Shumka Dust Shipping Far and Wide
By Marcia Arpin
Although their success may seem like it came overnight to those who are just discovering their products in local stores and on Amazon, Kate Shumka reflects on the long road she and her family, including her husband Scott, have travelled to get to this place.
“I studied culinary arts at Confederation College many years ago and worked in many kitchens,” she says. “Scott also has worked in many restaurants and had always loved to be in the kitchen.” Always playing around with new flavours in the kitchen, the couple started throwing different spices together while living in Morinville, Alberta in 2014. That’s when they came up with a favourite blend. Using their friends and family as taste-testers, they tried out the spice blend at countless barbecues. “When friends started asking if they could have some to bring home, Shumka Dust was born,” Kate says.
Returning to Thunder Bay to be with family, the couple, along with their daughter Jordin, continued to enjoy time in their kitchen, especially cooking for friends and family. Scott started taking Shumka Dust to work for his new co-workers to try, and suddenly everyone was asking to buy their versatile spiced seasoning. The family sold over 100 bottles in one week. Motivated by this community enthusiasm, this team of three began the work to develop their business.
The family home has become an extension of the business with cooking, designing, marketing, bottling, labelling, and delivery happening under its roof. The Shumka family is proud of their teamwork to achieve a city license, health unit certification, and fire unit inspection. Kate says she is still excited to tell her story. “We passed with flying colours. It has been a whirlwind, but we are so extremely happy with the interest and local support, so much so we introduced Superior Steak Spice only a few months later and then Moonlite Bay Dredge in spring of 2018.” Their reimagined basement supports their growing enterprise.
The Shumka trio continuously seeks to find the finest, best-quality ingredients available in the market to produce their product. Although Jordin is 12, she has also been part of every step of the business development and is a part owner. Kate knows that food brought their family closer together and wants everyone in Thunder Bay to experience togetherness with their delicious spices. “We are always working in the kitchen and playing with new ideas to expand our spice line, and even some fresh products,” she says.
Today, Shumka Dust is available in over 25 local shops in Thunder Bay and shipments are made throughout North America. Check them out on Facebook @shumkadust and at their website: mrskaitlinshumka.wixsite.com/website.