Food Artisans: Greenpoint Trading Co.
Greenpoint Trading Co. got its start when Evan Hoffman got a job cold-calling for a bulk wholesale spice company. Eventually, he transitioned into sales, then started his own wholesale spice company, Brooklyn Spice Co., with Kimmee Arndt. When they decided to break into the retail market with the kinds of spice blends and rubs they were already making for their own use, Arndt says, they got a permit from the city to package in their living room and stored all of the product in their hallway, though they graduated to a warehouse in Greenpoint soon after.
They developed their product line with input from friends, who quickly got used to being sent home with a pocketful of baggies anytime they saw Hoffman or Arndt. One principle that guided all of their blends, however, was a certain healthy approach. "So many rubs are high in salt," Arndt explains, adding, "All of ours are low in salt and two—Herbes de Provence and Dracula's Nightmare—are completely salt free."
Arndt's own favorite is the roasted garlic pepper blend, which she likes on roasted corn with lemon juice, or on roasted chicken. "It makes an amazing sauce with just the natural juices of the chicken," she says, "no butter or oil." Hoffman's favorites are the coarse butcher's rub they call Sedona Red and the barbecue rub El Capitan. When it comes to their customers though, the mulling seasoning is the clear winter favorite. "We literally can't make it fast enough," Arndt says. All of the blends make fantastic popcorn seasoning as well, which is how they sample the spices at markets like Smorgasburg and the Brooklyn Night Market.
Mostly though, Arndt suggests that people just play around with the blends and try using them in unexpected ways. "Chicken Little is amazing on fish and mashed potatoes," she says, "Just experiment, use them liberally, and don't worry about following directions."
About the author: Stephanie Klose has more mustard than you. You can follow her on twitter at @sklose.