Imagine over a dozen flavored sugars, 30 kinds of tea, 150+ spices, 20 varieties of sea salts, at least 9 varieties of pepper, special blends and more – and you have just imagined yourself into the newly opened Spice and Tea Exchange in Old Town Alexandria.
Normally we don’t write about franchise operations, preferring to focus on locally owned and operated businesses, but the Alexandria store is just the 13th outlet for this Florida based retailer and we couldn’t resist. Besides, they are located right next to my Coldwell Banker office at 320 King St.
Like many good business stories, it starts with two long time friends who have an ‘entrepreneurial itch’. Enter Joy Quinn and Taruna Reddy.
Joy was in Florida on a business trip and, taking advantage of a few free hours, wandered into the Spice and Tea Exchange in St. Augustine.
Not only did she leave laden with spices and sugars and teas, she had all the information for opening a store.
Soon after, Taruna, minding her own IT career, got THE call. Joy said, “let’s do it.” Taruna said ok and that was it. Lucky us!
Whether you are a novice cook or a devotee of Top Chef, the Spice and Tea Exchange is a place to learn and experiment.
Because all the spices, sugars and teas can be bought in small (1.5 oz) quantities, it’s a great way to try, say, the Thai Coconut rub on chicken or pork. For seafood there is the Teriyaki Ginger rub or the Northwest Salmon rub.
What about Lime Sugar to rim a margarita class or Espresso Sugar to top a creme brule? And then there is the Black Truffle Salt, the Pinot Salt or the Jalapeno Salt. The possibilities and combinations are endless.
Did I mention the spices? If it’s available, Spice and Tea Exchange will have it. Like Annato Seeds, 5 kinds of Cinnamon, Fenugreek, Hibiscus Flower, and the list goes on . . .
Round out your shopping with nutmeg graters, tea infusers, pepper mills and more.
The motto of the Spice and Tea Exchange – freshness and variety – is evident the moment you walk in the door. This is absolutely one of our new favorite places and we think it will be one of yours too.