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Online Spice Stores You Trust??

rehanasv Feb 13, 2008 08:03 AM

Any online spice stores you absolutely LOVE?!?!?!

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  1. sebetti RE: rehanasv Feb 13, 2008 08:18 AM


    Independent Seattle operation with a huge selection, always fresh, and it's owner has been my go-to guy for odd spice requests for years.
    In particular, this place is a godsend if you're working from non-typical recipes, poor translations, or are looking for something that you've never heard of before you found that particular recipe and it has possible different names in the U.S.
    Also, amazing dried chili selection.

    13 Replies
    1. re: sebetti
      mmalmad RE: sebetti Feb 13, 2008 08:21 AM

      Penzey's is great. They also have stores in some areas I always stop in when I am in the Norwalk CT area

      1. re: mmalmad
        Gio RE: mmalmad Feb 13, 2008 08:29 AM

        I use Penzey's also. There's a store a little ways from where I live but I usually shop on line. The taste differential between supermarket herbs and spices and Penzey's is quite noticeable.

        1. re: mmalmad
          sebetti RE: mmalmad Feb 13, 2008 08:40 AM

          I have a Penzy's 15 miles from where I live...and I do go there and appreciate them but I would much rather travel 180 miles north and get my spices at World Spice, when I have the opportunity.

          1. re: sebetti
            Gio RE: sebetti Feb 13, 2008 03:41 PM

            That's interesting. What is it about World Spice that makes them so special? A 180 mile drive is quite a distance.

            1. re: Gio
              sebetti RE: Gio Feb 13, 2008 04:05 PM

              1) Always fresh (lots of traffic)
              2) It's not pre-packaged so you can purchase the amount you want.
              3) Incredible knowledge base (owner). (yes, he wrote a book)
              4) Has hard to find and rare items.
              5) Smells wonderful
              6) Visit the website (worldspice.com); that will help.

              And finally, I don't actually go just to buy spices, I have friends up there so I'm up there several times a year. I'll hold off buying spices if I know I'll going up in the near future.

              If Penzy's is what you have close by, do it, they're fine. But if you want to specifically address the OP's question, it's no contest. World Spice is simply a step (or two or three) above.

              1. re: sebetti
                MsMaryMc RE: sebetti Jun 30, 2008 12:33 AM

                Once I tried World Spice, there was no going back. I live in Seattle, it's true, but it takes a lot to get me to go anywhere near Pike Place Market this time of year (they're right below the Market on Western Avenue). World Spice is worth fighting my way through the tourist hoardes. The quality of their spices is fantastic. Another thing that got my attention was the collection of business cards under the glass on their countertop--it looks like just about every notable local chef and foodie celebrity shops there, too.

                And yes, the store does smell heavenly!

                World Spice Merchants
                1509 Western Ave, Seattle, WA

                1. re: MsMaryMc
                  roxlet RE: MsMaryMc Jun 30, 2008 06:04 AM

                  Talk about "online spice stores you trust." World Spice trusts you! You place an order, and they mail you a bill with your order, and then you mail them a check to pay for the spices you received. Truthfully, I find this a little cumbersome, but I am happy that businesses still exist that trust consumers.

                  1. re: roxlet
                    dagwood RE: roxlet Jul 27, 2009 04:56 PM

                    I just placed an order a couple of weeks ago, and they accept online payments now! Kind of threw me for a loop actually, so I just ended up doing my order old-school (which reminds me I still need to send a check...), but now I know for next time!

            2. re: sebetti
              nliedel RE: sebetti Feb 22, 2008 09:22 AM

              I buy from Penzy's too. Orders always right, customer service is, and the spices are wonderful.

            3. re: mmalmad
              Kelli2006 RE: mmalmad Feb 13, 2008 09:06 AM

              I have been ordering from Penzeys for almost 10 years, and I have yet to be disappointed. They will occasionally slip in a sample of a new spice blend, the spices are always fresh and the price is very reasonable.

              I have visited their brick and mortar stores in Grand Rapids Michigan, and Columbus Ohio, and their employees are always knowledgeable and friendly.

