Travel, Spice and Everything Nice

Sometimes… just sometimes, we find ourselves trying to recreate the amazing food we had at that one fancy restaurant 2 weeks ago because we can’t afford to dine in again. Salt and pepper seemed like the first step, but you remember tasting so much more than that. Who, what, when, where and how the heck are we supposed to know to recreate that dish!? I’ve found just the solution to all of your questions!

The Who:

Tucked away along the windy edges of Lake Merritt, sits a cozy little gem called Oaktown Spice Shop. We stumbled upon this place after a rainy breakfast in Oakland, trying to kill time and find a warm place to do so. Oaktown Spice Shop was founded by the spicy couple John Beaver and Erica Perez, in 2011. Aromatic inspiration was drawn from John’s high school years, when he would frequent a local spice shop with his mother. His extensive knowledge of spices, (i.e. where they come from, what they look like, how to use them, etc.) led him and his wife to open Oaktown Spice Shop, where they ground fresh spices and create their own unique blends. Since 2011, Oaktown Spice Shop has been named one of the world’s best spice shops and serves as the spice source for numerous chefs, chocolatiers, restaurants, distillers and candy makers! Talk about grind-mode… literally! 🙂

The What:

Oaktown Spice Shop is a wonderland of hundreds of jars filled with aromatic adventures of their own. Looking to spruce up your boring chicken dinner? Or perhaps, enhance your pantry to look like those on the cooking channel. Maybe you just need to relax! You can find the answer to all of those at Oaktown Spice Shop. As you walk in, you’re immediately hit with a fusion of lemongrass, cumin, pepper and curry, but can’t put your finger on what exactly you’re inhaling. Find yourself floating on a spice cloud through the tables consisting of freshly ground blends & rubs, peppercorns, salts, chiles, teas, herbs and spices. They even have gift boxes available! Feel free to pop the lids on every jar, and let your senses tell the story of each spice.

The When and Where:

Luckily for the NorCal folk, they have two shops to explore in Oakland and Albany, California.

  • 546 Grand Ave. Oakland, CA 94610
  • 1224 Solano Ave. Albany, CA 94706

Both Oaktown Spice Shop hours are below:

  • Monday through Friday: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Saturday through Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

They’re pretty much closed on every major holiday, so it’s best to check your spice cabinet and make sure you have what you need before you get cooking!

The How:

Okay, so now we have all these beautiful spices and knowledge, but how do we use them? If you struggle finding your flow in the kitchen, Oaktown Spice Shop hosts in-store cooking classes and posts recipes on their website! Learn to sprinkle and spice everything nice, or expose yourself to unique culinary techniques and flavors. It all starts at the spice, and Oaktown Spice Shop is your channel to new and improved recipes and tasteful experiences.

Oaktown Spice Shop is so much more than a store that sells spices. It’s a place of inspiration, community and wholesomeness.

Click the photo below to read my blog post and recipe of which spices I chose and used to make my favorite home-cooked meal!

Roasted Chicken and Veggies Recipe

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