We Are More Than a Spice Company…

J.O. has been around since 1945 ~ 70 years of hard work & dedication!

crabs at crab bag

In the past few weeks, there have been a number of journalistic…ummm….blunders shall we say?

John Stamos found “true love” in Ocean City…but what SPICE (Hint: the spice preferred by MOST crab houses and seafood restaurants) was it that John Stamos was eating? Reprinted off the Baltimore Sun website:

John Stamos finds ‘true love’ in Ocean City

Uncle Jesse from ‘Full House’ posts crab feast photo on Instagram

July 28, 2014|By Colin Campbell | The Baltimore Sun

Move over Aunt Becky. Uncle Jesse found “true love” in Ocean City this weekend.

John Stamos, who played the lovable goofball uncle to the infant Olsen twins in “Full House” and is promoting his new rom-com, “My Man is a Loser,” posted a picture of a mountain of hard-shell crabs to Instagram on Sunday. The caption: “Found true love in Ocean City MD.”

Stamos, who also plays guitar and drums, was in the area performing with The Beach Boys. The band played in New Jersey on Saturday night and Delaware on Sunday, and has shows in Lancaster, Pa., on Monday and Columbus, Ohio, on Tuesday, according to its website.

In his new film, Stamos, 50, plays a suave, Will-Smith-in-“Hitch”-type playboy who tries to teach his two married friends how to win back their bored wives. It premiered in theaters Friday, before Stamos hit the beach for some of Maryland’s famous, Old Bay-coated crustaceans.

The Crab Bag, at 130th Street and Coastal Highway, served up the crab dinner to Stamos. The restaurant was voted “best crabs” in Ocean City in The Sun’s “Best of OC” poll in May.

Oprah was seen out and about in Baltimore but, to the Journalists who don’t do the necessary research, what SPICE was Oprah eating?  Reprinted from the baltimore.cbslocal.com website….

Old Bay And Crabs: It’s What Oprah Does–While Visiting Baltimore

August 7, 2014 7:12 AM

(Credit: Instagram)

(Credit: Instagram)

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — She may be queen of the Windy City, but she still knows how to eat like a Baltimorean.

Oprah Winfrey, a former anchor here at WJZ-TV, dined at Captain James Landing Wednesday.

The billionaire media mogul posted a picture on Instagram with longtime partner Stedman Graham, smiling and enjoying crabs.

“Crab feast in Baltimore! #CaptainJames,” read the caption.

Winfrey became an anchor here at WJZ-TV in 1976 and later went on to co-host the local talk show “People Are Talking” with Richard Sher.

In 1984, she moved to Chicago to host her own morning talk show.

J.O. Spice would just like to point out that both Captain James and The Crab Bag are customers of J.O….while we believe wholeheartedly that competition makes the world go round and round…we do like to give credit where credit is due. What spice is on the fries down in Ocean City? It’s not J.O. and we won’t be happy if you say it is because it’s a Flat. Out. Lie.

This world is big enough for Coke & Pepsi, for tissues & Kleenex, for Ghirardelli & Hershey’s, for J.O. & Old Bay. But just like all of us, we’d just like to be given some credit that we are here and we are working hard to stay! A small business in the midst of big…now that’s cause for celebration.

We’ve been around since 1945, and just want to be recognized for hard work, dedication to our customers and for contributing to great memories made at crab feasts, dinners, reunions, weddings and so much more! We’re proud to be on your table and that table is big enough for the Old Bay can and the J.O. Spice bucket!

Enjoy your crab feasts,

🙂 Pamela

J.O. is in the news ~ Again!

J.O. Spice is happy to be mentioned and we thank you…but even happier that

Conrad’s Crabs is doing a great business. Visit their restaurant & enjoy!


Reposted from the Baltimore Sun/Taste section, August 13, 2014

Weekend waterman from Parkville becomes crab maestro

How Tony Conrad built a Maryland seafood business

By David Sturm, dsturm@tribune.com9:09 a.m. EDT, August 13, 2014

Tony Conrad started out working in an office on weekdays and crabbing on the weekend to make extra money.

Now, he operates four outlets for crabs, including Conrad’s seafood market on Joppa Road in Parkville and the new restaurant Conrad’s in Perry Hall.

He’s still out on the bay, although it’s now six days a week. And, when you eat his crabs in the evening, especially in season, there’s a good chance he caught them that morning.

Conrad said he’s not the only Baltimore-area crabhouse owner who also catches crabs, but “we can count on two hands the people who do this.”

By “we” he means he and his wife Andrea. He catches crabs and manages the seafood, she does the books and marketing.

