The growth of farmers markets, quality restaurants and upscale grocery stores throughout NJ make it easy to overlook the simple things in life. Namely, a straightforward, no frills place where you can find exactly what you need to make your home-cooked food taste that much more delicious. Thanks to the opening of Savory Spice Shop in Westfield this past November, local residents now have exactly that.
Savory Spice Shop is operated by sisters Jackie Mittelhammer and Becky Solheim. Though the sisters don’t have any formal food training, as self-proclaimed “foodies” they knew that they wanted to open a business that illustrated their passion for food. The sisters might still be bouncing around ideas if Jackie hadn’t come across a Savory Spice Shop while skiing in Colorado. Out of eleven Savory Spice Shops in the U.S., the location in Westfield is the only one in the Northeast. The location in downtown Westfield not only provides the store with ample foot traffic, but also the opportunity to pair up with neighboring businesses Alan’s Orchard and CoolVines on cooking classes and demonstrations.
For anyone who loves food, stepping into Savory Spice Shop is like entering Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory, with temptation around every corner. Spice blends, flavor extracts, chile blends, barbeque rubs, curry blends, and cocoa line the shelves. When vanilla extract is flanked by peppermint, butterscotch, coffee and key lime extracts it’s easy to feel a little giddy. The store allows customers to purchase spices in any amount so people can experiment with unfamiliar products. In the summer, BBQ rubs have proven to be a favorite for people grilling down the shore or looking to give a unique Father’s Day gift. Once the holiday season rolls around people can pick up one of the store’s gift sets or customize their own.
Jackie and Becky see their store as filling a gap, by providing people with something they need, when they need it. They have an excellent understanding of all the spices and are always offering ideas on how to use them. Each spice also has suggestions on the label so you can refer to that once you get home. Customers range from amateur cooks to professional chefs, echoing the sisters’ belief that anyone, with just the right spices, can whip up something delicious.
Savory Spice Shop
138 E. Broad St.
Westfield, NJ 07090
Michelle Stavrou, the Union County regional editor, has hop-scotched across the Garden State, growing up in Bergen County, then moving to Hoboken (after a stop over in Queens) before finally settling in Cranford. After too many years stuck in tiny kitchens Michelle finally has a kitchen that can accommodate multiple batches of cookies. Her husband and her co-workers are probably even more thankful than she is. Michelle’s baking adventures are documented here: http://jerseygirleats.blogspot.com/.