Favourite spice recipes developed by the Schwartz family of Saskatchewan are now adding flavours to foods around the world.
Rod Schwartz learned the special blends when he lived in the province and took them along when he moved to Manitoba.
Before long, the spices were attracting notice and Rod and his wife Jan decided to venture into commercial production with company called Wild West Seasonings.
Schwartz is finding success with the blends in Manitoba and beyond where the spices are used to season wild meat.
"I started off slow, but we worked hard on it," Schwartz said. "Initially we were working out of our home."
The business venture, modest at first, started in 1993.
"We would do a lot of the bagging, our house was a mess and we would load up our vehicle — an old '82 Lincoln car that I took the back seats out of," Schwartz said. "We filled 'er up with boxes and hit the road and started selling."
Schwartz laughs when he looks back at those shoe-string days. But Wild West Seasonings quickly became a booming business.
Their traditional jerky cure and seasoning won Grand Champion Beef Jerky at the Western Canadian Agribition, an annual farm show held in Regina, in 1997 and 2000.
Schwartz said his neighbours are among their biggest fans as they get to sample new recipes.
The business ships around the world with products being sold in Thailand, New Zealand and Singapore.
In Canada, Schwartz said, Wild West Seasonings is available at specialty meat shops and Co-op grocery stores.