What do tailgating, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s Eve have in common? If you said football, it’s time to get off the couch and into the kitchen. The real answer is savory snacks. A local company can help with these very things.
Matt Alley is spicemaster and owner of Twin Creek Farm Seasonings Company, which makes and sells spice mixes for dips and fillings, as well as rice mixes, at the farmer’s markets in Lebanon and West Chester. He bought the business from previous owners in 2006.
From my vantage point as a foodie-consumer, I’d say that most of Twin Creek Farm’s competitors are distributors for larger companies, but not so with Matt. “My products represent me and my business,” said Matt, “and I have an open-door policy. Anyone can come and see what we do.” At the Twin Creek Farm kitchen, there are about 150 spices on hand to be used in making the mixes. Matt supervises the making of his products, which are made in small batches of 200 packets at a time. As an additional responsible manufacturing practice, their peanut butter cup mix is manufactured infrequently, about once per year, to minimize cross-contamination.
Many spices don’t grow in the temperate regions of the world, including Ohio. “I source as close as possible,” said Matt. For example, leafy green ingredients, such as parsley, basil, and dill, generally are purchased from California.
When I asked Matt what I thought was a standard question about his favorite products, an interesting story emerged. “I hiked the Appalachian Trail in 2009,” he said. His mail drops of supplies all included Twin Creek’s Savory Chicken and Rice and Savannah Red Rice. “I ate these several times a week,” he said. “The flavors really complement each other.” He also pointed out the jalapeno vegetable mix, the lemon silk mix, chocolate truffle and coconut macaroon as personal and customer favorites.
The products are all vegetarian. There’s no actual chicken in any that contain the word chicken, it’s just one potential way to serve it. In fact, for those looking to go a step further, the dip mixes can be made vegan by using Tofutti instead of cream cheese or sour cream.
As farmer’s markets are winding down, Twin Creek Farm will be appearing at craft shows at Colerain High School and Lakota East High School in the coming weeks. Also, they’ll be at Irons Fruit Farm in Lebanon for the next two weekends, and at the winter markets in West Chester. For those in a rush, order on their website, and they’ll ususally ship the next day.