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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

07/31 - The Worlds of Spice and Sport

We all want to spice up our lives!  Whether it's through playing with the world of spices and discovering new flavors, learning an instrument, how to paint, or pursuing a goal to be a winning sports person.

We have one of the country's leading spice experts teams - Ronit & Shuli Madmone - to tell us their own personal "spice stories" and enlighten us on some unique spices to broaden our culinary repertoire.

With the Olympics in full swing, we thought a few guests to inspire our inner sportsperson would be timely.  We talk to Emily Cocks, an Olympic swimming trial qualifier, who then discovered Triathlon and is a dedicated coach for young athletes.  And finally, we'll hear from Russell Hamby, a professional cyclist turned Napa Running Company manager, and his wife, Keri Hamby, a marathon runner, now firefighter. Be sure to look them up at

So, sit back, enjoy the show, and prepare to be inspired in the kitchen and getting active!

Ronit and Shuli in their store with
their other pasion - their kids!
Ronit and Shuli Madmone
Whole Spice - Oxbow Public Market

Shuli grew up in Israel, his family farming paprika, onion and other spices, drying and grinding them to sell at their spice shop that his brother still runs.

 Ronit’s family came from Morocco, moving to Israel, and her mother stayed true to her Moroccan roots using the aromatic spices in her dishes.
The Daily Grind
They revived their family’s tradition in  2000, starting “Whole Spice” first to sell spices at Farmers’ Markets, sharing their favorite recipes to customers and a growing crowd at their dinner table, then through grocery stores and restaurants.  Next was a website, and soon they were selling all around the country.

In 2008, Ronit and Shuli opened their first retail space at the Oxbow Public Market in Napa offering over 500 spices, herbs, salts and flavored sugars, in bulk glass containers so customers can smell the fresh aromas and taste.

Emily Cocks - Olympic Trial qualifier, Swim Coach, Triathlete

Emily Cocks has enjoyed huge success through her sporting career - as a swimmer in her teens and early 20s, and, after graduating from Albion High School in the Detroit area. She swam for the University of Michigan from 1995 to 2000, was an Olympic Trials qualifier in the 100-meter breaststroke in 1996 and 2000, and was an assistant coach for the University of Illinois-Chicago swim program from 2007 to 2010.

Swimming has been but a third of each competition since she debuted in her new sport at the 2004 Chicago Triathlon.

Cocks — who is sponsored by Rolf Prima Wheels, PowerBar, BlueSeventy, Napa River Velo and Focus Bikes — now competes in eight to 10 triathlons a year, (She’s raced in 44 this day) and trains all over Napa Valley. She often bikes along Silverado Trail and in Pope Valley, swims at Synergy Wellness Center, and runs at Alston and Skyline parks.

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