Tony Conrad’s partner in marriage and business is the former Andrea Antonakos. They met when both were working at Michael’s Cafe in Timonium. He proposed when she graduated from Loyola College Maryland, where she majored in psychology.

In addition to the restaurant and market, the couple sells crabs from a truck in Jacksonville and operate the crab concession at Cal Ripken Stadium in Aberdeen.

It’s been an unusual journey for a Parkville boy who graduated from Calvert Hall College High School in 1993. He went on to Baltimore County Community College in Essex and Towson University, where he majored in criminal justice and played slot back and strong safety for the Tigers football team.

He said his family links to the seafood business go back to the Civil War era in southern Maryland.

“My ancestors would catch crabs and rockfish and feed the railroad workers,” he said.

He started out crabbing with his father, John Conrad, and then learned the commercial crabbing business from the late Bill Gunther Sr. of Harford County. He kept on catching jimmies.

“I liked doing this. It was a weekend thing to do,” he said.

He spend time working for an information technology company and a food distributor and picked up useful business skills. Finally, he felt he had a skill set worthy to start a seafood enterprise.

He told his wife he wanted to quite his weekday job and go into the seafood business full time.

“She said, ‘Are you crazy?’ ”

Across the table, Andrea Conrad just smiled.

Joppa Seafood on Joppa Road was looking for a buyer and Conrad took it over with two partners, Michael Dellis and Frank Petillo. He later bought them out.

“It was a challenge the first couple of years,” he said. “In the crab world, everyone wants crabs from the first pitch of baseball season to when the kids go back to school. Then, it drops off.”

He and his wife had long considered a restaurant and had studied various locations. He was also introduced to a chef, Joe Lancelotta, and the two hit it off.

“As soon as I met Joe, I said, ‘He’s a beast.’ He’s just like me,” Conrad said.

Mickey Cucchiella, a former disc jockey Conrad knows, tipped him to a good location. It turned out to be a tavern on Belair Road that was once the Perry Inn and, subsequently, the nightclubs Surf City and Smash Daddy’s.

Conrad went into partnership with Lancelotta and his brother, Mike Lancelotta, to buy the property. Thus began an 18-month renovation that transformed the property into a state-of-the-art crabhouse that opened in January.

He won’t divulge how many crabs he moves through the restaurant’s steam vats daily, not wishing to tip competitors.

“That’s like asking our secret recipe,” he said.

As for his crab spice, it’s a house blend mixed under Conrad’s formula by J.O. Spice Co. of Halethorpe.

Conrad operates two boats, the Hannah Marie and Ellie Christine (both named for his daughters), out of the Galloway Creek Marina in Bowley’s Quarters. He operates one with a crew of two and — along with the other boat with a crew of three — they pull in crabs beginning at 5:30 a.m. six days a week (except Sunday), returning at 1 p.m.

The restaurateur cannot catch all the crabs needed for his businesses. He supplements with crabs from watermen in Middle River and on the Eastern Shore. In the winter, they import from Louisiana.

Last week, the per-dozen restaurant prices for steamed crabs ranged from $32 for smalls up to $115 for jumbos.

Yes, Conrad admitted, the prices take your breath away.

“It’s the highest crabs have ever been. It’s horrible,” he said.

At the bar last week were Jeff Burrill and Kevin Znamirowski, who both live within walking distance. As neighbors, they said they appreciate the upgrade from the previous incarnations.

“This is the first one we’re happy about,” Burrill said. “And the crab fries here are incredible.”

“We want to see this place succeed,” Znamirowski said.

At a corner table was the Olson family from Bel Air entertaining an out-of-town guest, Colleen Reagan, of Rochester, N.Y., who said she always visits Maryland with a hankering for seafood. Awaiting their entrees, they were noshing on “the best calamari ever.”

Tina Olson was tickled. She had asked that the grouper appetizer be upsized and served as an entree.

“They said, ‘No problem.’ ”

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/parkville/ph-br-conrads-0724-20140717,0,5064278.story#ixzz3AOTOT1Jt


This article ran in the Baltimore Sun Taste Section, August 12, 2014 ~Written very well by David Sturm. I copied the entire article – no revisions or editing done – just the way it was written in the paper and online! Reposted from the Baltimore Sun/Taste section, August 13, 2014

Enjoy reading another great article,

🙂 Pamela

J.O. in the news!

By Mary K. Tilghman, mtilghman@tribune.com2:40 p.m. EDT, August 12, 2014

The crabs piled on a table at a backyard crab feast, hot and spicy, are probably sprinkled with a unique taste many in the area associate with summer in Maryland.

