|Colonel De Stewart with Fort Thomas Mayor, Eric Haas, and Brian Halloran, representing the Northern Kentucky Chamber. FTM file.|
A ribbon-cutting ceremony took place at the Hiland Building, welcoming Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices.
Colonel De Stewart already has retail locations at Findlay Market in Over the Rhine, the Friendly Market in Boone County and Jungle Jim's in Eastgate. However, the historic Hiland Building will be home to Colonel De's production kitchen, what he calls his “World Headquarters.”
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The Hiland Theater Building was one of the first buildings in the main business district and once housed a tea room, a candy store and as many remember, a theater which opened in 1927.
Mayor Eric Haas said, “I remember the last movie I saw in here was the Fantastic Voyage. My sister and I would come up here and I even remember the lady at the box office who was always so nice to us.”
“I think it's great. We have so much going on in Fort Thomas now, and I think the citizens are getting more willing to support the local businesses, and that's what it takes. Colonel De's is a good presence in town.”
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“He's a great guy, a neat character, and I think he will do well here.”
Economic Director Debbie Buckley said, “I think this building is the cornerstone of the cultural arts district. Even though not on a corner, it is the biggest building. It had two storefronts that sat empty for so long so we are thrilled now. All the businesses that have come in here are basically very complimentary to the cultural arts district. It's food; it's dancing; it's yoga.”
Colonel De Stewart, a resident of Fort Thomas, began his journey with a local cable television cooking show. He now offers more than 500 items including his dry rubs, vinegars and barbeque and pizza sauces.
“Fort Thomas chose me,” Stewart said. “I was approached by Dan Gorman of Untied Property Group and owner of the Hiland Building. It was a done deal once I saw the space."
Stewart says his new world headquarters will allow him the space to to produce more volume with his “wet” products whereas he was using another facility before. The space at the Hiland Building offers the ability to make and bottle and package everything there. He will be a supplier to area restaurants and bars while offering the public a place to buy Colonel De products.
Colonel De's Gourmet Herbs and Spices will officially open Saturday, April 30.
For more information, visit colonelde.com.