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Oct 5, 2007 11:16 PM

Loose/Bulk Spices in Santa Clara co. / Sunnyvale area?

Just about all of the ethnic stores around here carry spices in the little 2 oz plastic packets-- are there any places in the Sunnyvale/Santa Clara co. area which carry bulk spices in bins? In particular I'm looking for:
black pepper (tellecherry)
star anise
cassia (scratch that; seen some nice big bundles of cassia in a few mexican supermarkets)

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  1. I think Whole Foods has bulk spices, at least they used to.

    5 Replies
    1. re: tristan

      Whole Foods in Cupertino n/a
      Whole Foods in Los Altos n/a
      The closest place I've found to non-yuppie quantities of spices is Bharat Bazaar on Reed Ave in Sunnyvale. They're not bulk spices, but they are enough to last a while.

      Now I'm on a quest to find somewhere that's got bulk dried herbs such as dried oregano. Any suggestions?

      1. re: vprasad

        I get my bulk spices at Whole Foods in Palo Alto. They have jars of spices and a decent selection. Whole Foods in Palo Alto is on Homer (between Emerson and Alma). I know that they have nutmeg and star anise. They have black pepper, but I am not sure what tellecherry is.

        If you find another source of bulk spices in our area, please let me know!

        1. re: hawaii_4me

          "Tellicherry is a higher-grade pepper, made from the largest, ripest 10% of berries from Malabar plants grown on Mount Tellicherry."

          .... but I buy bulk black peppercorns in a plastic jar @ Costco. Good enough quality and remarkably inexpensive.

          1. re: hawaii_4me

            The Palo Alto Whole Foods stopped selling bulk herbs a few months ago, the new Los Altos one never sold them, and Elephant Pharmacy went out of business.

            1. re: FlaSheridn

              One of the problems with old threads is that some things close but then new things open.
              Menlo Park

              771 Santa Cruz Ave
              Menlo Park, CA
              (650) 853-1785

              Mon.-Sat.: 10:00AM - 6:00PM
              Sun.: 9:00AM - 3:00PM

              Penzeys Spices
              771 Santa Cruz Ave, Menlo Park, CA 94025

      2. When I lived in Santa Clara, I bought mine from Kumud Grocery. They came in bigger bags - maybe half pound, or one pound bags. Plus, huge branches of curry leaves for a dollar. Although, I don't remember seeing nutmeg or star anise - maybe 99 Ranch would big bags of those?

        Kumud Grocery
        2039 El, Camino Real Santa Clara, CA

        99 Ranch Market
        10983 N Wolfe Rd, Cupertino, CA

        1. Maybe the best best bet would be to order through the internet:

          It maybe more efficient than driving to all these stores looking for specific spices. Hopefully they will be fresher also.

          I have never ordered from this company. I have seen their ads in food magazines. I have learned a lot about different black peppers by reading their catalog!

          1 Reply
          1. re: hawaii_4me

            I adore Penzeys. They have excellent stuff, and it's cheap. I've never been disappointed by anything I've ordered from them, and I've probably spent $200 there in the last two years.

          2. Elephant Pharmacy in Los Altos (on El Camino) has lots of bulk spices, herbs (including Chinese ones), and tea. Someone else mentioned WF in Palo Alto, which I think has all of the spices you mentioned.

            3 Replies
            1. re: anzu

              The Country Sun store on California Ave in Palo Alto has a very nice selection of bulk spices at a very reasonable prices. I bought clove powder, turmeric,garam masala, and chili powder today. Now I just have to find somewhere that has green mango powder (can you tell I'm starting to cook Indian?).

              They also have a lot of different chocolate bars, FWIW.

              Country Sun Natural Foods
              440 S California Ave, Palo Alto, CA

              1. re: YSZ

                Can you get that at an Indian grocery store?

                1. re: anzu

                  Yes, it is commonly known as "amchoor".

            2. You should be buying your spices from a Indian grocery for sure. There is a big Indian population in your area and the busier stores should have fresh spices for a good price and larger packets than 2oz ers. Probably 50% or more less than Whole foods