If the crabs came from one of the area’s carryout restaurants or crab houses, more than likely the seasoning isn’t the iconic Old Bay. Chances are, it’s a seasoning mix produced in an industrial park off Sulphur Spring Road.

This is no McCormick with its giant campus in Hunt Valley and hundreds of employees. J.O. Spice Co. on Old Georgetown Road is still family run and employs a couple dozen people to produce seafood seasoning, as well as a whole line of products to spice up meat, fish and poultry.

“You go to a restaurant and you eat your crabs, and you think you’re eating Old Bay,” said Ginger Ports, vice president of marketing and sales for J.O. Spice Co.

And, Ports said, that’s fine. “That’s a Maryland icon. There’s a place for that product,” she said.

“Old Bay is in the grocery store,” she said. “J.O. is in the restaurants.”

At many area crab houses, the famous crustacean is encrusted with J.O. Spice. J.O. counts crab houses from Lansdowne to Ocean City among its regular customers, delivering both their standard seasonings as well as custom blends — and if business is good, sometimes it can be an emergency delivery, Ports said.

Sea Hut Inn on Frederick Road has been seasoning its crabs with J.O. since it opened 31 years ago, according to owner Sue Yin.

Sea Hut orders its own custom blend from J.O. “We have a little bit of everything in it,” Yin said.

“Most crab houses have their own blend,” she added.

“In my store, we use J.O. for all of our crabs,” said Barry Koluch, who owns Cravin’ Crabs in Baltimore Highlands with his father, Paul Koluch. When the Koluchs were getting ready to open Cravin’ Crabs on Annapolis Road about five years ago, J.O. mixed up small batches for the Koluchs to take home and sample.

After a few trials, they hit upon a blend that balances the salt and the heat. “We wanted it to appeal to the masses,” Koluch said.

J.O Spice Co., founded in 1945 in a Baltimore storefront, has been producing their combinations of spices — all kinds of blends, sauces and batter mixes — in Halethorpe for the past 24 years. In December, the company took over the adjacent space, a former closet company, to double their space, adding 14,000 square feet to their plant.

A family-owned operation, it was started by James Ozzie Strigle and his wife, Dot, who moved to Baltimore from Tangier Island, Va., where Strigle had been a waterman, according to the company website. Strigle produced the original, No. 1, blend to use on all seafood. The mix for crabs, No. 2, came along later, laced with the flake salt favored by steamed crab aficionados, according to Ports.

The company remains in the hands of family. Don Ports, Strigle’s grandson, is president now. Ginger Ports is his wife.

Their main focus is the local crab house — actually, seafood houses from New Jersey to Virginia with distributors taking their spices much farther. Small as they are, J.O. is spicing things up as far away as Australia and Singapore, too.

With the company delivering their spice mixes directly to restaurants and crab houses, you might not have heard of it. “J.O. has always been on the wholesale side,” Ports said.

You won’t find it on the spice shelves at Giant or Safeway — although Ports said Safeway does steam its shrimp in J.O.’s No. 1 blend.

Local seafood shops carry small bottles of No. 1 and No. 2 and some of their other seasonings and batter mixes.

Busy season

J.O. produces enough spice to season 7 million to 12 million bushels of crabs a year. Some 1,750 to 3,000 tons of raw materials produce 3.5 to 6 million pounds of spice blends every year, according to Ports.

“Summer is the biggest time,” Ports said.

On a recent Thursday, employees arrived at work before 5 a.m. to prepare a shipment to Ocean City restaurants.

In the cavernous warehouses, a forklift scooted through, moving pallets of spices in 50-pound bags. Nearby, gray bins and tarp-like sacks, some weighing more than a ton, awaited their moment in the hoppers where spices are mixed. Bags of ground mustard were piled to the ceiling. A bulk bag of No. 1 seasoning weighs in at 1,800 pounds.

In another room, workers are filling shipping boxes with J.O. products.

The plant is kept meticulously clean. Products are tested for bacteria — and metal: Before a box can ship, it has to pass through the metal detector.

If anything is detected, the box is tossed. Ports said recycled cartons caused a problem one time — the recycled cartons contained bits of recycled staples.

The expanded space has some room for expansion, too. A test kitchen will be added to the site later this year, according to Ports.

“We blend 50 [,000] to 60,000 pounds a day,” said Sean Dunbar, of Arbutus, the plant manager, driving the forklift. “In summertime, it’s all day long. It never stops.”

And demand is so great, spices go out on trucks almost as soon as they’re mixed. “When we make it, it’s gone,” said Dunbar, who has worked at J.O. for 15 years.

