Our Story


Our Story

The outgrowth of hundreds of homemade dinners with friends in the kitchen, and countless restaurant dinners in Des Moines, throughout the Midwest, and around the world, AllSpice Culinarium is a 100% locally- and family-owned business created by Alexander and Jennifer Rhoads. Alex was a self-professed foodie, but he was a foodie stuck in a decidedly non-foodie profession. After talking about it for years, Alex made a significant career change in 2010 to pursue his passions.  AllSpice was born.

Sharing the love of good food with like-minded cooks, Alex and Jennifer (and daughter Greta) built a wide selection of over 350 culinary herbs, spices, oils and balsamic vinegars* in Des Moines’ Historic East Village (and in our online store).  Jennifer stayed in her corporate job, and Alex held down the fort at AllSpice, reveling in his role as Spicemeister-in-Chief and expanding his circle of “foodie friends” with each new customer.

When Alex passed away unexpectedly of heart failure in March 2012, Jennifer and Greta were not only left with broken hearts, but with the huge task of moving forward with AllSpice, Alex’s dream and legacy.  His small, hand-picked staff , headed by co-Managers Chef Amy Jensen and Rory Brown, rose to the task. They help to carry on the tradition of knowledgeable and good-humored culinary help.  They still adhere to Alex’s tag line, “Spices. Smells. Samples. Sarcasm.”

In June 2013, AllSpice Co-Founder Jennifer Rhoads handed over the reins (or shall we say, the spice-grinder?) and ownership of AllSpice transitioned to family friends Rory Brown and Andy Haning-Brown.  Still family- and locally-owned, we remain dedicated to the task of helping you bring great flavors to your table.

We hope you’ll come enjoy the AllSpice experience with us!

-Rory and Andy

*as well flavor extracts, chiles, blends, and fabulous salts and peppers.

Special thanks to Substance Architecture & Connie Wilson Design

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