The family ended up in Baltimore, and Brunn set out looking for work. With his experience in the trade, he was quickly hired at the Baltimore-based McCormick spice company. Unfortunately, three days later, when his lack of English became apparent, he was just as quickly fired. Unable to find another job, Brunn rented a small second-story space opposite Baltimore's Wholesale Fish Market, and went into business for himself. At first, he mixed blends for the pickles and cured meats that were popular in Germany. It wasn't long, however, before Brunn observed the local passion for crabs—which home cooks at that time flavored with their own improvised crab-seasoning spice blends. Brunn thought there might be a market for premixed crab spices, and tested ingredients and proportions until 1940, when he came up with a blend of celery salt, mustard, pepper, bay leaves, cloves, pimento, ginger, mace, cardamom, cinnamon, and paprika that seemed just the ticket.