Lee McNeil, the assistant plant manager, nodded in agreement. “When I saw the quantity, I didn’t believe it. I looked up and the shelves were empty. It was all gone,” said McNeil.

Later in the day, it was quieter, but still busy. In a small room near the gift shop, laser printers were adding logos and names to mallets and glasses, were etched with logos. Staff members were pasting labels on jars and filling orders. “A lot of it is still hand labeled,” Ports said.

More than seasoning

Spice only begins to describe J.O.’s participation in the traditional crab feast. They print bushel boxes for crab houses, stock brown paper to spread on the tables, order crab mallets by the trailer truck-full. They stock big paper bags and even vinegar, too.

“We literally provide everything but the crabs,” she said.

Cravin’ Crabs, for example, buys its other supplies — paper, bushel boxes, seasonings and custom crab mallets — from J.O., too, Koluch said.

Since the demand for crab seasoning tends to drop in the off season, J.O. started a small gift shop in an unused space a few years ago. It also expanded into more than double its original space when the facilities grew last winter.

Almost as big as the spices are J.O.’s custom crab mallets. Ports came up with the idea to laser print wooden mallets for restaurants, crab feasts, even weddings.

Not everyone in the company was sold — until they sold 650,000 mallets in the first year, according to Ports. Last year, they sold some 800,000 customized mallets.

“It’s really taken off in the last four years,” Ports said.

Customizing mallets, it turns out, is a very competitive part of their business. Ports remained mum on their supplier and the kind of wood they use. “They only make mallets for us,” she said.

The gift shop adds another layer of crab-love to the mix. They carry all of their own products, including the seafood seasoning in 10-pound buckets and kitchen spices, along with all kinds of crab-related stuff: T-shirts, wall hangings and crab encrusted jewelry.

All of the wares come from small businesses and family businesses. And they are made or designed in the United States.

A series of wall plaques designed in the U.S. are actually produced in Indonesia, Ports allowed, but that’s the exception.

The thinking was, she explained, “we could help other small businesses.”

The diversity of their products keeps the staff working year round, Ports said. The staff mixing spices in summer may find themselves working on corporate gift baskets or shipping mallets, but “it keeps them busy,” Ports said.

There’s no need for layoffs in the winter or hiring temporary employees in the summer. They work full-time with time off for two weeks at Christmas and on every holiday.

“Everyone is like a family,” she said.

Read more: http://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/baltimore-county/arbutus-lansdowne/ph-at-jospice-0813-20140812,0,4226932.story#ixzz3ANmYOEw4

This article ran in the Arbutus Times, August 12, 2014 ~Written very well by Mary K. Tilghman! She did her research and reported on FACTS…and we appreciate it. I copied the entire article – no revisions or editing done – just the way it was written in the paper and online!

Enjoy Reading a Great Article,

🙂 Pamela

Great restaurant style ribs ~the secret’s in the spice rub!

Astro Pigs BBQ ribs    Astro Pigs chicken   Astro Pigs Rub   Astro Pigs ribs  astro pigs spice

All photos courtesy of Astro Pigs BBQ – BBQ that’s outta this world! Check them out! They have great spice blends too! 🙂   www.astropigs.com

Do you love restaurant-style ribs – y’know, the lip-smackin’, finger-lickin’ soooo good they fall off the bone kind? You can make ribs like that at home ~ the secret’s in the spice rub! J.O. has so many varieties of specialty spices that any of them could be used as spice rubs. Whether you are using chicken thighs or breasts, pork or beef spareribs, you can choose to go sweet, savory, spicy or a combination of all ~ it just depends on the SPICE.

Spice rubs give more intense flavor than a sauce. A BBQ sauce is great added at the end of the cooking process or as a dipping side. All you do is choose your meat, then put some spices together and literally, rub on your meat and let it sit overnight (preferably) or at least 4 hours in the refrigerator. Most rubs include salt which helps to break down the tendons and get the meat ready to become the most tender, most juicy, succulent, lip smackin’, finger-lickin’ goodness you’ve come to expect from a great rib dinner!

A great spice rub to try is the J.O. Rib ‘n Chicken or the J.O. Lumberjack. The J.O. Rib ‘n Chicken is more popular because of its versatility in that it works on chicken, pork, beef, ribs, potatoes and more but the J.O. Lumberjack is still a fun rub to use on meat! It has a great smoky flavor.  Another popular favorite, especially with all the employees here at J.O. Spice, is the J.O. Beef & Poultry Rub! That has a great combination of salt & sweet that works on just about any meat. It was first developed as an addition to the Venison product line but once you try it on pork chops, chicken wings and ribs, you won’t be going back to anything else.