              1. re: mmalmad
                lisa13 RE: mmalmad Feb 25, 2008 06:32 AM

                I like penzey's quality over all, but their spice blends can be hit or miss.

              2. re: sebetti
                rehanasv RE: sebetti Feb 15, 2008 07:40 AM

                So far I have to say, the shopping experience with worldspice has been great! I ordered from both Penzy's and worldspice...and so far world spice is in the lead. Thanks for the help!

                1. re: sebetti
                  dagwood RE: sebetti Mar 19, 2008 08:27 AM

                  Just want to throw my $.02 in for worldspice as well. I've been ordering from them online for years and have never been dissapointed. Fresh, great prices, outstanding customer service. Can't be beat. Their housemade blends are great as well. I try a new one every time I order, particularly their curries.

                2. jgg13 RE: rehanasv Feb 13, 2008 09:14 AM

                  I get almost all of my spices from thespicehouse.com (there is a family relationship w/ penzeys btw).

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: jgg13
                    Civil Bear RE: jgg13 Feb 20, 2008 07:14 PM

                    I'll second TheSpiceHouse.com. They have a better selection and a more maneuverable website than Penzy's and WorldSpice. I have had nothing but good results with TheSpiceBarn too.

                    1. re: Civil Bear
                      weinstein5 RE: Civil Bear Mar 20, 2008 07:52 AM

                      I will add my voice to The Spice House - they too provide kosher spices out of their Milwaukee location -

                      1. re: weinstein5
                        Kelli2006 RE: weinstein5 Mar 20, 2008 10:09 AM

                        I hope that you can forgive any unintended insult or overt ignorance, but what is a kosher spice? I only know a little of kosher law, but how is it possible that plant-based product would not be kosher?


                        1. re: Kelli2006
                          weinstein5 RE: Kelli2006 Mar 20, 2008 06:08 PM

                          no problems - you are right since the majority of spices come from plants they should be kosher the concern comes when a a spice purveyor might use other ingredients as fillers, flavoring agents that might come form non-kosher sources - so a spice purveyor that is under supervision has agreed to only have and use products that are kosher and allow themselves to be inspected -

                  2. r
                    rehanasv RE: rehanasv Feb 13, 2008 09:40 AM

                    Thanks all! I'll be sure to check out penzy's and worldspice.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: rehanasv
                      Snackish RE: rehanasv Mar 27, 2008 03:41 PM

                      Just for reference, it is Penzeys, with 2 Es. And I love them very much.

                    2. thew RE: rehanasv Feb 21, 2008 04:37 AM

                      kalustyan's. I love kalustyans. I must have referenced them in 3 or 4 different topics here in the last 2 weeks


                      i always hear good things about penzey, but the first time i went to their site i wanted to order whole fenugreek, and they only sold it pre-ground. I haven't been back

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: thew
                        LNG212 RE: thew Feb 21, 2008 04:51 AM

                        2nd Kalustyan's. It's a great selection.

                        1. re: LNG212
                          bengoshi RE: LNG212 Feb 23, 2008 07:56 AM

                          third to Kalustyans which is a lot more than a spice store. The home made mango chutney and preserved lemons are awesome, as are the real deal Persian pistachios -- once you tasted those you can't eat californian (go for the "extra salt" version). How lucky am I to work just a few blocks from the store...

                          1. re: bengoshi
                            LNG212 RE: bengoshi Feb 23, 2008 09:28 AM

                            Totally love the store. I'll go looking for one or two things and always end up leaving with a bagful. :)

                            1. re: LNG212
                              thew RE: LNG212 Feb 23, 2008 09:41 AM

                              yeah.. i cant step in there for just something, without leaving with $100 or more worth of stuff

                      2. thew RE: rehanasv Feb 21, 2008 04:44 AM

                        I just wanted to add that the descriptions of spices on penzey's are top notch.

                        1. coney with everything RE: rehanasv Feb 21, 2008 04:52 AM

                          I haven't bought from this store online, but their bricks & mortar store is fantastic. They've been around for a long time


                          1. h
                            Harters RE: rehanasv Feb 21, 2008 07:37 AM

                            Seasoned Pioneers. Absolutely the best quality. Wouldnt go anywhere else for online (but it's rare that my local shops don't have the spices I need.


