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What's up with Spice Corner?

barryg Apr 10, 2010 04:46 PM

Spice Corner in the Italian Market has been closed since January with the a sign on the door:

"Still in catch-22 with the city but I'll be back soon" (see attached photo)

Anyone know what's going on? This was my go-to place for spices. Does anywhere else have the low prices and high quality of Spice Corner?

  1. Delucacheesemonger Apr 10, 2010 06:10 PM

    l use Head Nut in Ardmore, many have posted they feel the people are rude, but l have had no problem. If you get to Manhattan try to hit Kalustyan on Lex in the high 20's. You will be blown away at the variety. Prices have increased there, burt you should experience it at least once, then go to 2nd St Deli for lunch on 33rd.

    1. c
      Chefpaulo Apr 11, 2010 05:57 AM

      There is (or was) a really comprehensive coffee and spice vendor in the Strafford Farmer's Market in Wayne. Years ago, it was run by Bill Drinkwater. He sold the business to a new owner but I haven't been back in a while.

      1. b
        Buckethead Apr 11, 2010 08:27 AM

        the Spice Terminal at the Reading Terminal Market is good too.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Buckethead
          mazza3 Apr 12, 2010 08:14 AM

          that is where i go when i don't go to the spice corner....

        2. d
          drjane Apr 12, 2010 07:39 AM

          There's a small spice store on 9th St on the east side (opposite side from Spice Corner) and a block or so south--a more limited selection but the products they sell are good quality.

          1. m
            micreynolds Apr 12, 2010 07:45 AM

            I saw a sign the other day that mentioned after easter they would be opening up. I usually walk by on my way home from work, I'll get an update when I walk past today.

            1. a
              ANT1008 Jun 8, 2010 08:38 AM

              Went there during the Italian Festival in May. Still not open. Does anyone have any updates?

              1 Reply
              1. re: ANT1008
                barryg Jun 8, 2010 09:27 AM

                The city wants them to get a restaurant license, they are fighting it. See my post here:

              2. n
                naneharvey Jun 18, 2010 08:36 PM

                Essene natural market @ 4th and Monroe has bulk spices. Most of their stuff is expensive, but the spices end up being quite cheap and they seem fresh -- pungent aromas.

                1. s
                  saucyknave Jun 21, 2010 07:03 AM

                  Penzy's opened in Chestnut Hill a few years ago. They have a great variety of spices and herbs. They do not have, as the Spice Corner does/did other specialty items. You can get jars or pre packaged "bulk" in small amounts.

                  Also, Weaver's Way coop, now open in Chestnut Hill (former Caruso's site) as well as the original Greene & Carpenter La site, carries Frontier brand spices in a much more limited variety.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: saucyknave
                    sommrluv Jun 21, 2010 07:11 AM

                    I haven't shopped here, but they have a website and you can order online.


                    I'm assuming the reason they won't get a license is cost? Or is the facilities required.

                    1. re: sommrluv
                      sommrluv Jun 21, 2010 07:16 AM

                      Their prices don't seem that great to me (except for beans). But I buy my spices in bulk and vacuum seal additional quanities and buy whole whenever possible. I have been really happy with www.bulkfoods.com and www.spicebarn.com, but spice barn was superior.

                  2. b
                    barryg Jun 21, 2010 07:56 AM

                    It re-opened yesterday. I spoke with the owner. Some of the info in my previous post (on a different thread I think) is not quite right. Basically, they required her to get a bunch of new licenses and put in some new equipment. She is also no longer making peanut butter as that would count as "manufacturing" and require a whole other set of licenses and inspections. The reason for the long closure is the difficulty in sorting all the necessary paperwork and then getting inspectors to actually come down and approve her to reopen.

                    Sonny D'Angelo is having similar problems with L&I as he makes his own sausages. He is also apparently having zoning issues (how long has he been in that location?). From what I am hearing, the city is really shaking down these merchants. We're lucky they don't just pack it in and move to the 'burbs or Jersey. How it makes sense to shake down merchants so they close for months and generate no tax revenue is beyond me. Penny-wise, pound foolish if you ask me.

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