Based in Cookeville, husband-and-wife team John and Amanda Brantley are bringing the flavor with high-quality spice blends, rubs and seasonings. The duo founded their company, Lagniappe Spice Company, in 2010, as a way to share their love of all things Southern. Their particular focus was New Orleans-inspired flavors and the flavors they enjoyed while living in eastern North Carolina. Their company’s name reflects its mission.
“We chose the name Lagniappe because it means, ‘a little something extra’ or ‘an extra blessing,’ ” Amanda says. “We want our customers to experience ‘lagniappe’ with our products. Great flavors at an affordable price.”
Before beginning the company, John worked in the food science field for close to 20 years, in both research and development and quality control for a major food manufacturer. Amanda says his experience helped them create their own spice blends and tweak traditional flavors that would appeal to customers.
Along with John’s expertise, another tool that has helped Lagniappe grow its success is the partnership they have with the Pick Tennessee Products program. A free program offered by the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Pick Tennessee Products helps Tennessee producers market their products and connects consumers to farmers, food business and artisans.
“We learned about Pick Tennessee Products shortly after we started our company,” Amanda says. “We are grateful for what they do across the state to increase awareness of Tennessee-based companies and the importance of supporting your neighbors who strive to produce quality products.”
She adds that the program offers them recognition through its website, and its trade shows allow them to connect with wholesale customers who may want to feature Lagniappe products in their stores.
As for the future, Amanda says that she and John are always working on new products, and have even thrown around the idea of starting a grab-and-go restaurant. They also started an additional label for wholesale customers called Tennessee Spice Company. They are the same products under a different label highlighting Tennessee.
“We are working to increase our wholesale customer base and we love interfacing with our customers,” Amanda says. “So we envision ourselves maintaining a presence at local shows and markets.”