Do you like a little sweet with your meat? Adding granulated sugar to your spice rub gives you that caramelized finger-lickin’, lip-smackin’ taste that you get at all the BBQ establishments. If you are more the spicy aficionado, try coating your wings, ribs or beef in a dose of hot sauce then spice rub your meat and let marinate for a few hours or overnight. The hot sauce gives your spices something to adhere to but just coat it enough to let it soak into the meat (maybe pat down with a towel) making sure it’s not dripping or soaking the meat.  Let the spices do their work to the meat not drip off!

Experiment on your own. J.O. has great seasoning blends that make spice rubs so easy but J.O. also has a wide range of spices that you can buy and combine to get your own taste. J.O. Rosemary is a great spice to combine with J.O. Sea Salt and J.O. Cracked Black Pepper. Sometimes simple is the best way to go! J.O. Garlic Pepper, J.O. Sage and J.O. Cayenne Pepper works together beautifully and then there is the “Peruvian-style” where you combine J.O. Cumin, J.O. Oregano, J.O. Paprika, J.O. Black Pepper, J.O. Sea Salt and 2 tsp of sugar…heaven!

Never underestimate the power of Garlic Crab or Black Crab…that will have the amount of salt you need for the rub and give you a flavor that is the absolute best on chicken wings! Keep in mind that there is a lot of salt in those products because they are designed to be used in steaming crabs but if you love the taste, & have some leftover from your summer crab feasts, don’t be afraid to experiment on your football chicken wing tailgates (I mean you’re drinking beer…like you do when you eat crabs…just saying!)

Who ever thought rubbing meat would become so popular? Grillmasters like those at Astro Pigs already know the secret – it’s time you got in the know as well! It’s all about the spice rub for lip smackin’,  finger lickin’ restaurant style ribs!

Have fun rubbing meat,

🙂 Pamela

A great summer afternoon

beach cutting glasses flip flops basket


Henry James wrote that the two greatest words in the English language were “summer afternoon” and it got me to thinking~ what makes up a great summer afternoon? Is it languishing at a pool party with hamburgers spiced up in Venison Steak Seasoning grilling on the grill? Is it sitting by the Bay while the breeze runs its salty, sweet kiss through your hair, enjoying steamed shrimp and corn on the cob sprinkled with J.O. #1? Maybe its spending the early mornings on a boat catching a great haul and then, later in the afternoon, steaming those crabs with vinegar and J.O. #2?

Maybe a great summer afternoon means you sit on your back porch swing, read the great American novel and munch on some Blue Crab Bay Co. Sea Salt Nuts and CrunchDaddy Popcorn Chesapeake Peanut Crunch!

Does gardening make up a great summer afternoon for you? Love spending hours weeding, mulching and planting? While you are enjoying the fruits of your gardening labor, don’t forget to add the crab lights to your fence, gazebo, or tiki hut to really put you in the summer fun mood!

Brighton_Beach_17_tray__45164_zoomFresh Catch Chip and DipCrab and Rope Spreader

When you are entertaining, think of J.O. Spice for the perfect dishes and kitchen accessories to decorate a picnic or patio table. We have the melamine dishes that are dishwasher safe along with the dip chillers, cutting boards and blue crab round trivets that just add fun to the table. There’s also the Mud Pie crab and rope spreader, crab salt and pepper shakers, crab bottle opener and crab tongs that go so well with the shell server and condiment bowl! Not to mention the crudite dish, pasta bowl and really adorable crab dip set that comes with starfish tongs!

Blue Shell Crab Dip Set with TongsCrab TongsCrab Salt and Pepper Set

What is your idea of a great summer afternoon? Retail therapy in the J.O. store? If you want to personalize a gift, you can! Picture frames, cutting boards and glassware can all be engraved with a special name, nickname or dated so that the memories can make you smile and laugh every time you see it! Let us know and we’ll make your special memories even better!

Enjoy the great summer afternoons and always, always keep them spicy!

Spice is the flavor of life,

🙂 Pamela

Small Business Support!

action shot truck crabby local flavors

We are a proud, family-owned business. We are NOT corporate in any way! We are a small “family” business; there are only 23 of us who provide great customer service (according to our reviews) and we do not succumb to corporate ideas or rules or ways (who has the time to adhere to rules? We are SPICE-LY working here!).  When you need spice, mallets or great crabby decorations, you leave a message on our machine or you get one of the owners on the phone or one of 2 customer service ladies and WE GET YOU WHAT YOU NEED.

