‘Tastes great on everything but cake’ Scott’s step into semi-retirement with Season Everything

Jill Meier, Journal editor

Brenda and Paul Scott, Rural Valley Springs, are working to bring Season Everything to store shelves. They are currently on shelves in 12 stores, including Brandon Ace.



 rural Valley Springs couple is stepping into semi-retirement as they grow a side business based on a decades-old family recipe.

After frying up burgers and smoking brisket for the last 17 years in their small-town café and bar in neighboring Hills, Minn., Brenda and Paul Scott are parting ways with the business. But their transition into retirement will be in baby step increments as they ramp up their next venture, Season Everything.

The name largely says it all. It’s a seasoning that tastes great on just about everything, except cake. At least, that’s the opinion of the Scott’s own kids.

“This is our fun money, our semi-retirement plan,” Brenda says.

The seasoning was first concocted by Brenda’s uncle, and has proved to withstand the test of time.

“I’m 63 and I remember as a teenager if you’re lucky, you got a bottle of it from my uncle,” she said. “I think we got one for our wedding 45 years ago, and that was a big deal.”

When the Scott’s took ownership of Hidden Hills Café 17 years ago, they began using the seasoning in their daily dishes. Eventually, her uncle gave his blessing to rename the seasoning to “Hills Seasoning.”

Soon after, customers began requesting the seasoning to take home to their own kitchens, and eventually, her uncle shared the recipe to keep up with the growing demand.

The couple tweaked the seasoning recipe, removing over a third – or about 40 percent – of salt from the recipe. They also cut down on the sugar and adapted it to modern tastes.

When the COVID-19 pandemic infiltrated the Midwest, it took a toll on the small-town café, and led Brenda to establish the sideline business to get the seasoning on store shelves. One of those shelves is Brandon ACE Hardware.

“I had time to work on how we wanted to work towards retailing it,” Brenda said. With the process, the labeling and the rules, I just never had time to think about it. During COVID, I had time to design the labels.”

There are a variety of labels from which customers can choose. They can be personalized for gift purposes and some feature witty quotes, which Brenda said, appeals to gift-givers.

Brenda says Season Everything honestly goes great on almost everything, from meats and vegetables to salads and snacks. It’s also an excellent meat rub for smoking and grilling, and perks up reheated meats to that fresh-off-the-grill taste.

Season Everything also serves as a great base ingredient for a variety of time-tested recipes, such as Chex Mix. Scott said their seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and butter are the perfect combination for the munchable treat. The recipe for party mix and seasoned saltines can be found on their website, seasoneverything.online.

“Once people try it, they like it,” Brenda said. “They’ll buy a little bottle and then they’ll come back and buy a big one.

Production for the seasoning first began in the Scott’s home kitchen. They’ve since devoted their sunroom to the business. 

“This isn’t a product that can spoil or has to be refrigerated,” she said.

Brenda compares Season Everything to Lowrey’s seasoning salt, which is a more turmeric-based seasoning.

“Ours is not overly sweet,” she says. “Some seasoning when you try them it tastes great because they’re sweet. Most of us all like sweet … but I took a lot of salt out of it just because most of us have tried to cut out more salt or we’re not used to things being so salty as they were 50 years ago.”

And while the bottle lists the ingredients, Brenda says not all of the spices are listed.

“You list the big things,” she said.

The Scott’s encourage customers to first try a bite of meat or vegetable without the seasoning and then a bit eor two with Season Everything sprinkled on it.

“They’ll see how it enhances the flavor,” she said,without overtaking the food taste.

Take avacados for example. Scott said avocado plain isn’t that appealing.

“But you sprinkle a little of this on there and it’s a game-changer,” she said.

Cucumbers and tomatoes are also enhanced by the seasoning.

Brenda also boasts how the seasoning made her a two-time winner in a meat grilling contest.

“It was just pork butt and my seasoning,” she says, revealing her award-winning recipe.

Season Everything is available in two sizes, 3.4-ounce and 12-ounce bottles. It can also be purchased in refill bags at a discounted price.

While Brenda and Paul will manage the business for now, they envision passing on the recipe – and the business – one day to their children and their families.

“My daughter, son-in-law and even the grandkids pitch in,” she said. “So, it will continue on in my family forever.”


The Brandon Valley Journal


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