We had the good fortune of connecting with Tim Colby and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tim, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Well it was a pretty simple idea really. I’ve always loved cooking for others. When I cook for people, it’s more than just a dish or a meal, it’s an opportunity for me to share what I love with everyone at the table. Starting this business was a way for me to extend that reach beyond the table and share what I love at people’s tables all over.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
After 16 years in the restaurant world I was getting burned out in the service industry. However, during those years, I developed a few guiding principles for my career progression. High quality Ingredients, Integrity and Transparency in presentation, and Pride in your product. I realized I needed all 3 of these things in a career to be fulfilled. This led me out of the restaurant and into the field. I’ve spent the last 4 years working on an organic farm growing beautiful and delicious organic fruits and vegetables. It was a heck of a learning curve to overcome considering I had no formal training or experience in this area, but when you love what you’re doing it makes it easy to meet the challenge head on. I’ve discovered that loving what you do is far more important in a career than anything else. Starting Timbo’s Spice was the next step in pursuing what I love. Right out of the gate we were committed to sourcing only quality ingredients for our spices and rubs. It took some time and we made conscious decisions to omit ingredients and components that did not reflect Quality, Integrity, and Transparency. It’s a lot of work, but we love it. Now, I get to share what I love with people all over.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Well there’s obviously going to be a lot of food involved. My favorite places though aren’t always just about the food, sometimes it’s about the experience and environment. Let’s start with breakfast. For me going out for breakfast is never going to be a healthy decision, but it’s going to be delicious. I always lean on the savory over the sweet side for breakfast. A few places I would have to take a friend: 1. The Farmhouse- tucked into a tiny little spot in downtown Gilbert, they have the best chipped beef biscuits and gravy I’ve ever had. Biscuits are scratch made and the gravy will have you scraping your plate. 2. Matt’s Big Breakfast- I used to drive out to downtown Phoenix by myself to wait in line and sit down at their original location. From the outside there’s nothing that impressive besides the the long lines. The menu is simple but where they really steal the show for me is the quality ingredients. You can taste the difference in their eggs, their bacon and sausage, and they even use local coffee. I could sit there eating all day if my stomach allowed it. 3. Morning Glory Cafe- there are not too many places where you can watch and hear the chickens that likely laid your breakfast not long before. The Farm at South Mountain is one of the hidden jewels here in the Valley. As soon as you enter the property you’re greeted with a huge pecan grove. A short stroll leads you to an adorable patio where you can enjoy fresh juice (or mimosas) and walk around the small farm property where many of the ingredients in your meal are growing. Dinner. Three places are must visits for me. 1. If you are still lingering after brunch at Morning Glory, just stick around because at the back of the property sits a old little house with a simple wooden sign out front that says, “Quiessence”. This place is the definition of farm to table. Chef Dustin Christofolo leads a team a talented culinary craftsmen and put out multi course meals that will introduce you to amazing new food and flavors you never knew you were missing. The ambiance and service are top notch and I love many of the local AZ wine pairings with the various courses. 2. Binkley’s- hands down, the 2 best meals I ever had were my two visits to Binkleys. Calling it a “meal” though doesn’t do it justice. It is more of culinary journey full of dozens of delicious and spontaneous pit stops. My first meal here defined my career values in food and gave me a clear direction for what matters. Not that I may ever attain what Chef Kevin Binkley is doing but the caliber of his product is so unwaveringly high it’s quite literally breath-taking. 3. Shimogamo- I don’t care if you don’t like sushi. You need to eat here and go in with an open mind. Although sushi is the main draw here, this is a full, authentic Japanese kitchen. Chef Sanae Otomo (Mama-san as I know her) brings traditional technique and service to an unassuming little hole-in-the-wall place in Chandler a quarter mile from where I grew up. If you are unsure, just go there and tell them you would love the chef to recommend there dishes for the evening. You will certainly try things you’ve never tasted and you won’t regret it. Shimogamo is the plumbline for measuring sushi and Japanese food for everywhere else I have ever tried it. So far, none have surpassed it. More recently, their daughter and her husband have begun working there and they have brought some serious credentials of their own. Chef Daisuke and Sommelier Mika did what I didn’t think was possible. They took something perfect and made it even better. Now it’s not just amazing traditional Japanese food, it’s World class with sake pairings that will blow your mind. Ok now that we’ve consumed a billion calories from these places I suppose some outdoor activity is in order. Arizona has such a versatile topography, it would be a shame if you didn’t see some of it. A couple hikes I would do would be the West Fork trail in Oak Creek Canyon and the Flat Iron trail in the Superstitions. For a great nightcap(s) I like to visit AZ88, Sidebar, or Citizen Public House. Coffee you ask? Look no further than Peixoto in Chandler. Where Quiessence was the epitome of farm to table, Peixoto is the gold standard for Crop to Cup. A family owned coffee plantation in Brazil grows, harvests, transports, and roasts their coffee right here. Seriously?! How lucky are we?! I love taking amateur coffee drinkers here and letting their coffee masters craft the perfect cup of coffee that will surely ruin all other coffee for them forever. Last must visit place is Arizona Wilderness. By now you’ve eaten at some of the best places Arizona has the offer, now you can literally taste Arizona. Arizona Wilderness sources and forages ingredients from (ready for it?), the Arizona wilderness. Smells and aromas you discover when exploring the outdoors in Arizona can be found in a pint of beer here. And if you don’t take my word for it, they won an award a year after their inception for the best new brewery in the world. Yes, the world. They are blazing a trail and their beers are pushing the limits of what we know beer to be. Get a couple flights and enjoy the ride. Oh, and if that isn’t enough to get you there, they source from over 20 local farms for their ingredients for the beer and their food menu. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have to name two people. First, my wife Rebecca has been pushing me to start the business for a couple years now. She’s has been my number one fan and with her help behind the scenes she’s helped make this a reality. This business would not run without her. Second, my older brother Joey. Although I believe our products are top notch, it would never really end up in anyone’s kitchen without the branding and design work Joey has done. His talent has given us a brand that stands out among other products and his own culinary prowess was a big part of me starting to cook at a young age.
Rebecca Brazeal- wife Chef Andres Jimenez- collaborator for Adobo Spice