Claire Cheney founded Curio Spice in 2015 out of an obsession for spices and the stories they tell. She hails from Massachusetts and Maine, where she learned to forage for wild foods and build her own curiosity cabinets. She went to Oberlin college where she cooked for 80-member co-ops and studied food writing, then went on to work in specialty coffee and fine dining. As Curio’s blender-in-chief she creates original blends for our Signature line inspired by her extensive travels to spice origins, and also studies time-honored blends for our Classic line. She lives with her family near Cambridge, MA.
Sam is our resident Canadian scientist, who found Curio through a love of food, farming, and sustainable agriculture. She manages Curio’s enormous inventory, oversees the wholesale and bulk programs, and makes sure everything is running smoothly behind the scenes - from ordering to pricing to sales. In February 2020, she went on her first spice sourcing trip to Cyprus! When she’s not running, biking, or swimming, she’s busy making lip balm for her small company Bee Balm Co., or endeavoring to make the perfect spiced cocktail. Her obsession with cardamom is (sort of) under control these days, but still sneaks its way into her culinary creations at least once a week.
Graphics & Events Manager
Susan joined Curio in 2017 to “help out” but quickly became an essential member of the team, and is now full time as our Graphics & Events Manager. She heads up our recipe development, creating and testing delicious dishes, feeding the team many varieties of cookies to get the ratios just right. She also coordinates our class offerings, helps manage customer service, and directs our graphics program for our 250+ offerings (she comes from a career in graphic design). Susan has been cooking since childhood and grew up in a family who gardened, cooked, canned, baked, and made things. She’s fussy about tomatoes and crazy about Kampot red long pepper.
Marketing & Engagement Manager
Josh has been fascinated by flavor since his first dive into the back of the pantry at 10 years old. His passion for food brought him to Johnson & Wales University and, since then, he’s worked at pizza shops, fine dining restaurants, a chocolate factory, a test kitchen, and Milk Street. He’s made it his mission to empower home cooks to explore and create memorable culinary experiences in their own kitchens. Needless to say, he’s very excited to be able to see that mission through with Curio. After starting his mornings with coffee spiked with sansho pepper, you can find him crafting polyhedral dice he calls clickclackmathrocks, styling and photographing food long before he eats it, singing with his fiancé while strumming his ukulele, or leading intrepid adventurers through a fantasy-filled game of Dungeons & Dragons.
Front of House Manager
SJ grew up in the Cambridge area and was raised to love food and international flavors. After a long stint hopping around the country, SJ returned to old haunts and started working in the robust local specialty food industry. Curio, as a small shop, offers the perfect opportunity for SJ to chat with locals and visitors alike about their experiences and adventures into home-cooking. A fan of intricate cocktails and strange brews, SJ is constantly simmering a combination of our spices in a pot somewhere.
Miranda is a new addition to the Curio Spice team, bringing with her a passion for quality control, organizing and fresh spices. She got interested in cooking about 6 years ago while dating her now husband because she got jealous of his ability to put gorgeous meals on the table. Suddenly steamed broccoli and pesto tortellini seemed a bit lackluster. A jeweler and artist by trade, Miranda enjoys the attention to detail and thinking about user experience that goes into packing spices and fulfilling orders. Pop on a good podcast and give her a stack of orders and she is a wiz with the tissue paper! Miranda enjoys growing her own hot peppers, working on perfecting her black bean chili and going for long rambling walks searching for oddities in overlooked corners.
Andrew grew up in Lexington, MA and went to school at McGill University where he studied Political Science, however his love for food and new tastes led him to pursue his passion with Curio. He is an avid home cook and on early summer weekends you might find him in Western Massachusetts fishing for trout. Andrew's favorite spice is granulated garlic, which he does not shy from using in a homemade barbecue sauce.
Ityng found Curio a few years ago when she met fellow vendor Claire at a local market event and fell in love with the brand. An artist and graphic designer by training, Ityng started her own small business, Foxfire Creative Studio, as a way to pursue her own creative projects. Products include printed designs (mostly food themed!) on functional home goods such as flour sack towels and more. Food has always been an influential part of Ityng's life. From the days of her youth of making scallion pancakes or dumplings from scratch with her family on Saturday mornings, to more recently trying to perfect her biscuit recipe, food is one thing she doesn't like to skimp on. Originally from Taiwan, her family moved half-way across the world where she grew up in Puerto Rico. Her palate was expanded and enlightened and her interest in food was piqued. When an opening came up to work at Curio, she couldn't pass up the opportunity to learn more about the world of food. Current food obsessions: roasted sweet potatoes with paprika and thyme. She also can't stop putting Magic Salt on everything!
Born in Texas and raised in Rhode Island, Sarah spent her childhood reading anything that she could get her hands on, including her mother’s large and eclectic cookbook collection. After studying history and political science in Washington DC and subsequently spending a decade in publishing, Sarah decided to follow her heart - and her stomach - into specialty food, working in the cheese department of a grocery store for the next three and a half years before coming to Curio. The cultural and personal connections that we can make through food inspire Sarah to find opportunities to enrich and improve the lives her herself and others. When not working, Sarah can be found cooking, reading, listening to and sometimes making music, dancing, and dreaming of travel. A self proclaimed “salt monster from that episode of Star Trek,” Sarah has a fondness for finishing salts of all varieties, as well as a love of chiles, urfa and comapeño in particular.
Annie is a Massachusetts native who loves playing/watching soccer, growing her own food, and finding ways to laugh (and sometimes all at the same time). After spending years on farms and at other food establishments, Annie joined Curio excited to learn more about delicious food from incredible people. Her unwavering (and genetic) sweet tooth draws her to yuzu and lavender, and her love of grilling makes black garlic and any chile problematically appealing.
Montita is from South Florida and moved to Cambridge for college, during which she studied Biomedical Engineering and Women and Gender Studies. Growing up, Montita worked in her parents' Thai and Japanese restaurant where she first developed a love for bold flavors. Her parents also grow over 100 different Southeast Asian herbs and fruits in their garden, so she is also passionate about fresh, organic produce. She loves talking to folks who are similarly passionate about spices and cuisine. Her favorite spice is coriander.