When I read Spestle’s pitch for Startup Alley I thought it was either a prank or a goofy placeholder for a stealth startup: “Spestle lets you create custom seasoning & herb blends.”
But Spestle is real and serious. It’s a service that enables you to create a custom seasoning blend, complete with your own packaging, and sell it online. When someone buys your spice mix, Spestle will make the blends to order, handle fulfillment, and cut the creators a check — just like a print-on-demand service.
Here’s how it works: Once you’ve figured out your blend, you login to Spestle and use the virtual cutting board (shown above) to input your recipe. Then you upload your artwork and voila — you’re in the pork rub business.
Is that really a business model? Perhaps not, but co-founder Steven Waskey says there’s another angle: wholesale.
“What if you’re a restaurant owner and you want to share your secret recipe with your employees?” he asks. You could have Spestle manufacture custom blends to send out to your store managers with them none the wiser as to what’s in it. You still have to share your secret with Spestle, though.
That sounds like an edge case to me. What seems more likely is that a chef would come up with a blend that they’d like to sell, but don’t want to spend their time, or their employees’ time, measuring out spices.
What do you think — does this have legs?