Keeping it Local: 406 Spices wants to help enliven your food

By 
Jaci Webb Of The Laurel Outlook
Thursday, December 2, 2021
Barbara Santill shows off her 406 Spices at a holiday festival in Columbus. Packaged spices are $6 each.

Barbara Santill shows off her 406 Spices at a holiday festival in Columbus. Packaged spices are $6 each.

Barbara Santill likes to think she is making people’s lives happier by helping them create more flavorful dishes with her 406 Spices: Bold Montana Flavors in Artisan Seasonings.

Spreading a tablespoon of her savory spice on beef, pork, chicken or fish can enhance the flavor and make you a more popular cook. That’s the idea behind Santill’s business, which she launched in 2017.

“I consider myself a mediocre cook. These seasonings are for people like me who are average cooks. This is just good stuff to flavor your dishes,” Santill said.

Santill, who moved to Laurel from Pennsylvania in 1999, sells her products in retail outlets across Montana – from Forsyth to Missoula and north to the Hi-Line. The two local outlets for 406 Spices are Red Rooster, 401 E. Main St. in Laurel, and Simply Local on Shiloh Road in West Billings. Santill also sells her spices online at 406spices. com and at community festivals across the state, including the Stillwater County Swap & Shop in Columbus in mid-November.

The spice mixes are all researched and taste tested before they hit the market. They do not contain MSG, gluten or fillers. The fun part for her has been naming them.

“I try to name them after something in Montana.”

There’s the Crazy Mountain Hamburger Seasoning, the Yogo Adobo Seasoning that was intended for fish, but really goes with all kinds of meat, Santill said. Her Grizzly Espresso Steak Rub is by far her customers’ favorite.

With every spice listed on her website is information about the Montana feature it is named for. For example, the Coyote Taco Seasoning adds this: “I realize coyotes aren’t the favorite mammal of many folks around here. But they are very smart critters, persistent in their pursuits and enduring in all kinds of hardships. These fiery canids have never successfully been domesticated. Much like many of the people who make Montana their home!”

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