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 korerima, 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.
Sam comes from an extensive restaurant background around the Boston area. He has gained notable experiences from Blue Ginger, No 9 Park, Stir, and most recently as Executive Chef of Shore Leave, No Relation, Bar Mezzana, and Black Lamb. Sam is an avid researcher when it comes to ingredients and food history. As a Japan obsessive you may find his face buried into sansho although Bonga has become a recent affair.
Carmen is our Wholesale Manager, tasked with sharing Curio spices with retailers throughout New England and across the country. Carmen’s passion for food started early; he grew up in a household that would plan lunch while eating breakfast and would map out dinner while eating lunch. Sunday dinners could take more than 8 hours between prepping, cooking, eating and the enviable resting. After studying business at Boston College, Carmen spent over 15 years working with small cheese producers and selling specialty foods in the Northeast. He now lives in Medford with his family, where they have started a new tradition: guessing the spices that his co-workers were blending that day. His family’s current favorite is Edo spice which they enjoy heaped on avocado toast and sprinkled on ramen noodles.
Store & Events Manager
Sage has always been passionate about building community through food, small business and creativity. Bringing together her experience serving coffee and conversation in independent cafes, hosting a monthly poetry reading, and cooking her way through various eating styles, Sage is excited to finally give home to her namesake at Curio. When not sneaking Curio's Fleur spice blend into different concoctions, Sage also loves to write, make greeting cards by hand, and play dress up with vintage fashion.
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.
Marketing & Graphics Coordinator
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.
After many years of banking and retail in the Middle East, Reem found herself in DC, where she fell in love with philosophy and the arts. A forever student and entrepreneur, she eventually made her way to Boston. And like many immigrants, she was nostalgic for all the food she grew up around - which was filled with spices like saffron, cardamon, and black limes. She found Curio, in search of just those ingredients, while attempting to recreate her Bahraini grandmother’s Machboos. She just loved Curio’s mission and how the business unveiled a magical world of spices for her. Reem is always trying to find new ways to use saffron, and for this month anyway, she can’t stop putting Supeq on everything.
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.
Wholesale & Fulfillment Coordinator
Aaron is a lifelong eater who came to Curio as a devoted customer.He spent the first 13 years of his career in software sales before deciding he needed to be doing his second favorite thing in the world as a profession - talking about food (the first?eating said food).Growing up in New England his family took annual pilgrimages to Vermont to tour a maple syrup factory and interestingly enough, attending local Cajun food festivals (do not get him started on butter beans).Outside of Curio, you will find him at the beach in the summer and mountains in the winter.He is excited to spread the Curio Spice gospel.Current Favorite Spice: Wild Afghan Cumin.Live the Spice Life!
Customer Experience Specialist
An avid home cook,Maggiegrew up helping her mom make blueberry pies and joining her grandfather for taste tests to determine which store had the best rotisserie chicken (it's BJs, FYI).Maggie's roots are in the food industry, having worked the wholesale side of things for over ten years in the baking and imported chocolate industries.Maggie's Curio experience started in the early days, helping to put some of the first label prototypes on tins in Claire's kitchen. After pivoting to elementary education six years ago,Maggiehas taken a break from the classroom to be home with her youngest and is delighted to dip back into her customer service background. A forever lover of Fleur, she cannot get enough of Chili Today sprinkled on peaches or Vadouvan in a burger.
Born and raised in Massachusetts,Laurabegan working at Curio soon after graduating high school. Raised by British and Uruguayan family, she found herself surrounded by different foods and cultures from a young age.Lauraloves reading and writing; her mountains of books reached critical mass eight months ago but that has, regrettably, not stopped her from obtaining more. She plans on studying psychology and neuroscience at BU in the spring.Lauraalways puts saffron sugar on her pancakes and recommends Bonga to everyone who comes into the shop.
Gillian was born and raised on Long Island, NY. In her experience, family and food are synonymous, and because of this, she has decided that food is one of her love languages. A few of her favorite memories are helping her grandfather harvest fruits and vegetables from his backyard, searching Chinatown for the best soup dumplings with her grandmother, and kneading bread over Facetime with her mom and sister during the pandemic. Her curiosity to explore and learn has taken her on many adventures, from volunteering on an olive farm in northern California to working in public land conservation through AmeriCorps in Utah and pursuing a degree in Horticulture and Forestry in Texas. Gillian was over the moon to find a small mission-driven B Corp, like Curio, where she could merge her passion for agriculture, natural resource conservation, and cooking. Right now, she is obsessed with Curio’s signature Da Lat blend; you can catch her sprinkling it on her coffee ice cream, in her coffee, or on a banana peanut butter and honey sandwich.