This Father-Daughter Duo Created an Innovative Spice Cap That Takes All the Mess Out of Cooking

CassCaps give you the exact amount of spices, herbs, and powdered ingredients you're after — no measuring spoons required.

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Photo: CassCaps

Anyone who's made a homemade, zesty paella, a bowl of warming chana masala, or a smoky dry rub for a rack of ribs knows how messy and inefficient the seasoning process can be. On the quest to achieve the perfect balance of spices and a complex flavor profile, you end up dirtying every measuring spoon in the drawer, spilling various powders all over the countertop, and accidentally pouring nearly double the amount of a powerful spice than the recipe called for — nearly ruining the entire dish.

This irksome situation is exactly what Mark LaCasse was dealing with on a daily basis when he was on a bread-making kick some 25 years ago, back when bread machines were the "it" kitchen gadget. "I was making bread every night with my wife, and I said, 'you know, it should be easier to measure this stuff," says Mark. "'I would do this more often if I could just measure the ingredients out [from the jar].'"

Soon enough, Mark — who had co-invented the first consumer pineapple slicer a few years prior — came up with the idea of CassCaps, a spice cap that measures ingredients straight out of the bottle and eliminates the need for measuring spoons entirely. But as a busy entrepreneur, Mark put his idea on the back burner, only going so far as to patent it and create a 3D-printed prototype after he retired about seven years ago. Then in 2020, his daughter Erika graduated from college and decided she wanted to develop her prowess in the business world."I really wanted to do something entrepreneurial, and what better way to get my feet wet than to take my dad's half-baked idea and try to turn it into a reality and bring it to the market?" she says. (

Three spice jars featuring CassCaps
CassCaps

In August, the father-daughter duo officially launched CassCaps on Kickstarter, raising more than $20,000 within the first 48 hours and another $45,000 by the end of the campaign, says Erika. Combined with orders placed after the Kickstarter campaign ended, the founders had raked in nearly $100,000 just in pre-sale orders, she adds.

And it's no wonder the spice caps were an immediate hit. Unlike regular spice containers, which require you to painstakingly shake the cinnamon, for example, out of the jar into a tiny measuring spoon, CassCaps do all the work for you: Just set the switch to a quarter-teaspoon or half-teaspoon, flip the bottle upside down, give it a twist, and watch the perfect amount of spice pour out, says Erika. "There's no mess, no mistakes, and no measuring," she adds.

Mark and Erika didn't forget to work the must-have features of traditional spice caps into the design, either. "Our goal was it could do everything that caps do now but more," says Erika. "You can sprinkle from the top, you can dispense a quarter or a half teaspoon, and you can unscrew it just like any other jar, so it is multipurpose."

While CassCaps fit seamlessly on Morton & Bassett and Penzeys spice jars, there's so much variation in container size that the caps may not fit on every single brand found on grocery store shelves, says Mark. That's why the company only sells its spice caps in sets that come with compatible, dishwasher-safe glass bottles, pre-printed labels with various spice and herb names, and a silicone funnel to make transferring spices a breeze, he explains. Since bottles can be filled over and over again, they also make it worth buying your spices in bulk, which saves you money in the long haul and reduces the number of plastic and glass jars you toss in the recycling bin in a given year.

You can also be confident that whatever ingredients you choose to measure out via CassCaps, they'll always flow through the cap smoothly, as Mark and Erika thoroughly tested the caps with tons of the most popular spices before bringing them to market, she says. TL;DR: Whether you're making a warm loaf of pumpkin bread, a batch of cinnamon buns, or a skillet full of chicken korma (the LaCasse family favorite), you can rely on CassCaps to tackle the flavor department — without overdoing it or skimping on the spices or creating a dozen dirty dishes. (

To score the gadgets, customers can place orders through CassCaps' recently launched e-commerce website. And moving forward, Mark says he's going to pull that bread machine out of storage — after he ends his stint with the keto diet — and put the spice caps to the ultimate test. This time around, it's safe to say his bakes will be smooth sailing.

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