After losing a job in corporate America in 1996, Tom Knibbs knew he had to make a change. Raised in creative culinary environment, Tom was taught to cook at a young age- to experiment and to try everything with a open mind. Inspired by seasons of homemade holiday gifts he and his partner Jim Dygas created for friends and family, Tom decided to try his hand at blending spices from around the world. Frustrated by a lack of creativity in the spice aisle, In a small kitchen on the North Side of the city, Tom Knibbs and Jim Dygas experimented with flavor pairings, blending spices from every region of the world to create interesting blends, with interesting names to share with their friends. Knibbs paired his culinary creativity with Dygas’ accomplished graphic design skills to create the original line of 12 blend in stunning glass bottles.
A lot has changed for Urban Accents since the early days in that small kitchen. A company that began with five original spice blends now produces over 150 gourmet products that line the shelves of the nation’s top retailers. While spice blends are still the trademark product of Urban Accents, the company now offers a complete line of grilling rubs, seasoned sea salts, creative pancake mixes and a wide assortment of fall feasting and brining items for seasonal cheer. Winners of multiple NASFT awards and featured in Better Homes and Gardens for a variety of products, Urban Accents has earned a reputation as one of the leaders of the specialty food world.
Celebrating over 15 yearsin business, currently residing in 30,000 Square feet in the Ravenswood neighborhood of the Windy City, Tom and Jim have been able to share their favorite flavor combinations with more than just their circle of friends. While the company’s expansion and the product line’s growth mark the evolution of Urban Accents, one aspect has remained the same since the company’s founding: the commitment to deliver products made from the finest all natural ingredients while consistently offering outstanding customer service.
The philosophy behind Urban Accents is simple: life should be a celebration of good food, good friends and good times. While this celebration should be endless, spending time in the kitchen or planning a party may seem too much after a week in the office or taking care of the kids at home. That’s why Tom and Jim create easy-to-use products for simple meal solutions and entertaining ideas. The party should be healthy, too. That’s why they stress the importance of all-natural, gluten free, msg free ingredients in their bold kitchen blends. With a product line that continues to grow, expect to find only the freshest tastes behind the company label.
At Urban Accents, everyone is dedicated to helping customers savor life a little more, with a little less hassle. Relax. Smile. Cook. Eat.