A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Colonel De Stewart dies suddenly of heart attack at age 71; grew his Herbs & Spices into major brand

De Stewart, founder of Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices, died of an apparent heart attack at his home in Fort Thomas early this morning.

The family announced his passing.

Susan “Mrs. Colonel” Stewart co-founder and loving wife of 14 years, issued the following statement on behalf of Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices:

“It with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of “Colonel” De. We have suffered a major loss. Our family, friends and customers will have a huge void because De was larger-than-life.”

The “Colonel’s” joy was spending time with his son, Ashley, daughter-n-law Christi and beloved grandchildren.

He was all about family, his wife said.

He and Susan spent countless hours on their patio drinking bourbon with their rescue dog, Cinnamon. They moved to their home on Grand Avenue in Fort Thomas in 2007 and loved their community.

Stewart was born on July 22, 1947, in Louisville to the late Kenneth and LaVada Stewart. He was proclaimed an official Kentucky Colonel in 1999.

Colonel’s wife Susan, his son Ashley and daughter-n-law Christi are committed to continuing the legacy of the Colonel and the Colonel brands.

Funeral arrangements are pending and will be announced as soon as possible.

Colonel De’s enterprises all started with a cooking segment on a local Northern Kentucky cable show in 2003. De Stewart, known as “the Businessman Chef” wanted to show how spices and herbs could change the flavor of common foods. Initially, De and his wife, Susan, started with two card tables and 15 products and began selling custom blends at local farmers’ markets. Thirteen years later and hundreds of blends, sauces and gourmet spices, Colonel De is the leading spice purveyor in town. 

Colonel De Gourmet Herbs & Spices has stores in Historic Findlay Market, Jungle Jim’s at Eastgate, and now their World Headquarters, teaching and  Production Kitchen located in Ft. Thomas. In July 2017, Colonel De expanded his brand with Colonel’s Gourmet Events and in May 2018, Colonel De opened his first farm to table restaurant appropriately named Colonel’s Kitchen.

See this Chamber Spotlight on Colonel De:

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