Local business owner, Brian Sandberg, is thankful for the support he has received from the community while growing his business, Jake’s Legendary Steak Spice.
“We have expanded at such a phenomenal rate, a big thank you to all of the people in Chestermere who have supported us over the last few years,” Sandberg said.
“We’re blessed in so many ways, that people love our product. Chestermere has really taken us on in a big way. It’s a little company that could,” he said.
Jake’s Legendary Steak Spice first began over 30 years ago, when Sandberg’s friend gave him the secret recipe.
“I had this recipe, and I would invite friends and relatives over for a barbecue, and they would ask for the spice,” Sandberg said.
Adding, “We promoted Jake’s for years at farmer’s markets and golf tournaments. We would be at a hole and people would come to taste our seasoning and fall in love with it.”
After receiving an overwhelming amount of support from friends, and relatives, Sandberg took Jake’s Legendary Steak Spice to market.
“Once we got approved by Health Canada and the Canada Food Inspection Agency, and we got everything that’s required to sell in retail, we got a call from the Calgary Co-Op Association that they wanted to have our spice in their store,” Sandberg said.
“We’re going all over Alberta to all of the stores that fall under the umbrella of Safeway and Sobeys. We’re hoping the start of the new year we’ll see it in the immediate cities around Calgary,” he added.
For Sandberg creating a product that is low in sodium and gluten-free was important.
“Gluten-free is a big deal especially on taste because the bottle contains no fillers, it’s all seasoning and you get that nice clean warm taste of the seasoning. None of them are hot and spicy, but they all are bursting with flavour,” Sandberg said.
“When people hear those words, people think it’s going to taste like dust, but it’s not, the flavour will have your tongue slapping your forehead, it’s so tasteful,” he said.
Sandberg’s ultimate goal for Jake’s Legendary Steak Spice is to expand to salad dressing, cream cheese dips, and chip dips.
“We’re focusing right now on the spices, but the growth potential in this is massive,” Sandberg said.
“It’s a fantastic barbecue seasoning, but now it’s used on fried potatoes, buttered popcorn, or roast beef and gravy,” he said.
“It’s fun when you have something that goes on everything,” he added. “Why salt and pepper all the time?”
Although Sandberg has seen a lot of success while expanding his business, getting to this point has not come without challenges.
“Every step of the way, there’s a roadblock. That roadblock is not necessarily a bad thing, it’s a roadblock for me to learn, and that’s exactly what I’ve have done,” Sandberg said.
Previously, Sandberg would bring a food cart to local markets and offer barbecue samples featuring different spices.
“Now with COVID-19, none of that can happen, all I can do is put spices in a little portion cup with a lid. My biggest challenge is to get people to stop and just have a taste,” Sandberg said.
“That’s my hurdle right now, people are hooked on a brand, tried-and-true, that they have been using for years, so getting people to try a brand-new brand without tasting it, is an obstacle,” he added. “Once I put Jake’s on your tongue, you’ve been Jaked.”
However, for Sandberg seeing customers enjoy his product makes all of the challenges worthwhile.
“The response we get from people as soon as this seasoning touches their tongue, that is the highlight of it all. To see the love, the excitement, and to see that they got to have this spice, it’s so good. That’s the highlight, to see people happy and love your product,” Sandberg added.
“There’s nothing that beats that because without that you don’t have a business,” he added.