We had the good fortune of connecting with David Slade and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi David, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
It all started with me growing tired of purchasing a product for $10 to $11 and then getting home to use the product and not being happy with the quality of the product. Products were either too salty, had to much heat (spiciness), or just were not good. I started making my own rubs at home for my personal use, I never had any intention of selling them.

With continued encouragement from friends and family I decided that I would throw my hat into the ring of the BBQ seasonings business. I sent samples of my product to members of the BBQ community for their input on the product. The first person outside of my family that tried this product was Frank Dominguez of Stoake-D-Fire and his response was, “you need to get this in as many stores as possible as quickly as possible”. At that point I was ready to start production of our initial products, Sweet Heat and Sweet Smoke!

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Willow Seasonings & Blends is a veteran owned small business that manufactures seasonings and sauces. The company is named after my granddaughter (her middle name is Willow) and hope to one day leave a flourishing business to her. I think the one thing that sets us apart from other seasoning manufacturers is that we do all of our manufacturing by hand, we are not automated at all. We measure, mix, and package all of our products by hand, the only equipment we use is mixers for the seasonings. This gives us the “hands on” feel that is missing from our society today.

The thing that we are most proud about is our Sweet Heat seasoning that won the 2022 American Royal Best Rub on the Planet Contest (Hot Category). One lesson that I have unfortunately learned during the beginning phases of our business is that not everyone that you deal with has your best interest in mind.

We would like the world to know that we are the new kid on the block, however I would put any of our products up against any products out there! If people try our products, I can say with extreme confidence that they will be quite impressed with the quality of our products!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I would make sure that my friend flew into Denver International Airport after dark, I would want to make sure that they get the true effect of “Blucifer” at DIA. From there we would take a cruise down East Colfax, everyone that comes to Denver needs to cruise this area and “people watch”. For our inaugural dinner on the trip it would have to be Casa Bonita (if it is open), not for the food but for the ambiance. There is so much to do and see in the front range area. Colorado is home to more than 400 craft breweries, so I am sure that we could find a beer that my friend would enjoy (I do not drink). Of course we would have to take in a show at Red Rocks and catch the Boys of Summer at Coors Field in lodo! We would make sure that we caught a sunset from the 15th step (5,280 feet above sea level) of the State Capital building.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The number one supporter of mine has been my wife, Dianna Slade. She has always been there to bounce ideas off of, to eat excessive amounts of BBQ as I was testing my products, and to always provide the encouragement to keep going, even when I wanted to give up.

Frank Dominguez of Stoake-D-Fire in Loveland Colorado has also been a supporter of Willow Seasonings since the first day that he tasted our product. Frank is the person that told me about the Best Rub on the Planet contest and recommended that I submit my product.

Website: www.willowseasonings.com

Instagram: willowseasonings

Twitter: @WillowSeasonin1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WillowSeasonings

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