There are days when we work long hours because customers ran out of spice at the last minute and their truck delivers today and we are going to live up to the J.O. mission: “Get the customer what they need, when they need it.” That is J.O. Small Business. That is what we do 24-7. And we are incredibly proud of being able to do that since 1945. We have no intention of changing. We work hard to keep the business strong and we appreciate your support of small business!

Crabbing season is upon us and we are hoping for a great one. We are a small business and every sale counts! That is why we do what we do for customers. And customers support us and we appreciate it! We thank our customers by doing all that we can to get them what they need! It’s a mutual win-win. We are very grateful for our wonderful customers – each and every single one!

Thanks for a superb turn out at our Grand Opening, Saturday, April 5, 2014. Next year is our 70th year and we are already planning the party! Thanks for supporting small business! Keep America Strong!

Thanks for Great Customers! Thanks for Small Business! Thanks for SPICE because as you know, spice is the taste of life!

WHEN you need anything – spice, mallets, cutting boards, oyster knives, glasses engraved with crabs or ??? We are here for you!

Spice up your life with J.O.,

🙂 Pamela


Seasoning For All – What’s Your Favorite?

Crab Seasoning in Five Flavors- Experience them all and tell us your favorite!  combo pack

Here at J.O. we have a seasoning for all. We have the garlic for the garlic lovers. We have black pepper blends for the black pepper aficionados. There’s Cajun flavors, blackened, Jerk spice, 3 different wild game blends that go on ANY and EVERY animal and of course, we can spice up crabs, shrimp, rockfish, oysters, scallops, crayfish/crawdads/crawfish, lobster, tilapia, flounder….SEAFOOD!

J.O. #2 is made solely for the steaming of crabs! J.O. #1 is awesome on the table next to the salt and pepper as it is good on EVERYTHING. Aficionado’s take note – black pepper base crab seasoning is the secret inside J.O. Black Crab. There’s the J.O. Garlic Crab and those who like BBQ there is J.O. BBQ Crab Seasoning. We have a seasoning for all – what’s your favorite?

The 3 different wild game blends aren’t just for “wild game” hunters, fishermen and those outdoorsy types. The Venison/Steak/Beef Seasoning in the red label is “SERIOUSLY WICKED GOOD” on hamburgers and turkey burgers. The Beef/Poultry Rub is the one that makes the chicken so happy to be in the oven. Using Beef/Poultry Rub on a pork shoulder and getting it ready to be broasted and then turned into your famous bar-b-que is heaven on a platter and sure to be your favorite?

Never, ever be afraid to combine spices to get your desired taste or exciting new combination. Have you tried the blackened with a little J.O. Garlic Crab? How about the J.O. BBQ Crab and a little of the Beef/Poultry Rub? What about a fun combination of Cajun, lime juice and a pinch of J.O. #1? You just never know what kind of winning invention you are capable of creating in your very own kitchen.

The cool thing about using the J.O. Crab Blends is that they already have the salt that you would use on the meats. Pro chefs are always saying that salt adds the flavor – adding it to your pasta’s water makes the pasta taste better. Rubbing it on meat starts the breakdown of the tendons to make the juices come out and the meat that much more moist.

There is a seasoning for all – what’s your favorite?

Happy Finding your Favorite Blend,

🙂 Pamela

Is it J.O. or…Tell us your SPICE PASSION!

Is it J.O. or…tell us your spice passion? Are you from MD? Do you know your CRAB SPICE? Really know? Do you have a preference between J.O. or the other guys? The SPICE PASSION is incredible! We love it!

This wasn’t even a passionate spice discussion we started but we are sure to blog it! Weigh in and let us know your Spice Passion!

This was from a Facebook Post on January 27, 2014…..

Here we go again. Please go over to de Lazy Lizard Bar & Grille, Ocean City and weigh in on this great debate.

First, we bad mouth no company at all. All we do is bring facts to life. We make no false accusations and we don’t take credit where credit isn’t due. Here at J.O. we believe there is a place for everyone in the market place. All we ask is that you educate yourself and give the proper seasoning the recognition it has EARNED since 1945. FACT #1- J.O. Spice was founded in 1945 and has been the original CRAB SEASONING of choice. There are many different blends. You have your J.O. #1 that is good on everything from popcorn, veggies, meat, seafood, crab cakes, and the list goes on. There is J.O. #2 that is formulated for STEAMING CRABS due to the special salt in the formula that adheres to the crab during the crab steaming process. It is the readymade formula. MANY use the other and add all the ingredients to make the all purpose spice a CRAB SEASONING. Not only is this expensive but it isn’t necessary when you can have that same great crab house flavor in your back yard steamers. Please note when you are at a crab establishment ~ does the seasoning look evenly spread over the crabs for a fantastic appearance? When using seasonings that aren’t meant for the steaming process, you will notice your crabs will look as if you put mud on them. EVER notice that?