                            1. Den RE: rehanasv Feb 22, 2008 03:58 AM

                              I've used www.myspicer.com with excellent results

                              1. C. Hamster RE: rehanasv Feb 22, 2008 07:20 AM


                                1. j
                                  jcattles RE: rehanasv Feb 22, 2008 09:33 AM


                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: jcattles
                                    tomblock RE: jcattles Feb 24, 2008 07:21 PM

                                    le sanctuaire is the best no question. they source the best spices from around the world along with various MG products. also they work closely with chefs

                                  2. firecooked RE: rehanasv Feb 25, 2008 07:04 PM

                                    For Chile, you can't get better than Native Seed Search:


                                    1. n
                                      Nancy Berry RE: rehanasv Feb 26, 2008 11:32 PM

                                      I really like Whole Spice in Petaluma, CA. http://www.wholespice.com

                                      They grind their spices to order so they are really fresh and they have a wide collection of incredible spice mixes in addition to their individual spice selection.

                                      Also, to those for whom it is essential, all of their products are kosher -- see the website for the hechsher.

                                      1. nliedel RE: rehanasv Mar 19, 2008 08:03 AM

                                        Heads up. I order from Penzy's about once a month. I buy my spices in small amounts and replenish frequently. Lately I've noticed that Penzy's is taking a long time to ship my orders. Not to get my orders to me, per se, but a long time between when I place the order and when I get the notice that it's sent to me. I ordered spices last Thursday at 8 am and got the notice that it was just shipped today, six days. I get that they do say it can take a while, but it seems to take longer and longer for them to actually ship the order. I ordered a gift for a friend a few weeks ago and it took three weeks to get there. I'm just surprised how long it's taking these days.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: nliedel
                                          C. Hamster RE: nliedel Mar 19, 2008 09:04 AM

                                          Penzey's changed warehouses recently. I guess it was a very big deal. Maybe that had something to do with it.

                                          My recent order came very promptly.

                                        2. RUNNERFEMME RE: rehanasv Mar 19, 2008 08:35 AM

                                          Kalustyan's is king.

                                          1. RUNNERFEMME RE: rehanasv Mar 19, 2008 08:37 AM

                                            Oops - in addition to Kalustyan's, which I ADORE, i love www.tspspices.com their spices are sold in 1tsp packs.

                                            1. nliedel RE: rehanasv Mar 27, 2008 10:52 AM

                                              I'm done with Penzeys. I have an account there with my address in it. I always click to have my spices delivered to my address. I got my last order, but it was misaddressed. The person who got it went through it and eventually brought it here. I am not pleased they went through it and that was NOT Penzey's problem. I did not blame them for someone going through my order. I did e-mail them that the delivery address they printed was incorrect by two numbers, 408 instead of 488. The e-mail I got back pretty much said that was not possible. I would have kept ordering from them if I would have, "Sorry that happened. We'll look into that," instead of, "we printed the slip with the address you gave us." I checked my account and it was the correct address, but the slip was not. Something happened. I don't know what. It was a mistake, I am sure of that, but I was bothered that the reply was so defensive. I didn't want anything, but for the problem to be looked into. I am not of the mind that the customer is always right, but let's look at all sides together, please.

                                              1. l
                                                Lynn Hollenbeck RE: rehanasv Jun 25, 2008 01:52 PM

                                                Since I discovered Smith & Truslow, all other spices seem bland. They are freshly ground and also certified organic and the quality is superb. They come in dark glass bottles to protect against degradation. You keep the jars and pour the re-fills in. Very eco-friendly. Gorgeous website.

                                                1. l
                                                  littlegreenfrog6 RE: rehanasv Jun 29, 2008 12:36 AM

                                                  Pendery's Spices. Especially their chiles, blends, and rubs. Great Selection.

                                                  1. horseshoe RE: dafroof Jul 28, 2009 07:39 PM

                                                    I agree with the Pendery's. It beats Penzey's by a mile. I'm lucky enough to live not too far from both places in DFW. And I go to Pendey's everytime.

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