© Molly J. Smith
Though Debbie Roberti has been cooking for 30 years, it wasn't until 2008 that she opened Arizona Spice Co. A lifelong fan of bold flavors, Roberti wanted to provide all-natural fresh spices to customers. And with the company's own food-processing facility next door to the store, freshness is guaranteed throughout its line of salsas, relishes and meat rubs, as well as its soup, spice and barbecue mixes.
What inspired you to start your company?
Mainly my love for Southwest flavors, and the fact that you couldn't find many high-quality chiles in the area. And when you did find them, they were expensive. I also can't take MSG and food additives very well, so all of my products are MSG-free.
What kinds of spices do you sell?
We sell chili powders, which are the bases for most of our mixes. We have mild, medium, hot, chipotle, green chile, etc. — I typically name them all in accordance with the main ingredients. I have a popular jalapeño mix for fish and poultry, and a barbecue mix that's good on everything. I have bean mixes and soup mixes, too.
What's your favorite flavor?
The Green Ghost seasoning is my favorite. I use that, and I have it sitting on my dinner table with salt and pepper. When guests are over, they always use it. It's the hottest seasoning I make, but it helps enhance the flavor of anything you put it on.
— Molly J. Smith
Arizona Spice Co. is located at 909 E. Main Street in Mesa. For more information, call 480-632-2168 or visit www.azspiceco.homestead.com.
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