Yes, we are highlighting two stores in Franklin this week, as the spring weather draws us to here with gusto. The charm, the fairly easy parking, the food, the wonderful boutiques and the architecture all make Franklin the ideal place to eat and shop. Yesterday, we highlighted Scarlett Scales and today, we have Carrie Kinsley of The Zest and Zeal joining us to talk about Savory Spice Shop.
I have always said, if I were stranded on a deserted island, spice would be one of my must-have items. Pardon the pun, but life would be so bland without it! I first wandered into Savory Spice Shop on a crisp November morning when my husband and I were strolling our daughter down Main Street in Franklin. Immediately we were greeted by the warm, friendly staff and the delicious, potent aroma of plentiful spice. It smelled amazing because of the freshness of these quality spices. There are samples for the 430 spices offered and Savory encourages you to taste test to your heart’s content. You simply sprinkle a little spice on your hand, taste, and brush the remaining spice onto the floor. Shopping in Savory is a full-on sensory experience!
I won’t lie: I am a picky consumer. After owning my own retail shop I can be a tough critic, but my experience at Savory really stuck with me. It was fun and informative without being overwhelming, the marketing was thoughtful, and the customer service was fantastic — they are passionate about spice! So when I contacted owner Hollie Rollins, I was delighted she offered to give me a private tour. Her foray into the spice business began with a humble corned beef sandwich. Hollie, an avid home cook, was in pursuit of juniper berries. Her husband David had requested a corned beef sandwich and she wanted to make it as authentic as possible. Since the original recipe calls for juniper berries, she was on a mission to find them. She struck out in the local grocery stores, so she went to the internet and stumbled upon Savory Spice Shop (based out of Denver). She eventually became one of their biggest customers and decided to bring the concept to Nashville. In the summer of 2012, she became a franchise owner opening on Main Street in Franklin. She really wanted it to have that local, neighborhood feel and has done a lovely job making that dream a reality.
These spices are hand-ground and hand-blended. Real people put care into the products, not machines. There are no preservatives or MSG, gluten is only found in two products, and everything is non-GMO. The spices are so fresh because they are ordered on a weekly basis and hand-ground in small batches, depending on what the store orders for the week. Unlike the spices in most people’s cabinets, nothing sits on the shelf as it is sold and then replaced weekly. Take a look at their bay leaves and you will be shocked. I thought bay leaves were supposed to be a brownish color — wrong! Savory’s are vibrant and green, as they should be. The spices themselves are carefully sourced from around the world by the company’s founders who make quality a top priority.
You might assume the price would be high for a superior product but their pricing is quite competitive. When I was in the shop recently, Chris (who’s one of the staff) showed me a sample of their oregano compared to a well-known organic brand sold through grocery stores. The grocery brand contains unnecessary seeds, was brownish in color, and the smell was dull compared to Savory’s version, yet the grocery brand was $5.39 for a ¾ ounce jar and Savory charges $3.15 for 1 ounce.
The shop is divided into areas such as: BBQ and Rubs, Local Offerings, Blends, Cocoas, Herbs, Exotic, Curry, Baking, Extracts, Chiles and so much more. There is something for everyone — foodies, clean eaters, bakers, and people who may not do a lot of cooking but are looking for some simple blends to add a new twist to their meals. Customers can buy a large jar (16 ounces) or purchase as little as 1 ounce at a time. I love having that option because it saves me the worry of a spice going bad that I know I may only use a few times a year. (Just to touch on shelf life, Savory says spices last 12 – 18 months, except for cinnamon which lasts six months.)
Savory Spice Shop would be a great place for private events or a girls’ night out and they offer new classes throughout the year. I recently attended a fun and interactive class on various salts and peppers —Hollie and Chris were an informative, yet lighthearted team. There are tons of great gift packages for the novice cook, college student, accomplished chef, and enthusiastic foodie alike. They are offering a recycling program during the month of March. Bring in your old spices and receive a dollar for each jar to use toward your purchase. How long have some of those jars been hiding in the back of your cupboard? What a wonderful way to restock your spice cabinet and treat yourself to quality and unique spices!
Thank you, Carrie!
For more about Savory Spice Shop: www.savoryspiceshop.com
Jaime Reid is a dietitian/nutritionist, advocate of “real” foods, and mother of a toddler. Carrie Kinsley is a former teacher, wine shop owner turned work-from-home entrepreneur and new mom. They are also sisters, and together they write Zest & Zeal, a lifestyle blog about balanced, healthy, (and fun!) living. For more information about clean eating and for healthy lifestyle tips and recipes, be sure to check out: www.thezestandzeal.com.