SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio — It doesn't matter if you’re a veteran in the kitchen or a newbie working on your skills—everyone can make good tasting food, and all it takes are the right ingredients.
Ramat Wiley, owner of Adun Spice Co. in Shaker Heights, is making sure that's a possibility for everyone. In the midst of a pandemic, after spending years working as a food stylist, Wiley decided to let her passion take the driver's seat.
"I had done some blending, just playing around with stuff before," Wiley explained, "and I was like, 'Okay, maybe I should really reach into a dream that I've told very few people about and just try to get started on it.'"
With the help of a spice trader, Wiley created her core products, and Adun Spice Co. was born.
"I think it was maybe eight different blends and salts," she said. "I was like, 'These are things that I use every day, so let's try, just start there.'"
Adun means "flavor" in Wiley's father's native language of Yoruba. She named her shop after the interpretation as a way to pay homage to her Nigerian heritage. Plus, when it comes to cooking, flavor matters.
"Spices bring out flavor," she told us. "There's more than just salt."
Her shop features dozens of unique finds, but there's one spice in particular that seems to resonate with her customers.
"My citrus garlic blend," she said. "That is the spice that started it all. That's the first recipe I wrote down, and everyone loves it."
Just like her very first recipe, Wiley believes that everyone should have a loving relationship with food, and that comes with the experiences your create while you're cooking .
"Spices are just as important as the produce that we buy," she stated. "These are things that people cultivate to continue their legacy and their culture. I think transcend food transcends so much, and why not start with good ingredients to continue to build those good memories?"
And with so much of the world at odds, we can all find solace in a good meal.
"There's something about it, about spices that just are comforting to everybody," Wiley said.
In addition to providing amazing spices, Wiley is also giving back to her community. Each month, the Cleveland area native donates a portion of her shop's proceeds to an organization that is working to help feed those in need.
Wiley is spicing things up for a living at her shop located at 3441 Tuttle Road inside Market Hall at the Van Aken District in Shaker Heights.
Black Light is a series created by 3News Reporter Kierra Cotton aimed at exposing the hidden talent within Northeast Ohio’s Black community.
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*The video in the player above is from a previous, unrelated report.