By Brad Stager

Whether your outdoor cooking style is as simple as a few hot dogs and burgers on the grill or a little more ambitious, like a rack of ribs or bacon-wrapped gator with a side of cheddar-stuffed potatoes, SouthShore Spice Co. has everything you need, from spices, sauces and pepper plants to grills, smokers, gourmet woods and more.

Owner Shane Craig’s vision for the business arose out of a cloud of barbecue smoke.

“We were all hanging out, grilling some food out by the pool, and I was like, ‘hey, you know, this is fun; let’s try and do this.’”

That backyard epiphany set Craig and his mother, Pauline, who handles marketing, into action, and SouthShore Spice has been open since December. An official, festive grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, May 18, but just about any day is a celebration of all-things-BBQ, as Craig likes to cook up samples of the food that can be produced with the right gear and ingredients. Tasting the sidewalk cookout results is encouraged, as is sampling any of the spices and sauces that are sold.

Craig added that his store’s location next to Apollo Meats, on Apollo Beach Blvd., just south of US 41 has worked out well.

“We just got lucky with the location,” he says. “Next door to a meat market, that’s awesome!”

For backyard chefs and pitmasters who want to create their own special secret ingredients from scratch, SouthShore Spice sells pepper plants, such as Purple Cayenne and Chocolate Habanero, grown in a high-tech grow booth nursery that has been inspected and registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture. The store also sells hydroponic systems and nutrients for in-home agriculturalists.

Social media is a good way to keep up with special deals and new products. Their Facebook page is The SouthShore Spice Co, and there are also plenty of photos on the Instagram page, thesouthshorespiceco, and on Twitter @SSpiceco.

While his doors have been open for less than a year, Craig is already expanding his business to include outdoor kitchen design and installation. He says it is a natural service to offer SouthShore residents.

SouthShore Spice Co. is located at 228 Apollo Beach Blvd. and you can learn more by visiting online at thesouthshorespiceco.com or calling 922-6325.