Our Story

“It all started with a blizzard, a leap of faith, and a potato chip truck.”

In the winter of ‘76, we were living in Omaha, Nebraska, neighbors with a seven-foot snow drift in our driveway that never seemed to melt. Luckily for us, seasons changed, and eventually, Spring brought thaw and a longing for travel. So we packed our things and headed south to interior Mexico and Central America. There, we discovered a new horizon of culture and food that would ultimately change the trajectory of our lives. Our palettes tingled with the tastes of street tacos, mole, cabrito, and snapper a la Veracruzana. We’d found our food paradise.

There was no going back—for our taste-buds, at least. Upon our return, we sold our house, quit our jobs, and moved to Austin, Texas. Our first big purchase? A potato chip truck affectionately named “The Big Whale.” When we realized how vital quality ingredients were to making the authentic south-of-the-border cuisine we’d grown so enamored of, we began bringing back whole chiles, cumin, oregano, hibiscus flowers, coriander, and more.

In 1983, we started Southern Style Spices to provide food-makers and lovers with consistent, quality ingredients they could use to craft flavors that matched their passion for food. Since our founding more than three decades ago, our three sons have joined the company and now co-manage it with us. We believe in family, quality, and consistency—the three ingredients of Southern Style Spices.

-Bill and Bev Kemp


We’re not just family-owned—we’re family-run. Bill & Bev Kemp started Southern Style Spices in 1983 with one simple vision: to provide food-makers with consistent and quality-made spices so they can bring the world’s greatest flavors to your table. Since the founding, the Kemp’s three boys Ian, Trevor, and Luke have joined the business, staying true to their family-first values.

Quality is more than a value; it’s a commitment to a way of doing business. Our spices are only sourced from trusted partners and growers from around the world. We adhere to strict quality standards, hand-picking each lot, to ensure a top-quality product each time.

We are committed to not only high quality spices, but consistent flavors. And because our products are unadulterated, non-irradiated, contain no dyes, no artificial colors, and no MSG, we can provide pure ingredients in all of our products. Quality and consistency, every time. No exceptions. During our hand selection process, we individually examine each batch for a consistent color, aroma, flavor, and essential oil before sending the product to be bottled and shipped.

To discover and responsibly source the world’s finest spices from nature. With a passion for consistency and high-quality, we promise fresh, clean and bold flavors from around the globe to your table.


Quality-grown, quality-processed, consistent spices, herbs, seasonings, and ingredients. Every time.

At Southern Style Spices, we believe that quality ingredients lead to quality flavors. We work closely with a select group of partners to import only Earth’s finest spices and herbs. Some might call us picky; actually, we would call us picky. Our company standards demand that we be overly selective about our products’ origins,

including how they’re grown, harvested, processed, and shipped. From India, to Madagascar, to Peru—and finally to our facility in Manor, Texas—each batch is hand-inspected and tested to guarantee purity from farm to bottle. The result? A flavor expedition that’s travelled one bite at a time.