adventures.
Meet the (Spice) Squad Bringing You the World’s Best Seasoning Recipes
Spice Squad was founded by Stefano Dongowski in February 2017 when he was 13 years old. His mom, Angie, presently runs the company. Sofia and Mark, Stefano’s sister and dad, also help Angie with the business.
The first time I stepped inside a spice and tea shop, a riot of aromas greeted me. I wondered if these intoxicating perfumes had anything to do with food. The shopkeeper introduced me to a few choice spices. Like the garam masala. How could it simultaneously smell sweet and savory?
Once home, I began experimenting with spices to learn how they complement and confront one another.
Creating the Spice Squad Ras el Hanout was such an experiment, an exercise in awe as I tried to balance 20 ingredients. The lavender asserted dominance, the cinnamon cowered behind cumin, and the cardamom nearly wrecked the rose’s delicate floral notes.
After multiple iterations, I crafted a seasoning recipe that was balanced but complex, strong but not overpowering. To date, my Ras el Hanout is Spice Squad’s most prized spice blend, definitely the top of our shop.
My love for cooking had already led me to participate in Chopped Junior in 2016. At the same time as the show aired in February 2017, I launched Spice Squad.
Meet Sofia and Mark
My daughter and husband are senior assistants who help me prepare the orders. Along with Stefano, they’re also my primary taste testers. If they don’t like a seasoning recipe, it’ll never see the light of day.
Discovering Spices and Crafting Artisanal Spice Squad Seasonings
Stefano could differentiate the flavors and subtle nuances of different spices since the age of 12. But I’ve always been more comfortable cooking Italian food. Fueled by his passion for mixing herbs and spices, I have embraced the spirit of experimentation.
Sometimes, I have an impromptu idea for a seasoning. At other times, I conduct tests until the spice squad is happy with the new recipe.
We collaborate with neighborhood restaurants, like Taste the Olive and Vine in Wilmington, North Carolina. Local diners taste our blends and share their feedback. Then, we tweak the seasoning recipe to perfection so that our buyers can make the most of their cooking.
I make the spice blends only after we receive an order. This last-minute process assures that our shoppers get a much fresher product.
When preparing an order, I’ll roast some of the spices to activate their essential oils. The rest I leave raw to preserve the flavors. I also grind them separately to maintain their distinct tastes. Only after prepping, I blend the spices using precise gram measurements to recreate the same top-quality seasoning recipe every time.
For Spice Squad, excellence translates to acquiring the finest ingredients, providing our customers with the best service, and taking ownership of our actions. Seeing customers become fans of our seasonings and spices is our measure of success.
Today in our busy lives we simply just don’t have the time to wait. That’s why we want to make sure our ordering and shipping process is quick and simple so that you can receive your package as soon as possible!
Spice is a gift of the territory. Therefore, we want to help farmers who produce these spices. Spice Squad only works with suppliers with ethical distribution models. Very soon, we’ll be buying directly from small farmers who are stewards of their lands.
We’re passionate about the power of spice and its ability to transform food. Stefano founded Spice Squad with this spirit of experimentation. And we’ll continue to create bespoke spice blends that empower your spice adventures.