My older daughter and I took a trip to Williamsburg to do some holiday shopping. Since we were in town, we had to make our mandatory visit to the Cheese Shop in Merchant’s Square. (Don’t worry. I didn’t suddenly decide to take up dairy again. They sell more than cheese!) As we enjoyed snacks and beverages outside the restaurant, we noticed this new spice shop!
A favorite memory of mine is from trips with my husband to St. John in the USVI. There was a spice shop in town in Cruz Bay, and the smell was amazing. To this day, if I run past the Sauer’s spice factory on Broad Street in Richmond, the aroma transports me right back to my honeymoon. It’s safe to say that I really love spice shops now, and cooking is my love language, so this store was a very happy discovery!
The Spice and Tea Exchange occupies a small section of what was once The Trellis, a restaurant that was the ultimate special occasion place when I was growing up. The shop is cute with a very pretty inlaid cobblestone floor.
In addition to this Williamsburg location, there is also one in Carytown in Richmond and several across the country. You can also order online, although the online experience can’t quite measure up to seeing and smelling everything in person, obviously!
The staff we encountered in Williamsburg were all super friendly, eager to share how the store is organized, how to experience the smells, and recipe cards to help utilize their spices! They even made sure I had a basket when I began to accumulate selections.
Speaking of selections, there were so many choices! There’s an entire wall with multiple spice blends, a salt section, a pepper section, a sugar section, and an entire wall of teas and tea blends. They can also make hot or iced tea to go!
We did edit our selections, putting a few items back. I ended up buying:
- Two kinds of loose tea for my younger daughter. She’s a big fan of tea, and in my search for special blends for her, these were the best quality. I hope she loves them! I picked a fruity one and a black tea based blend. These will be Christmas gifts.
- Raspberry sugar. My younger daughter was recently searching for a way to add raspberry flavor to her tea. I think this will do the trick!
- Hickory smoked salt. In vegan cooking, one of the flavors that is difficult to capture is smoke. I use a lot of smoked paprika! There is liquid smoke, but I almost always overdo it, ruining a dish. I can’t wait to add this to air-fried tofu, soups, and veggies to add an extra layer of flavor.
- Pepper blend. My husband loves spicy food, so this shaker of multiple pepper varieties should help kick up the heat and flavor in his favorite dishes! This will go in his stocking.
- Good as Gold turmeric blend. Slightly sweet, this is supposed to be great for making milk tea, which is something my older daughter has always wanted to try.
- Tuscan spice blend. An Italian blend, the smell is amazing! The first thing we did when we got home was to try this in a bit of olive oil to dip bread into. Delicious!
Most of what I bought were in the smallest sizes and priced at $5.89. The shaker sizes were almost $14, and the tea blends were also almost $14. I think these prices are reasonable based on the quality of the products.
I will definitely be back. I want to try other spice blends that I edited from my original purchase and some of the salts they make specifically for cocktails! And this is a great place to buy a hostess gift or put together a gift basket for a foodie in your life. If you love to cook as I do, you should definitely visit this place!
I subscribe to the notion that variety is the spice of life. And spices are a vegan chef’s best friend! The Spice and Tea Exchange delivers on spice, variety, and knowledgeable staff. Have you ever visited one of their stores? I’d love to hear about your experience.
As always, I hope you all are safe and healthy.
4 thoughts on “The Spice and Tea Exchange: Williamsburg”
Yes, I’ve been to the one in Alexandria and it is amazing! I’d just go in there for the smell, honestly, although it’s also hard to leave without buying way too many things. I love how you mentioned the Cheese Shop in Williamsburg despite being vegan. I (also a vegan) love that place, and have fond memories since my husband and I stopped in there to browse and get some food for the road before we drove home after our Williamsburg wedding (many years ago!)
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Thanks for sharing your experience at the Alexandria location! I grew up in Hampton Roads, so the Cheese Shop is legendary! I definitely wouldn’t have come across the spice shop without that visit to the Cheese Shop. Now I have to go to the Richmond location, too, which is closer to my current home!
Wow, this place sounds great! As a vegan tea lover and a love of spicy foods, I have to say your day sounds perfect! I’m in the UK, so it is a little far to travel to (!), but from reading your post I feel like I have visited! Thanks for sharing.
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Thank you for reading and commenting!