The French Market – from our Downtown Dexter Issue (Oct 16)

Photo – A customer making a selection of spices at The French Market

Cooks from far and wide gather here to survey the more than 350 spices and unlimited mixes arranged on floor-to-ceiling shelves.

Owner Brian Crawford, who also co-owns The Loft just across the street, was inspired to reinvent the former drug store into a modern day cooking extravaganza.

“Most of the shelving and stuff was here when we bought the building,” he said. “Including the old apothecary jars and glass items.”

Folks who visit The French Market find scores of items for cooking and entertaining, including spices lining row after row and displayed along the store’s long walls.

“When I visited Saint Charles, there were these neat spice shops, and I thought that was a great idea for Dexter,” he said. “People like the way we scoop out the spices from the glass containers and place it in metal tins.

Of all his spices offered, Crawford said his Green Bean Seasoning might be his most popular.

“It’s got brown sugar and bacon pieces in it,” he hinted. “A wonderful southern blend of spices that people here really love.”

Despite the vast array, Crawford said he is pleased to discover his store is selling “a little” of all of it.

“It makes for a wonderful place to shop for those who enjoy cooking,” Crawford continued. “We don’t offer just the same four or five spices everybody uses. We are here for everyone. If they need those four or five, they’ll find them here. But what happens when they find spices five and six, or more? That makes us really happy when they find what they need here.”


Written by

Journalist Steve Hankins is the latest addition to the SEMO Times family. Steve is an award-winning writer and a 1999 graduate of Missouri State University at Springfield.He wrote professionally for a number of publications, including The Mississippi Rag, the Nation's Voice for Jazz and Ragtime Music; The Branson Tri-Lakes Daily News; The Jonesboro Arkansas Sun; and the Daily Dunklin Democrat at Kennett, Mo. As a Sun staff writer, Steve was awarded first place by Arkansas Associated Press Managing Editors for a community service series that explored the state's methamphetamine issue. While at Missouri State, Steve earned The Quill and Scroll Award, the sole honor bestowed by the university annually for excellence in journalism. As a student, he served as music editor for The Free Press of the Ozarks, a tabloid newspaper published at Springfield, Mo. Steve earned a bachelor of science in communication with an emphasis in journalism and minored in creative writing while at Missouri State. He is the son of Malden's Lloyd Elmer and Alice Mae Hankins and lives at Malden with wife Angela; nine-year-old twin daughters Emmalee Jane and Alice Ray; and six-year-old daughter Ella Camille.