It’s not every day that you find a mother-son team bring a new product line to the market. But that’s exactly what happened with OU kosher certified Simply Gourmet Spices.
I had the pleasure to speak to Rabbi Moshe Yehuda Kleiman, the marketing guru for Simply Gourmet. He is a rosh kollel of a Halacha chabura in Monsey and has semicha from Rabbi Rudinsky shlita and Rav Reuven Feinstein shlita.
Rabbi Kleiman gained his advertising and marketing skills from his wife, who for seven years, was representing clients in the food industry with regards to product development and presentation. Three to four years ago, Moshe, after refining his advertising and marketing skills, recommended to his mother that she develop her own product line.
Rivky Kleiman, the recipe developer of Simply Gourmet started off as a teacher in a Hebrew Day School where she was very much involved in kiruv. But she was always a chef and known throughout the community for her cooking talents. She co-authored the Bais Yaakov cookbook about ten years ago which made waves throughout the Jewish world. She became well known for her recipes and started writing in international magazines, including Mishpacha Magazine.
She then composed her first official cookbook called Simply Gourmet followed by its sequel called Simply. She has been able to bring her unique ideas to the cooking industry, namely, cook gourmet, but simply. In other words, use spices and ingredients that are easily accessible that can be used to create a gourmet meal or as Moshe says, “Offer gourmet without making it complicated.”
The culmination of this vision has come to life in her unique innovation named Simply Gourmet – Recipe in a bottle, which essentially is a full recipe, with premium ingredients including many flavors which you wouldn’t expect in regular spices, converted into a spices blend and bottled. They currently come in three flavors: Chili Lime, Smoky Coffee and Big Bold BBQ.
The spices cross the spectrum of tastes in the Jewish world. For instance, the Big Bold BBQ is a classic spice appealing to the general Jewish pallet and is a great topping for pasta and pizza. The Chili Lime is more niche-based aimed at the Jewish taste to enhance fish and goes well with french fries or anything potato related. The Smoky Coffee is a bit more Mediterranean based and has become very popular in the Sephardic community and is especially good on cauliflower. On the back of each bottle you are told how Rivky uses it.
The spices are sourced from places as far as Egypt, Asia, the Himalayas and Africa. After the spices are amassed, they are mixed with specific ingredients that are converted from liquid to solid. For instance, the Chili Lime has a blend of spices, one of which is lime zest (peel), which is mixed with solidified lime juice. These all become part of the unique blend which becomes chili lime recipe in a bottle.
Moshe told me that if you are having guests for Shabbos and you want to impress them with a unique and exquisite gourmet taste without having to take hours to prepare, you can simply pour on one of these spices and realize a ritzy taste.
Moshe and Rivka Kleiman have showed that breaking into the food industry can be a collaborative effort between mother and son. Moshe takes care of the management and Rivka continues to deliver her innovative tastes to the market. With a choice of three spice flavors, you can go gourmet simply.