There are two sayings if you walk the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. One is "Buen Camino" which means good journey and is said to most any pilgrim as a salutation. The other is, "Your real camino starts when you return home."
My home camino (journey) began one rainy, dreary spring day in Chicago. I had just gotten back from a work trip to the Camino and found myself feeling ill, congested, and achy. I realized I needed to eat something, so I sautéed a few cloves of garlic, reached into the cabinet, and blindly pulled out spices. A little voice within, instructed me to write down the measurements. I promptly obeyed and I sprinkled the spice mixture over the garlic, added chopped vegetables, a handful of cashews, and the juice of one lemon. After eating the concoction twice that day, I felt better, and well, yum!
I learned two things that day - it is always best to always honor our small voice inside, and without realizing it, I learned the recipe for my Divine Inspired Spice Blend that has brought me to where I am today.
A Geologist by training, you might wonder how I ended up with a spice and chocolate business. At the point in my life when I was gifted the Diving Inspired Spice Blend, I was working for my family’s graphite company. I started bringing the spice to work. People put it in their coffee, used it as a tea, and sprinkled it on their lunch, whether it be salad, sandwiches, or pizza. One day, my nephew's fiancé suggested that my spice would be really good in chocolate! I had never made chocolate before, but I was up for the challenge. After a few attempts to find the right mixture, and after much trial and error, I found something that I thought just might work.
In my heart, I knew this spice blend would take me places. I knew I had to keep listening to the voice inside me that said there was more to this spice blend than just being really yummy. After a writing retreat in Whitefish, I explored parts of Idaho and western Montana in the summer of 2016. In Montana, while traveling through the Gallatin Canyon I was brought to tears when it opened to the Bozeman valley. I knew I was home. I decided to move from my roots to start my next adventure - one of my own.
In 2017, I began Camino Spice at the Livingston Rescue Food Center, with just the spice blend and original chocolate recipe. I wasn’t sure how things would unfold, but a mentor of mine had once said to me that “Women often hold themselves back from following their dreams” and I knew that I could not stand in my own way.
Today, I have an award-winning Hot Chocolate blend, three divinely inspired spice blends that are stand alone, and also made into decadent chocolates - and my very own chocolate shop! When people ask me how I got here, I simply tell them that I allowed my true Camino (journey) to unfold, and it led me home.
Always remember to enjoy, breathe deeply, and add flavor to your journey!
Owner and professional pilgrim on an amazing journey!