Rick, I apologize if anyone who read my post came away thinking I was attacking Dennis. What I was hoping for is that Dennis would add to his web site and to his message board posts statements that he was retailing the genuine spice mixture. I felt that his earlier descriptions didn't make the impact they should have.
I have often posted on this web site about entrepreneurs who start selling a product whose original manufacturer quit production or went bankrupt, or the original manufacturer who brings back a product after it has been out of production for a while. More often than not, the re-introduced product disappoints me. I get especially angry when a manufacturer slaps a dormant brand name on a product originally produced by someone else, and the two are no where near alike. I feel this new producer was deceiving me on purpose. Just a few of the subjects from the last year were Ducane grills, Mother's cookies, Sunshine Hydrox cookies, NoCal soda, Big Shef hamburgers, and Baby Watson cheesecakes.
Then, there is the large amount of hype in the food business. So, I carefully look for weasel words. I once remember an article in a newspaper about high end steakhouses and if they aged their steaks or not. A lot of steak houses indicated they dry aged their steaks on premises. One guy said he used a 'wet aging" process. The writer speculated that the steak house was merely storing their boxed meat in its original Cryovac until older product was cooked for patrons!
I have also bought "Copycat" recipe books. Often, these recipes would call forcommon spices and seasonings available from many different suppliers. While most of these recipes disappointed, I would often get very different results for the same menu item by simply using the same ingredients as produced by different manufacturers. The writers of these books often did not name the manufacturers of the ingredients they used.
What I took away from Dennis' additional posts is that he retailing some (probably the original) foodservice manufacturer's spice mixture as produced over the years for the remaining independent Ollie's restaurants. By him identifying himself as the operations manager of restaurants indicates that at one time he was responsible for the procurement of food and would know who was producing an "original" formula, which would be the one which Lum's restaurants bought after Ollie sold the formula to Lum's.
ADDENDUM: To address the concerns of David O from Wasilla, if the foodservice manufacturer who is still producing the spice mixture put any development effort into the formula, they might have some rights, or it just may be their trade secret. If the company that commissioned the product is gone, kaput, finito, it is a free-for-all. The remaining restauranteurs may benefit from a secondary sales channel. If sales of a product become too low, the foodservice manufacturer will drop the item and let the remaining restauranteurs fend for themselves.
<message edited by David_NYC on Sat, 08/22/09 12:06 PM>