Get to Know... David Beets

10 . 26 . 2016

David and Patricia Beets of Dell Cove Spice Co. specialize in making small-batch popcorn seasonings and popcorn varieties using organic & sustainable farming practices here in the Midwest.

OOAK: How did Dell Cove Spice Co. come about?

David:  Things began when my wife's position as a national newspaper correspondent was relocated from the Midwest to LA.  We were newly married and living long-distance.  We missed each other so we started to cook at the same time--three time zones away--and talk on the phone or over Skype.  (Yes, I ate dinner very late!)  Cooking became our date night, a way we could connect, create memories and share stories of what happened during our day.  Also at that time money was tight so for holidays and special occasions we gave our loved ones edible luxuries of our own making.  Handmade infused sugars and salts for baking cookies or sprinkling over popcorn.  BBQ seasonings whipped up to make friends sweat and homemade spice kits filled with ingredients discovered at organic markets or off-the-beaten-path farms.  A friend suggested we look into selling some of our spice mixes online--maybe, she said, it could help offset the cost of our cross-country flights.  It did that and so much more!  I quit my day job to run the business full-time and Patricia, still a journalist but back home in the Midwest, helps me come up with new ideas and keeps me sane during the busy season.

OOAK:  What's a day like on the job?

David:  Day to day what I do totally changes.  Most of the time, I spend my days creating seasoning blends and grinding spices in small batches, whether it's popcorn seasonings or flavored cocktail salts and rim sugars.  On other days, I'm talking to farmers we work with here in the Midwest and beyond to learn more about the ingredients we're using and how they're grown.   And like every small business owner knows, I do a bit of everything--from meeting with customers to sweeping the floors at our commercial kitchen at the end of the day. 

OOAK:  What goodies are you bringing to the show?

David:  It's all about popcorn--form our 8 different sustainably grown popcorn kernels (all grown in the Midwest), to our extensive line of popcorn seasonings (including our new flavors Buttery Garlic, Salted Caramel and Habanero Lime).  We'll have our Christmas Coal popcorn, which includes Hawaiian black lava seat salt and our Black Pearl popcorn kernels, (which look burnt when they're cooked--but they're not!) all in a small burlap bag.  We're also debuting our new Make it Yourself holiday popcorn garland kits.

OOAK:  What's your favorite holiday tradition?

David:  Making the secret family receipt for oyster dressing with my father--it's not the holidays without that.  And seeing the grandkids put out carrot sticks for the reindeer.  (I keep trying to convince them reindeer love fresh chocolate chip cookies.)

OOAK:  Favorite holiday food?

David:  Only one?  If so, it has to be my father's New Orleans-inspired Christmas Day buffet.

OOAK:  Do you have any holiday recipes you'd like to share?

David:  Well there's my great-grandmother's secret... oh wait.  Um... never mind.