Patty and Tom Erd, second generation Penzey family spice members, purchased the business from Patty's parents in the 90's. I found their staff to be exceptionally friendly and helpful. Excellent knowledge base on spices and herbs.
Owners Mike and Janet Johnson have created a warm and friendly atmosphere in their four spice store locations in Colorado. The herbs and spices are ground fresh weekly, so everything is super fresh. I also really like the fact that you can buy small quantities of different items.
This fun store is full of dried culinary herbs and spices. They also have fresh herb plants for sale. Spices are the family business and they are experts providing fresh, unique spices and herbs. They also hold "Spice Appreciation" classes several times a year and sell a spice appreciation DVD.
A charming, small store near Pike's Place Market in Seattle, WA.
Of course you can always purchases spices at the local grocery, but these spices and herbs are usually not as fresh as you can find in these spice stores. Cheaper culinary spices and herbs can be found at Amish markets or Indian Grocery stores in bulk quantities.
Visiting a spice store is a wonderful culinary experience. Plan to spend some time reviewing the different cinnamons, smelling some of the local spice blends and finding the right spice combos for your palette. I've also discovered my salt-free spice blends that are unique to these spice merchants.