The Story of Ventura Spices
Updated: Jan 5, 2022
The flavor of Ventura captured in a spoonful of spice!
We like to call the Ventura Spices "a taste of Ventura in a jar". As the owner of SpiceTopia for eight years, Ashley Pope is the genius behind the three original Ventura Spices. As we considered purchasing SpiceTopia, we knew the recipes for all three of these very special blends had to be part of the purchase.
Ashley created the first of the Ventura Spices--Ventura Spice--for the fifth anniversary of SpiceTopia. What started as a post on social media asking
“What do you think Ventura tastes like?”
turned into a brainstorming session that proved magical.
The SpiceTopia community responded with
Pacific Sea Salt to represent the ocean which is such a large part of life in Ventura
Strawberries which grow in the fields within our city boundaries and around the county
Rosemary and sage growing in many of our yards and wild alongside our roadsides
Citrus which is so synonymous with Southern California
Pink Peppercorns from the trees which have naturalized across our parks and barrancas
Chile Peppers a farm staple across Ventura County
All of these quintessential Ventura ingredients came together to create the original Ventura Spice! And after just one try, Ventura Spice became the blend so many know and love today! Ventura went crazy for this spice blend immediately--many buying 8 ozs at a time! Four years later it is still our top spice blend sold!
“What do you use Ventura Spice on?” is almost a daily question at SpiceTopia. And our answer "everything" really is true! This unique sweet, herby, and spicy blend really does work on almost anything. Customers tell us they can’t make chicken without it. We love it on beef, pork, and fresh fruits.
Next comes the blend which truly expresses the wild beauty of our much beloved local landmark simply called Two Trees! Our Two Trees stand atop a hill that is visible from most of Ventura. These trees which stand as sentinels above our town have survived fire, vandalism, and drought. That survival constantly reminds us of the steadfastness and strength of nature. The Rancho Ventura Conservation Trust has stewardship of Two Trees, so it was only natural for Ashley to create a Two Tree Blend as a way to raise funds for the trust. For inspiration, she spent time up on the hill with the trees identifying plants which grew wild. And thus a blend with mustard seed, thyme, lemon verbena, and basil was born!
This blend really shines on seafood and with vegetables. We especially love adding it to tomato based soups.
Our third Ventura Spice -- Off the Avenue-- represents the Westside of Ventura commonly referred to as “The Avenue”. This eclectic neighborhood is tucked in between the foothills, the Ventura River, and the Pacific Ocean. As the neighborhood that makes the claim to the most authentic Mexican food in Ventura, it was only natural to create a blend with cumin, cayenne, and habanero. Just a sniff of this blend reminds Ashley of the constant scent of BBQed meats across her neighborhood.
For many of our customers, this rub is their go-to for grilling! It does shine on larger cuts of meats that cook for a long time such as tri-tip. We love to use it on a roulade pork tenderloin.
We are extremely honored to carry on Ashley’s legacy of Ventura Spice! All three spices truly do represent the tastes of Ventura!
One of our favorite things is talking to our customers about how they use our spices. We constantly draw inspiration by hearing what you are cooking and using spices. We'd love to have you join in the conversation by sharing how you are using Ventura Spices.