FACT #2 – In addition to our famous blends we make custom blends for MANY establishments. Many have their own secret family recipes and that is what makes each crab establishment unique. We sign confidentiality statements and that blend becomes their own and can only be purchased through that establishment. MANY have their famous seasoning bottled and private labeled by J.O. Spice.

FACT #3- Many are cost conscious due to the economy. We offer economy blends that some establishments choose. What we won’t do is jeopardize our families’ recipes by using anything other than the finest ingredients when making our house blends. This is why we offer options.

FACT #4- Not only do we supply the finest establishments with their seasonings and spices, we also have everything that goes along with the crab eating experience. Custom laser engraved mallets are VERY FAMOUS. We employ several companies in the USA to make this process happen and we own our own state of the art engravers. Our graphic designers can bring your ideas to life on a mallet making your crab event personal and fun. In addition to mallets we have crab paper, crab pots, crab paper towel holders, crab knives- plastic, stainless, and wood handled that can be personalized, crab bags, crab boxes, crab jewelry, crab decor…… this names only a few of our crabby items. What we don’t have….. a crabby staff! You will get personalized friendly service from start to finish no matter how small or big your order is. You will get the honesty you deserve! Many customers have become friends. We are grateful for each of you!

What is J.O. Spice…seems to be the common question for those who think what they are eating is the “other spice” when they go to a seafood establishment or crab carryout. They swear the Maryland way is OB. They couldn’t imagine anything other. THEN….. you ask them the question after they go on and on and on with their OB loyalty ( this I question?) ” Where is your favorite place to eat crabs when you eat them outside of your own home?” They name off several establishments which always brings a smile to my face BECAUSE they have named all the establishments that we have been serving for years. That is the AHA moment many have!!! I love to hear how Maryland is the only place that does crabs right because of OB and then the Maryland Magazine addition of best crab establishments is published and almost all who make the top ten are J.O. users and the few who aren’t use a generic mock up that still isn’t OB!

J.O. is made and manufactured in Baltimore, Maryland. YES…..right here in Baltimore! It is currently being operated by the third generation with the fourth in college getting their degrees so they can decide if the spicy life is for them. They work at J.O. during their breaks but they will earn the right to go into management. It won’t be given to them because of their last name. We are a working class family who loves what J.O. established. It is a great honor to expand on his dreams bringing our own unique touches to the business. I love to sit back and read the FACTS of the current leading seasonings that are on the market! All I ask is that before any of you make accusations you find out the facts. False rumors are spread with here say. I would be happy to educate you the way I was twenty five years ago. YES, twenty five years ago if you would have asked me OB or J.O., I would have said OB. Can you believe that? Well, it is true and this is how it happened. I met a man who liked my name, Ginger, and he told me I was destined to be his because his family was in the spice business and my name is a spice. He proceeded to ask if I ate crabs. DO I EAT CRABS??? That seemed like a stupid question. I am from Maryland, not only did I eat crabs but I swore they were steamed with OB!!! I asked him if his family owned OB….it was currently owned by Baltimore Spice at the time. It was later sold to the current company. He laughed and told me it was J.O. I told him he was crazy. I was that loyal to a brand when I too didn’t have all the facts. I would have nothing to do with him and his made up seasoning. I called the marina, where I learned to pick a crab all those years ago on my grandparents boat, and asked them, “What seasoning do you use when steaming crabs ( I couldn’t ask my grandparents because they were no longer with me but I held the memory of crab picking near and dear to my heart)?”  To my surprise….. the answer was a FAMILY OWNED AND OPERATED BUSINESS IN BALTIMORE and the name was and is J.O. SPICE!

That’s my story…… when, where, and who educated you on how crabs are steamed the MARYLAND WAY?

Keeping it spicy while I educate one at a time ~Ginger

Wedding & Event Favors ~ winner of the knot!

Best of Knot

We won the knot best of weddings favors for 2014 (and 2013!). We want to sincerely thank you all for that most prized honor. We love what we do and it’s because of you that we can continue to do that! We LOVE LOVE LOVE taking the stress out of your wedding favors. We love to create and personalize great gifts for your wedding and event favors. Now, we have so much more to offer ~ especially since we’ve expanded! Do you have a wedding in the future? How about a special crab or BBQ feast? We are available – we can customize spice packets, mallets, cutting boards, glasses, oyster knives, paring knives….my goodness, this list could go on and on! What do you need on your personalized wedding and event favor?

