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Twin Cities company Here's the Deal spices things up with its blends

Minneapolis Star Tribune logo Minneapolis Star Tribune 11/23/2020 Rick Nelson, Star Tribune

When Tom and Nicole Dokman got married in 2017, they created a spice blend to hand out as gifts for their guests. Requests for refills sparked the idea for Here’s the Deal Spice Co.

The timing was right. Tom had labored in Twin Cities restaurant kitchens for 16 years and was on the hunt for a better work-life balance.

“We wanted to produce a premium product that reflects Tom’s diverse culinary background,” says Nicole. “So many spice blends out there have a bunch of fillers and MSG and other nonsense in them.”

He’s developed four spice blends (the all-purpose “127” reflects their Jan. 27 wedding date and closely follows that initial recipe), including a lively togarashi that was inspired by his tenure at Travail Kitchen and Amusements in Robbinsdale. He calls this effort his “labor of love,” noting that the first batch required peeling 27 cases of oranges. Along with dehydrated orange, the no-salt, no-sugar formula also includes hand-cut nori, Sichuan peppercorns and toasted sesame seeds. Mix the spice blend with rice, use it to season grilled fish or add it to soups and sushi.

The company’s name is an affectionate nod to Tom’s father, who has a habit of prefacing task requests at the family cabin with, “Here’s the deal.” Their mostly organic product, sold through the company’s website ( and at a few metro-area retail locations, hit the market late last fall.

“Although we believe it started on our wedding day,” Nicole says. “We just didn’t know it.”


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