Business Close-Up: Downtown store offers ?the Spice of Life?
When you’re looking to add a little spice to your life, or your menu, make a visit to the Spice of Life shop on Brown Street in downtown Rhinelander.
Owned and operated by Dave and Cris Branstiter, this cozy store offers a big punch when it comes to tantalizing and intriguing rubs, dips, sauces, salsas, apparel and more.
“This is a place where you can think beyond salt and pepper and catsup and mustard,” said Cris. “We offer a lot of alternatives to make old dishes have new life.”
Take for instance their private label rubs, sauces, dips, seasonings and unique butters. “We have a line of favorite recipes that we have available at Spice of Life that you can’t find anywhere else,” said Dave. “It’s all been taste tested by myself and Cris, so we know it’s good.”
This couple takes the time to educate their customers on all the products that are in their Spice of Life store. Rub mixtures are a good example. “Lots of people around here aren’t very familiar with rubs, especially to use on the grill,” said Dave. “But they can really make a difference, and people are very surprised when they try them.”
For those that really want to jazz up their palate, Cris and Dave have a huge selection of hot sauces. These range in heat categories from mild to “call the fire department” types. But they also offer plenty of sauces and rubs for those who aren’t accustomed to a high spice level. In fact, one of their biggest sellers is their Sweet Bourbon sauce, which is delicious on anything from chicken wings to roasts to meatballs and in stir-fry dishes.
“People really enjoy that sauce,” said Cris. “It has a gourmet flavor.”
Dave and Cris always have samples available at their store, and sometimes Dave will even fire up his favorite grill, which is a ceramic Primo model that is available at Spice of Life. “This is an all ceramic grill, 100 percent made in the USA,” he said. “And they are phenomenal.”
Along with these grills are every kind of utensil and accessory available to make outdoor entertaining a breeze. Aprons, unique tongs, grill brushes, thermometers, lump charcoal and even smoking pellets are featured.
For those who would like to try some interesting alcoholic concoctions, the Spice of Life is a good place to start. Bloody Mary mixes and ingredients are especially popular, along with several margarita syrups that are sure to become favorites.
Chips, fish breadings and dry dip mixes are also offered, and the wide selection of marinades is impressive. In addition, Spice of Life offers jewelry, clothing and designer-style handbags particularly geared for bikers and military veterans. Their line of body jewelry is especially intriguing.
Another popular item featured here are customized gift baskets, and Dave and Cris are more than happy to ship them, making gift buying a snap. This couple will also special order items for those hard-to-find purchases.
The Spice of Life is located at 26 N. Brown St. and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays.