Thus began a complete overhaul of our food choices, cooking style and, therefore, our finances. Eating truly healthfully was turning out to be far more expensive than eating according to the good ol’ FDA issued food pyramid.
We started a diet protocol meant to improve Crohns symptoms specifically, and in a spirit of solidarity, the entire family took part. This meant no more Kraft macaroni and cheese, Ramen noodles or “pancake nights" - the types of things that stretch a large family's food budget.
Suddenly, in addition to far more restricted food choices, everything needed to be "all natural" and unprocessed. While my wife was no stranger to cooking and baking from scratch, it was now a necessity with no exceptions.
We found ourselves buying exclusively whole ingredients and therefore - you guessed it - a lot more herbs and spices. Among other ingredients, purchasing seasonings which had no additives or preservatives of any kind was impacting our budget in a big way. We began buying our herbs and spices in bulk through several online sources and realized tremendous savings.
With a family of eight, buying in bulk made sense, For smaller families that's not usually the case. We eventually decided to create a small part time family business to hopefully fill a need for small families and individuals.
We did some researching (researching = Googling) for what seemed to be the most commonly used spices, chose a low-cost container and label and built one display. We had enough product to fill the display, enough back stock to refill it once, and we were in business (barely).
As time went on, we established ourselves in about fifteen different locations in Central and Southern Maine. It was not long before customers began requesting meat rubs and seasoning blends be added to our selection, and that's when things got fun.
We started experimenting with two blends tailored to beef and pork: Mountain Lodge and Sweet and Savory. Over the course of the next five years our product line expanded to twelve blends. From the traditional taste of our "Country Style" poultry seasoning to the spicy kick of our versatile Cajun blend, “Bourbon Street," we have virtually something for everyone.
The introduction of our best-selling seafood seasoning "Harbor Master" expanded our already loyal following, eventually making Meadowbourne better known for its rubs and blends than for its everyday line of seasonings.
Following this shift in reputation, we eventually stocked all of our retail locations exclusively with meat rubs and spice blends, while keeping our original everyday selection available for purchase online.
Our business philosophy
So here we are in 2018. We expand year over year but still manage to work from our home (for now). We continue to make all of our blends in small batches, using all natural ingredients and no additives.
Our goal is simple: to make a good living by providing the best customer service we can, while offering high quality product with the best ingredients and minimal packaging at a reasonable price, in hopes of supplying a market we were once a part of ourselves.
...and in case you were wondering
So, how did things turn out for our thirteen year old? Well, our dietary protocol that continued unbroken for eighteen months paid big dividends. Almost immediately our child's health turned around and within weeks all medications were ended. To this day, there has been no medications, no surgeries, and no doctor visits. It has always been controlled through diet.