                       FROM GINGER ~ “THANK YOU ALL for allowing us to be a part of your special day. The Best of the Knot for 2013 & 2014. It is an honor. We LOVE what we do…… personalized favors with personalized service.  

~Who is looking for a great personalized gift? Mallets, Crab knives, Oyster Knives, Cutting Boards, Glassware, Picture Frames, & More….

~Contact jospiceginger@yahoo.com for your personal consultation. Tell me what you are looking for and I will bring your ideas to life with my talented team of designers.

~Thanks again for another great year!

                        Keeping it personalized & spicy~Ginger”

  • Having a spicy backyard BBQ party event? We have SPICE, awesome plates on sale in our store, Sportula’s for the grill, tablecloths, Koozies to keep the beer, soda and bottled water cold, potholders, glasses that you can ENGRAVE, cutting boards that you can PERSONALIZE, and more!

Engraved Glassware_twitter

  • Got a crab feast event coming up? Got spice, tongs, steamer pots, knives, bibs, bushel baskets and gloves? WE DO! How about decorations like authentic fish netting, fun, crabby wall decor, shirts, mallets that we can ENGRAVE, PERSONALIZE, CUSTOMIZE to your specs! You just have to give us a call or send us a request on our personalizedcrabmallets.com website.
  • Planning a wedding? Need a fun, unique, awesome, great, (you supply the adjective) Personalized Favor? You have come to the right spicy website! If you dream it, we can engrave it*! We LOVE to personalize the spice bottle of your choice – Seafood, Blackened, Steak – with a customized label that has your wedding colors, your favorite saying or recipe, your picture, your theme, YOUR ideas…it makes it special for your guests because it’s all YOUR IDEAS! *Some restrictions apply!

Whether it’s a special birthday party, a themed baby shower, from the 1st to your 95th wedding anniversary, whatever event you are celebrating, a personalized favor is the way to go.

Take the stress out of your favors ~ let J.O. ENGRAVE CUSTOMIZE PERSONALIZE for you,

🙂 Pamela


J.O. Spice is More than Spice!

new store in progress2 new products new store

J.O. Spice is More than Spice! It’s evolving, EXPANDING, and ever-changing which is a great thing when you have an unstable environmental factor. We will always have the BEST Seafood Seasoning and the GREATEST Crab Seasoning that spices up more than crabs and seafood. Have you tried it on your fried chicken? How about your potato salad? There’s a delicious shrimp salad recipe on the website! J.O. #1 and J.O. #2 works on EVERYTHING and that will never change! But the J.O. Family wants to stay around for another 68 years (and counting) so great, new and fun changes are happening!

The *NEW* retail store is the epitome of More than Spice! Hand-painted artistic AMERICAN-made signage, mugs, T-shirts, great gift ideas: pre-printed oyster and paring knives, cutting boards and of course, mallets are readily available. You can also customize those great gift ideas with your favorite quote, restaurant logo, picture, saying or whatever your imagination comes up with ~ just give us a call 410.247.5205! There are new items arriving everyday – have you stopped in or shopped the new online store?

More than Spice means that everyone’s budget gets met. From high end chic baby clothes to keychains, koozies and cute melamine dishes that can be used everyday or in a picnic, tailgate or beach setting, everyone who stops in can find something that they need! J.O. is the one stop shop where you can pick up your crab spice, all your crab necessities like crab knives, gloves, bushel boxes, baskets, bibs, picks, tongs and steamer pots and while you are waiting, you can browse the great selection of shirts, sweatshirts, specialty gourmet food items, potholders, sportulas, garden stakes, jewelry and much, much more. Did you need your gift wrapped? We can do that too! Just keep browsing, we’ll do it on the spot!

The combination of great spice, great customer service, great products is what J.O. started over 68 years ago. His vision remains to this day and with the *NEW* retail store, that vision is continually Expanding with the 3rd and 4th generation. When our crab establishments and watermen hurt, so do we so adding unique crab and coastal themes from small, family-owned Made In America businesses keeps us all busy filling orders and keeps America going!

J.O.’s vision is smiling all over ~ Spicy Dreams are becoming reality  ~ Inspirations keep the dreams alive ~ Personalized Gifts are thoughtful, meaningful and ever-growing to the J.O. product line! More than Spice is more than great customer service, more than excellent seasonings, more than reasonable prices, more than great American-made products, more than crabs – J.O. is an inspiration that whatever you dream…You Can Achieve. Ginger is living proof. Stop in and see her at the *NEW* retail store or “Catch” her at a crab establishment enjoying a wonderful seafood dinner or buy a tshirt and spread the word that SPICE IS NICE!

~Spicy living is fun. 


🙂 Pamela