After 30 years as a technologist, De Stewart quit his job and decided to become a herbologist. Under the moniker Colonel De Ray, Stewart runs a shop front in the historic Findlay Market, and his shelves are stocked with hundreds of obscure and aromatic self-blended herbs, spices and teas.
After retiring from his desk job, Stewart and his wife starting out making bottled vinegars and sauces before moving into a space at Findlay Market almost two years ago. The Findlay Market managers noticed the Kentucky Colonel and his vinegars. "That's how the market first heard about us," he says. "We were actually recruited." The rest is history.
CityBeat: What's the last great meal you ate and where did you eat it?
De Stewart: Let me think where I was ... it was probably at Vinyl, most likely. We eat there a lot. I love their lollipops; it's just such an incredible concept. They use a lollipop stick like a skewer and they have this panoply of different dishes, and they stick the popsicle stick in there. Seriously, there must be at least half-a-dozen on my plate and they're all different. It's so cool.
CB: How many herbs do you actually stock, and do people ever ask you for things you don't stock?
DS: The last time we counted, and that was about a month ago, we had about 400. Recently we've been having people ask for more and more exotic blends. They're asking more and more for things that are like, I'm going to have trouble remembering the region, it's not Morocco but areas around that.
Herbs & Spice and Everything Nice, Findlay Market, 136 Market House, 513-421-4800