Our Team

What is


The Spice Tin is more than a retail store. We want our customers to be interactive in the shop and encourage you to open jars, ask questions and share recipes, experiences and ideas. From stepping into the shop, the senses come alive with a calliope of aromas and colors. Our customers are the most important part of The Spice Tin followed by the exceptional quality of our spices and herbs.


From youth I have always 'played' in the kitchen, experimenting with ingredients and flavors. After our first trip abroad with our three daughters in 1986, Jan and I caught a major travel bug. The Spice Tin has allowed us to travel the world to find new spices, recipes and products to share with our foodie community.


Have briquettes, will grill is my motto. Cold, wind rain, if I can get the coals hot, I will be out at the BBQ. I am a briquette guy and have not ventured into the gas grill side – yet! One of my main responsibilities in The Tin is creating and blending our custom BBQ rubs.

When a customer asks, “How do I use …?”, Amy is one of the first to step up and give valuable suggestions.  Although she has a couple dietary restrictions, she is an amazing cook.  Check out her recipe for granola  and Amy’s Easy Pork Carnitas  in our recipe section.  Asked what is her signature dish, Amy would say Avrits Favorites, the cookies she would make for her math students at Bret Hart High School.  She loves helping people find just the right spice for their delicious menus.


Emily is part of a family team since her aunt Kimberly, who inspires her culinary passion, also works at The Tin. Sriracha Salt is one of Emily’s favorite products. She loves it on avocado toast although Japanese 7 Spice is a close second with stir fry and soba noodles. It should be no surprise to learn that Emily would love to go to Japan to enjoy cooking classes and the street markets. You will recognize Emily by her quiet, helpful manner and beautiful smile.


Dona comes from generations of Italian Calaveras County families. If you have a question about the history, ask Dona. And if you have a question about food, recipes, spices, ask Dona. She and her sisters worked with their mother in her bakery, a local’s favorite for years. Dona is known for her family’s raviolis, a recipe passed down from generations. She would say the secret is a rich gravy/sauce – a must have! And we cannot forget the basil pesto and red pesto that she and her sister create for The Tin.


Gloria comes to us from the South, via North Carolina and Tennesee. Her sense of southern hospitality and culinary entertaining is beyond compare. This southern gal is probably most happy traveling in France. She loves the food, the language, the wine, the art and the easy but graceful entertaining style. Give her Herbs de Provence, and watch her create a tasty vegetable side dish.


Even though Sue would like to be more adventurous in the kitchen, her friends admire her versatile culinary skills.  Sue, without a doubt, makes the most moist, delicious and beautiful cakes in the county. From appetizers, French Mustard Herb Deviled Eggs to Harissa Chicken Thighs, she is always the first to volunteer to bring dishes to any gathering.  Sue’s ease in the kitchen and with spices make her a go-to for questions at The Tin.  Being a team member for 6 ½ years also gives Sue “spice cred”!


Debbie loves to travel, play with her grandkids and create Italian dishes from family recipes.  She also loves heat – hotter is better.  We can thank her for the addition of the Calabrian Chile to The Tin. A spicy, little firecracker is the description that applies to both the chile and to Debbie!  It is no surprise that Peri Peri is one of her go to blends.  She adds it to vegetables, meats, eggs – just about everything. One of Debbie’s favorite dishes to create is Greek gyro -spiced meats, red onion, tomatoes, cucumber and tzatziki sauce in a pita – yummm.


Kimberly, aka KT, not only loves food but also believes in the joyful energy that is created when people prepare and share meals together.  Since she has worked on farms, KT is passionate about fresh, organic and local produce and meats.  Sumac and Turkish Spice Blend are a couple of her favorite seasonings which she uses on tacos and beans.  Kimberly’s nectarine, cucumber & feta sprinkled with Sumac is a popular summer salad.  Her favorite cooking happens at her home, using local ingredients, dogs underfoot and the view of her garden and beloved hens.


Keith, aka Burn-Pile Stew Man, is happiest outdoors being an avid birder, cyclist, camper, runner and former science teacher.  Fortunately his adventurous spirit carries over to the kitchen too.  Keith hasn’t found a recipe that doesn’t spark his interest yet!  Recently he created a Somali blend, Xa’awash, to try on his burn pile Dutch oven chicken.  Allspice is Keith’s secret ingredient in stews and soups. You will find Keith at the ready to help you learn and try new spice blends and ideas for using the ol’ tried and true seasonings too.