Ossining Couple Spices Up Westchester With Gluten-Free Line
Warren and Brandalyn Williams parlayed West Indian heritage and modern trends into gourmet success
He's Warren. She's Brandalyn. Together, they're WillYUM.
Photos courtesy of WillYUM Spices
“Cook for people you love." It's a fitting slogan for WillYUM Spice, created by the husband and wife team of Warren and Brandalyn Williams, who unknowingly started a small business on their wedding day last year. Instead of giving out typical favors like chocolate or a picture frame, they decided to get crafty. Marrying their love of cooking with Warren’s family’s recipes and West Indian background, the couple settled six different hand-blended spices as the perfect gift.
Some time had passed since the nuptials,and they'd received lots of praise. “Our wedding guests and others were inquiring about the spices, so we had to meet the immediate need,” explains Brandalyn.
From there, the newlyweds knew they were onto something. Brandalyn, a makeup artist for FOX Business Network who also teaches stage makeup at SUNY Purchase, and Warren, a certified surgical technologist at Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, were now in the introductory stages to starting a small business.
“We used a number of Etsy vendors for our wedding and thought it would be a cute idea to add to that marketplace," Brandalyn says. "But the demand called for us to follow a more traditional route. We sought out the best packaging for a glass jar and a heavy-duty plastic top with a pour and a sift so customers would use our products daily just like spices purchased at a grocery store.”
That traditional route includes marketing their all natural, gluten-free products via their own website. The producrs can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. or Canada, and those very same blends offered to their wedding guests are available at farmers’ markets in Peekskill and Tarrytown. That includes McKay’s Curry (influenced by Warren’s mother), Turmeric, Smoked Mesquite salt, Red Pepper Flakes, Pepper’s Essence, and Jalapeño Seasoning Salt, which you can purchase as singles for $5 to $9. Or you can buy them in bundles, like the YUM Curry Intro Special ($21), the YUM Salt Intro Set ($24), or the “I Want It All” ($40). Each shaker jar includes a list of ingredients and a spice tip in case you need a little do-it-yourself nudge.
WillYUM Spice is planning to eventually distribute 12 to 15 spices and blends, with four of those coming in the very near future, as well as mini 2 oz. bottles in October. “A Monthly Spice Club has even crossed our minds,” Brandalyn beams. “We are learning and growing each day. Cooking and dining with family and friends is such a rewarding experience.”
Agreed. And now our pantry and taste buds are waiting.