Jennifer & Brett Cramer, founders of The Spice Lab, which was recently named one of GrowFL's Companies To Watch for 2016, came to entrepreneurship from opposite directions but are both equally excited about their growing company and enjoying their joint entrepreneurial effort. "Brett was always an entrepreneur practically since birth working for himself," said Jennifer Cramer. "On the other hand, I worked under an interior designer for almost 10 years. I always had to get up at dawn and wear a suit while Brett woke up and put jeans on, and I always thought 'that's not fair.' I worked for him when I had the kids and I loved the freedom of helping him. I loved that I could bring the kids to work and that I could leave when I wanted. When we started this business, I jumped right in."
The Cramers started The Spice Lab by accident as they say. Brett Cramer created some custom salt collections as gifts for his employees to share his new-found fascination with gourmet sea salts. "They were excited about buying more so I put them up on Amazon.com," Brett Cramer said. "Just over the Thanksgiving weekend, we had 100 orders. I didn't have enough of anything to produce that many so I borrowed some tools and trained my employees in my computer company to fulfill the orders."
Six years later, The Spice Lab now is on track to do $12 million in revenue and employs 50 while still needing to hire more. "The growth is from being in the right place at the right time with the right product, price and brand," Brett Cramer said. "People see a good quality product and that it’s the best you can buy and they come back and buy more."
The Cramers appreciate the recognition of being named one of GrowFL's Companies To Watch and are quick to state the recognition should be shared by the team. "It's always good to be recognized and also recognize the people who got you there," Brett Cramer said. "If it weren't for our team we wouldn't be where we are today. I also hope it gives us more prominence to encourage the Florida Department of Agriculture to help small businesses like ours. We should have more of a presence at national food shows promoting what we’re doing in Florida and hiring people in Florida."
Brett Cramer advises aspiring entrepreneurs to find a niche in a marketplace they are passionate about. "You have to be different and think differently," he said. "You can't make the same thing everyone else is making. You won't get traction or lucky enough if you're not different. You want to be the best at what you do. Look for a super high end niche or super low end niche. If you're in the middle you'll get eaten alive."