GRAND AVENUE, WEST OF 580 – February 2015
Hello, Neighbors! Watch this space for monthly news and notes about tasty gems, handy services, art, and changes on Grand Ave., west of 580. – LZ.
Oaktown Spice Shop
“Running your errands can be fun!” says John Beaver, who owns and operates the Oaktown Spice Shop with his wife, Erica Perez. “Shopping should not be a chore. It’s about the experience. Talk to us about your spice questions and get suggestions.” (Even browsing is aromatherapy for the chicken soup soul on a busy day.)
For more fun, John and Erica offer 1 or 2 evening workshops each month where we can “taste and do” to explore spice flavors and properties and stimulate our DIY curiosities. Topics range from simple: exploring spice and cheese pairings; trying different spices in hummus; and exploring the 5th taste – umami; to more exotic: infusion possibilities to make your own bitters; and learning how to make your own sauerkraut, kimchi or other pickled vegetable dish. John and Erica welcome your ideas for other workshops. See the website for up-coming events that are often led by local culinary experts.
If you enjoy the wonderful eating and drinking establishments nearby, you have probably experienced the fresh, great-tasting, high quality culinary herbs and spices available at the Oaktown Spice Shop. Barlago’s bread crumbs, Sidebar’s smoked paprika fries, Penrose’s chiles, the New Easy’s bitters, and menu items at Boot & Shoe Service, Camino, and Shakewell all use herbs and spices from the Oaktown Spice Shop.
Although whole seeds can last for years, you should consume your ground spices within 6 months to maintain their quality. The Oaktown Spice Shop does its own grinding and blending to ensure freshness and quality and will sell you ground spices in very small quantities.
Looking for an uncommon gift? Check out items at the store’s website that include a Lake Merritt BBQ Gift Box, a New Persian Cookbook Gift Box, a Wedding Spice Chest, a Tonic Water Kit, and much more. Gift boxes also include recipe suggestions. Or drop in for advice and suggestions of what to combine to suit the tastes and cooking habits of your gift recipients.
John and Erica opened their shop 3 years ago, shortly after moving here from Wisconsin, and have been delighted by the welcome of residents and business owners in the neighborhood, in Oakland, and in the Bay Area. In April, the Oaktown Spice Shop will move to a larger site between Barlago’s and Sidebar.
Tuesday – Friday 11 to 7
Saturday 10 to 5
Sunday 12 to 4