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Colonel De Stewart, Herbs & Spices Business Owner, Dies

Colonel De Stewart, founder of Colonel De Herbs & Spices, died early Thursday morning from an apparent heart attack in his Fort Thomas home.

He was 71.

“It is with great sadness that we announce that The Colonel De Stewart, founder of Colonel De Gourmet Herbs and Spices, passed away of an apparent heart attack in his home in Fort Thomas early this morning," a statement from the business read. "The entire Colonel De family mourns this loss. On behalf of Colonel's employees and dear friends, we extend our deepest sympathies to his family. Colonel was a larger-than-life figure who brought his remarkable passion, experience and energy to everything he touched.”

“It with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Colonel De," said his wife of 14 years, Susan “Mrs. Colonel” Stewart, who co-founded the business with Stewart. "We have suffered a major loss. Our family, friends, and customers will have a huge void because De was larger-than-life.”

His joy was spending time with his son, Ashley, daughter-n-law, Christi, and beloved grandchildren, a statement said.

He and Susan also spent many countless hours on their patio drinking bourbon with their rescue dog, Cinnamon. The Stewarts moved to their home on Grand Avenue in Fort Thomas in 2007.

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

The family said that the business would continue.  

It 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, the Stewarts used two card tables and fifteen products to launch the business at local farmers markets.

Colonel De Gourmet Herbs & Spices now has stores in Historic Findlay Market, Jungle Jim's at Eastgate, and now operates a main office, teaching and production kitchen in Ft. Thomas. 

In July of last year,  Colonel De expanded his brand with Colonel’s Gourmet Events, and in May 2018, Colonel De opened his first farm-to-table restaurant, Colonel’s Kitchen.

Funeral arrangements are pending and will be announced as soon as possible, the family said.

-Staff report

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