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Friday, September 18, 2015

Colonel De Signs Lease with Hiland Building in Fort Thomas

Colonel De's is planning to spice up Fort Thomas after signing a lease on September 17 for the Historic Hiland Building in Fort Thomas.

The gourmet herbs and spices shop has been open for nearly 10 years at Findlay Market. It also has locations at the Friendly Market in Florence and Jungle Jim's in Eastgate. The owner, De Stewart, said his Fort Thomas location will be the headquarters of his operations.

It will be his fourth shop.

"We need extra space for our production," Stewart said of the nearly 3,000 square foot space that use to house the Marshall Granger Jewelers and Jewels on the Avenue. "We're so thrilled and blessed we found this space. We've been looking for six months."

Stewart, a long-time Fort Thomas resident, said the Hiland Building on North Fort Thomas Avenue is perfect because it allows for multiple uses.

Dan Gorman, who bought the Hiland Building with David Hosea in June, now has the two street-access locations leased with the announcement yesterday of Top This Donut Bar filling the former Smitty's Barbershop location.

"Colonel De is the type of business that will draw people into Fort Thomas, and I think it will be a huge blessing to our community.  For them to not only open a storefront, but to also locate their production and corporate headquarters here is really exciting," said Gorman. "The space is perfectly laid out for what Colonel De is looking for.  We want to help them create a really cool store that will lead to a unique customer experience."

Stewart said construction will start in the back of the space to allow production to get up and running by mid October. It will include a "wet room" to make sauces and a "dry room" to make rubs and blends.

The retail space will be the second phase of construction, with hopes that it will open in early 2016. The third phase will include a kitchen where classes will be held.

According to Stewart, classes will include topics about how to apply a rub properly, grilling the perfect steak, making barbecue or how to use powder cheese. Courses could be a series on a topic like Moroccan cooking or just a 90 minute class. Stewart said he hopes the third phase for cooking classes will be open around the same time as the retail space.

Colonel De's carries over 500 culinary herbs, spices, and blends. "We pride ourselves in having those hard to find spices," says Stewart. "With many of our more exotic products we are one of only a handful of vendors Nationwide that offer these products."

The herbs, spices and blends are sold by the ounce so patrons can purchase only the amount they need. The sauces are sold by the jar or bottle.

Stewart said everything is all natural and gluten free and there is an entire line that is nutritionist approved. Colonel De's products can also be found in four Remke Markets and 50 to 60 restaurants throughout Kentucky and Southwest Indiana.

Stewart encourages people to stop by his booth in front of the Hiland Building Friday, September 18, during Art Around Towne to meet the Colonel himself as well as a few staff members. Colonel De will also have a few gifts to give away at the event. 

Stewart believes Fort Thomas is the perfect city for his fourth retail store and production space. "I grew up in Louisville but I've lived here over 25 years total. I've adopted Fort Thomas. I love it here."


  1. Wow!!! Huge surprise!! Welcome Colonel De!!

  2. Love this. It is always my first stop at Finlay Market!