Even before he started Johnny’s Fine Foods in the 1950’s, Johnny Meaker already had a reputation for providing that something special on the dinner table. Whether it was his famous dry rub for meats or fine seasonings for the grill, Johnny knew what it took to spice up a normal cut of meat.
As a boy, Johnny grew up in the footsteps of his father, a butcher who brought his family to the United States from England, and who was always looking for a way to provide that same something special for his customers. Johnny grew up near the docks of Seattle, not far from what is now the famous Pike Place Market, learning the ropes of the food business from his father. Even at an early age, Johnny developed a love for flavors. Johnny knew that just the right amount of spice could turn an ordinary cut of meat into an extraordinary meal. He’d spend hours combining ingredients to come up with the right spice for whatever recipe he could get his hands on.
Johnny used that passion for flavor to open Crawford’s Sea Grill in 1940, where he used his unique blend of spices and seasonings to wow his customers, who kept coming back for more of that somethin’ special they couldn’t get anywhere else. Business got so hot that in 1950, Johnny opened a second Crawford’s, then yet another restaurant called Johnny’s Dock in nearby Tacoma.
It seemed like every customer who Johnny would visit with during supper at the restaurant would ask what that unique flavor was in their meal. Johnny would always just give a wry little smile and reply, “Just a little something special.”
So, in 1956, after dreaming of a way to share those amazing flavors with people all over the country, Johnny took that “something special” and created Johnny’s Original Seasoned Salt and a whole slew of other fine seasonings and spices. And the rest, as they say, is history. Johnny’s Fine Foods now grace millions of kitchen tables and spice cupboards all over the world, bringing a little something special to families, several decades after the dream that started it all.