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Spicing things up

The Recipe to Market program has played an important role in the sucess of Madman Spice

by: JASON CHANEY/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Deb McCoy sells her Madmen Spice products at a variety of locations including the Prineville Farmers Market.

Prineville entrepreneur Deb McCoy and her husband Thomas love to barbecue, and she has always enjoyed trying out new recipes.
   Last year, she created a spice recipe that would later lead to her marketing and selling her new creation throughout Central Oregon.
   McCoy describes Madman Spice signature, Rub 1 Out, as a layering of flavors with a little kick at the end. She stumbled onto the recipe after throwing a bunch of different ingredients together. As it turned out, the mixture was an immediate hit.
   “My husband loved it,” McCoy recalls, “so we gave it to family and friends, and they said, ‘You are really on to something, and you should do something with it.’”
   As luck would have it, around the time she decided to act on the advice of her family and friends, McCoy came across an advertisement for a new Crook County Open Campus program called Recipe to Market.
   “The whole idea behind Recipe to Market is to work with young, early food entrepreneurs,” said Open Campus Coordinator Jeff Papke. “What it does is help them continue that product development to the point where it’s ready to be marketed retail and also help them build a business behind the product, so that they can sustain it and hopefully grow in the future.”
   In June, McCoy began her business venture with Madman Spice, and it took off more quickly than she could have ever imagined. She now sells her Rub 1 Out and Smokin’ Hot spices regularly at the Prineville and Sisters farmers’ markets, and has peddled her creation at the Mitchell Painted Hills Festival. Her product is carried at Book and Bean, and Shasta Leatherworks, and Ray’s Food Place in Prineville just recently agreed to sell it as well.
   “It was a good catalyst,” McCoy said of Recipe to Market. “I probably could have done it (marketed and sold her spices) – it just would have taken me a lot longer to figure out where to go with it and what to do.”
   Having tasted success, McCoy plans to add a couple more recipes to the list and eventually sell a cookbook as well. All the while, she is enjoying herself.
   “It’s just the whole creative process – knowing that I’ve got a product that people enjoy eating and using,” she said.
   Madman Spice products can be purchased at the Prineville or Sisters farmers’ markets, or at Book and Bean, Shasta Leatherworks, and Ray’s Food Place in Prineville.
   A new Recipe to Market program will begin at Crook County Open Campus on Sept. 20.