Ask an Expert – Is This a Business?
Inc.|October - November 2020
In her 20 years at Inc., Leigh Buchanan has had some time to cook up a few business ideas. She ran one past an expert.

BUCHANAN My kitchen cabinet is full of spices that are years old. I cook a lot, but not often enough to use up the standard 1.5 ounces of paprika, mace, or turmeric before it goes bad. (Old paprika, in particular, is a real downer.)

I’d like to lease spice dispenser units (similar to coffee bean dispensers) to gourmet shops and high-end grocery stores. The units would store whole spices and grind them in tiny increments into small, recyclable bottles. Preprinted peel-and-stick labels next to each spice dispenser would ensure cinnamon is not confused with nutmeg.

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