GREAT FALLS — International Spice District is a new company in Great Falls, and you may have seen their booth at the Farmers Market recently. The story behind how it came to be is a tale of support, friendship, and fate.
The owner, Brittany Riley, began dabbling in spice selling while she lived in Italy; her husband in in the US Air Force, which has caused them to move around quite a bit. One of their assignments was in Hawaii, where Riley worked as a manager for a makeup company.
One of her associates was Lyndsay Gutierrez, a Montana native who was living in Hawaii at the time. After leaving Hawaii, they remained virtual friends. A few years came and went, and then Brittany's husband got stationed at Malmstrom Air Force Base.
Brittany recalled, “I was like, 'Okay, I know she's in Montana but is she really going to be in Great Falls?' and then she was!”
And that's when things got spicy - literally. “I’m kind of known for pushing people, someone will tell me their idea and immediately I'm like, ‘Yes, that's a great idea! Let's do it!’ ‘Here is how we can start!’ 'How can I help?” laughed Lyndsay.
Thus, International Spice was born.
“The reason I got it started now was really the support system I have, I don’t think I could have really done it with other people or anywhere else,” said Brittany.
Lyndsay has been teaching cooking classes/catering/running a food truck called Nourish here in Great Falls for several years, and finding certain spices can be incredibly difficult, she said.
“I’m usually traveling to Helena and for a while I was even going to Canada so when Brittany came to me with this idea, I had to help her get it off the ground. Not only for me but the people of Great Falls.”
But International Spice is not just for the food trucks or restaurant owners - in fact, with the help of Lyndsay, the two have started to host cooking classes to help teach people how to cook with them.
“There aren't a lot of date night options here in Great Falls, and the options we do have, you get bored of them. So this is a fun thing we want to do plus get her spices out there for people to try,” said Lyndsay.
Start up a business can be challenging - but with a friend by your side, it makes the process easier.
You can get in touch with Lyndsay and Brittany on their websites or Facebook pages: