Frequently Asked Questions
We’re one of the few farms in California that produces specialty spices at scale (and by scale I’m talking about 3 planted acres for our chiles - which is large for domestic spice production). We call our work farm-to-jar spices. Our supply chain is short, free of import tariffs, and is direct from our farm. Everything we do is on the farm from saving seeds, planting starts, harvesting, drying, grinding, and packaging. We ship out all our orders from the farm and we make decisions about what to do next with our team...on the farm.
Okay so why spices?
This whole thing started in 2012 when Krissy was a sous chef at The Boonville Hotel and used Piment d’Espelette on everything in the kitchen. It was expensive to import from France and in order to use more of it, growing it here in Boonville seemed like a more accessible approach. Between acquiring pepper seeds, having land available to grow on, and an incredibly willing foreman interested in a challenge, we started growing what we call Piment d’Ville, our California version of Piment d’Espelette.
I’ve never heard of a Piment d’Ville pepper before. It sounds made up.
We might have made up the name but we didn’t make up the pepper. Our Piment d’Ville peppers are grown from the seeds of Espelette chiles from the Basque region in France. Technically we can’t call our main chile powder Piment d’Espelette because they weren’t grown in Espelette, France (i.e. this is the same reason you can’t call California sparkling wine ‘champagne’ as it was grown out of Champagne, France). In order to honor the original heritage of the pepper, we call ours Piment d’Ville since the peppers are grown here in Boonville, CA.
What is special about these chile powders?
Have you ever looked at the packages of the spices you use? Have you looked into where they are from, how they were grown, or how old they might be? We’re here to put transparency into your cooking. We’re firm believers that the ingredients you use matter. Our chile powders do not contain any added anything. We pull out the seeds and stems before grinding. We never add salt, oils, rice flour, or anti-caking agents (turns out - this is a thing that other folks do!). We harvest date our chile powders so you know how fresh they are.
The chile powder I bought tastes different from the jar I got last year. Why is that?
While we save our seeds each year and grow our own starts, there can be a change in the heat of the peppers from year to year. It’s an agricultural product and the weather has a strong influence on the flavor! If it’s a super hot summer, the chiles will be spicier. If it’s a cooler summer, you can expect the chiles to be more mild in flavor. For example, the 2017 Piment d’Ville was probably the hottest year and we expect the 2020 harvest to be more mild.
How do you ship things out? How long does it take before I get my goods?!
We ship 99% of orders via USPS. Most orders are packed and shipped out the day we receive the order (unless you order on a weekend - then it gets shipped on Monday). Packages should take between 1-5 days to arrive. We use UPS when there's an order with a LOT of olive oil in it. Tracking information gets sent to your email and we watch the tracking on all our packages to ensure they get delivered. We want you to get your spices just as much as you do!