Welcome to Vanilla Land

Do you like our new look?

Today we launched our brand-new website: shop, browse, explore new recipes (which include savory uses of vanilla—how about curried duck with vanilla?), get to know our family history, and learn more about vanilla and how flavorings are formulated in our lab.

Raymond Lochhead 1940 vanilla lab, Cook Flavoring Company

Our vanilla factories have always been the talk of their towns. My great-grandfather’s first factory in St. Louis burned to the ground early in the game. Nonetheless, he went out selling, continued to make his vanilla, and soon enough was able to rebuild.

Our current building, on a much-storied corner lot in the middle of wine country (Paso Robles), is also gossiped about and speculated over in our hometown. This morning, someone from Paso Robles posted a photo on Facebook of our familiar, flat-roofed, pink building—with its trademark cursive “L”—ringed by cypress trees, and said: “Does anyone know what this is?”

Madgascar Vanilla, Cook Flavoring Company

It spurred a massive message-board surge, with all our long-time neighbors explaining all about it: that we make the best vanilla in the world; that we bring “a fragrance from another world”; that my grandfather Ray Lochhead is one of the greats.

It was a lovely conversation to “walk in on” this morning, and it reminded me of why we do what we do: yes, as a family we’re obsessed with vanilla. It’s in our blood. All around our small Paso Robles factory you can smell it. And we want to bring that “fragrance from another world,” that vanilla mystique, to your town too.

Here’s to vanilla, the spice that launched a thousand explorers and that continues to inspire the cook in all of us.

gourmet vanilla beans, big vanilla beans, Tonga vanilla beans, Cook Flavoring Company

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