Summary

Erica and John’s spice-filled journey began in Wisconsin where John spent every day after school working at his local spice shop. Today, the couple has built their very own business from the ground up, Oaktown Spice Shop in Oakland, California, where they share their love for flavorful spices, blends, and dishes with their greater community.

This couple is on a mission to spice up not only your meals, but also your day with their brilliant fresh spices and blends.

While other high schoolers were heading to their after-school sports practices and music lessons, John was heading to the local spice shop down the road. Growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, John worked at The Spice House, where he learned the ins and outs of what a “good” spice looks, tastes, and feels like. He gained knowledge on every spice’s flavor, texture, growing conditions, and ideal consistency. Grinding spices every day taught John about the various oils and flavors that are released when a whole spice is ground. He soon became aware that grocery store spices, that were grounded years before, were incomparable to that of a freshly ground spice. Upon graduation, some may have voted John valedictorian of the spices!

It was not until 2009, that the spice shop crossed John’s mind again. He had just moved out to California with his partner, Erica, and came to the conclusion that it was his calling to open his very own spice shop in the city they now called home, Oakland. Circa 2011, Erica was ready to support her husband’s dream, put a business plan into place, and open up their very own Oaktown Spice Shop. Today, the couple has two stores and are amidst opening up their third. As customers continuously discover the perfect fresh spice or blend, Erica and John watch their dream unfold before their eyes.

John and Erica are proud owners of the Oaktown Spice Shop, based in Oakland, California.

Oaktown’s spices come from all around the world. Spices themselves are agricultural products that can be greatly affected by changes in climate, temperature, and catastrophic weather. A monsoon in one part of the world can affect the global availability and price of a single spice for years to come. As a retail business, Oaktown has had to close their doors at times due to poor and unsafe air quality from local Californian fires.

As Erica and John encounter hardships on their spice filled journey, they remark upon their “amazing, dedicated staff, community, families, and the comfort of a home-cooked meal” that have given them strength and support through it all. They believe that supporting local businesses allows communities to not only rebuild, but grow stronger and thrive as a whole. Moreover, where and what people choose to eat directly impacts one’s community.

John and Erica’s family’s favorite meal is carnitas tacos with lots of dark leafy greens from their at-home garden. Not only does their family enjoy eating healthy meals, but they have found that many of Oaktown’s customers are interested in plant-based diets as well. Erica stated, “Oakland local Bryant Terry's book, 'Afro-Vegan', is consistently a best-selling cookbook in our shop. People are finding such flavorful and exciting ways to cook with vegetables (and spices!).”

Oaktown's spices come from all around the world and make every meal that much more delicious! 

Whether John and Erica are sprinkling freshly ground spices on their own meals, or watching others prepare to do the same, Oaktown has opened doors for community building and healthy eating. From ras el hanout, vadouvan curry, kimchi chili flakes, and so many more, Oaktown's spices truly bring our globally-inspired dishes to life. We admire their commitment to their employees, customers, community, and their craft. And we are so grateful to have Oaktown Spice Shop as one of our trusted partners.

Get meals delivered to your door
We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Jul 22, 2020
 in 
Nutrition
 category.
Summary

Erica and John’s spice-filled journey began in Wisconsin where John spent every day after school working at his local spice shop. Today, the couple has built their very own business from the ground up, Oaktown Spice Shop in Oakland, California, where they share their love for flavorful spices, blends, and dishes with their greater community.

This couple is on a mission to spice up not only your meals, but also your day with their brilliant fresh spices and blends.

While other high schoolers were heading to their after-school sports practices and music lessons, John was heading to the local spice shop down the road. Growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, John worked at The Spice House, where he learned the ins and outs of what a “good” spice looks, tastes, and feels like. He gained knowledge on every spice’s flavor, texture, growing conditions, and ideal consistency. Grinding spices every day taught John about the various oils and flavors that are released when a whole spice is ground. He soon became aware that grocery store spices, that were grounded years before, were incomparable to that of a freshly ground spice. Upon graduation, some may have voted John valedictorian of the spices!

It was not until 2009, that the spice shop crossed John’s mind again. He had just moved out to California with his partner, Erica, and came to the conclusion that it was his calling to open his very own spice shop in the city they now called home, Oakland. Circa 2011, Erica was ready to support her husband’s dream, put a business plan into place, and open up their very own Oaktown Spice Shop. Today, the couple has two stores and are amidst opening up their third. As customers continuously discover the perfect fresh spice or blend, Erica and John watch their dream unfold before their eyes.

John and Erica are proud owners of the Oaktown Spice Shop, based in Oakland, California.

Oaktown’s spices come from all around the world. Spices themselves are agricultural products that can be greatly affected by changes in climate, temperature, and catastrophic weather. A monsoon in one part of the world can affect the global availability and price of a single spice for years to come. As a retail business, Oaktown has had to close their doors at times due to poor and unsafe air quality from local Californian fires.

As Erica and John encounter hardships on their spice filled journey, they remark upon their “amazing, dedicated staff, community, families, and the comfort of a home-cooked meal” that have given them strength and support through it all. They believe that supporting local businesses allows communities to not only rebuild, but grow stronger and thrive as a whole. Moreover, where and what people choose to eat directly impacts one’s community.

John and Erica’s family’s favorite meal is carnitas tacos with lots of dark leafy greens from their at-home garden. Not only does their family enjoy eating healthy meals, but they have found that many of Oaktown’s customers are interested in plant-based diets as well. Erica stated, “Oakland local Bryant Terry's book, 'Afro-Vegan', is consistently a best-selling cookbook in our shop. People are finding such flavorful and exciting ways to cook with vegetables (and spices!).”

Oaktown's spices come from all around the world and make every meal that much more delicious! 

Whether John and Erica are sprinkling freshly ground spices on their own meals, or watching others prepare to do the same, Oaktown has opened doors for community building and healthy eating. From ras el hanout, vadouvan curry, kimchi chili flakes, and so many more, Oaktown's spices truly bring our globally-inspired dishes to life. We admire their commitment to their employees, customers, community, and their craft. And we are so grateful to have Oaktown Spice Shop as one of our trusted partners.

Get meals delivered to your door
We believe eating delicious is crucial to a healthy diet. Each week, our team of chefs design a new menu for what's in season, fresh and flavorful.
TRY THISTLE
Posted 
Jul 22, 2020
 in 
Nutrition
 category.