Colonel de owners

Ashley Stewart and Chuck Marler are two of the ownership group that will open Colonel De Gourmet Herbs & Spices at Logan Street Market. | Photo by Kevin Gibson

This profile of Colonel De Gourmet Herbs & Spices is the third in a series of looks at Logan Street Market tenants.

Colonel De Gourmet Herbs & Spices is based in Fort Thomas, Ky., but founder De Stewart was a proud Louisville native.

Named a Kentucky Colonel in 1999, Stewart grew up in Louisville working in his grandfather’s poultry and fish market. It was an early influence in his lifelong relationship with the culinary arts and the reason his spice product line exists today.

And while Stewart himself died last October, his family is bringing his legacy back to where it began, in the form of a storefront at Logan Street Market.

Colonel De Stewart

Colonel De Stewart | Courtesy

The business will be co-owned by Susan, Col. Stewart’s husband; his son Ashley and wife Christi; and Ashley’s friend Chuck Marler. On a recent weekday morning, Ashley Stewart and Marler were busy building out the booth at Logan Street in preparation for an early August opening.

Stewart says while the Colonel De spices line has about 500 different spices that it sells online and at its various stores in northern Kentucky and Cincinnati, the Louisville store will feature between 200 and 300 spices at any given time.

Shoppers will be able to buy in custom amounts, based on what they need, which is a Colonel De’s tradition. In other words, if you only need half an ounce of something to cook a specific dish, you won’t have to buy a pound.

Stewart says he has been involved in the family business off and on for several years, but was interested in getting back into it on a more regular basis. The prospect of opening a store in his father’s hometown as part of a new public market was the hook.

“It’s kind of cool to be able to open a store here,” Stewart says.

The spices that will be sold will essentially be the same blends available in northern Kentucky, although a few may get some name adjustments. As Marler points out, a blend like OTR Butt and Booty Rub, which is named for a neighborhood in Cincinnati called Over the Rhine, will likely get a new name that is relative to Louisville.

“We’re going to cater to the area,” Marler says.

So, if OTR Butt and Booty Rub becomes Shelby Park Butt & Booty Rub or Smoketown Butt & Booty Rub, it will be same blend featuring brown sugar and ancho chiles, plus other spices.

Colonle De sampler

The Customer Favorites sampler brings four different spice blends. | Courtesy of Colonel De’s Gourmet Herbs & Spices

One blend that’s readymade for Louisville is Ole Bourbon Trail, which blends bourbon smoked sugar, bourbon smoked paprika and bourbon smoked peppercorns with hickory powder, New Mexico chiles and a host of other spices. Its suggested use is for grilling steaks and chops, or making chicken wings or chicken breast.

Sampler sets also will be available, such as a Customer Favorites set featuring top sellers Ole Bourbon Trail, Garlic Goodness, Rubie Red Steak Dust, and Holy Smoke; the Around the World set with samples of 40 different spices and blends; and the Grill’s Best Friend set, with 15 blends created just for grilling meats.

Adding Louisville to the list of stores — including in Jungle Jim’s Eastgate in Cincinnati, plus the headquarters and The Colonel’s Kitchen in Fort Mitchell — brings full circle a journey that saw De Stewart learn to cook as a child watching his mother, work in his grandfather’s store and later have his own cooking show.

His popularity in the northern Kentucky culinary community, not to mention his trademark bushy mustache, helped him earn his appointment as a Kentucky Colonel.

“He was proud of that,” Ashley Stewart says.

Logan Street Market, located at 1001 Logan St., is scheduled to open Aug. 10.

Other stories in this series include Cold Smoke Bagels and Harvey’s Cheese.