Caught in a cooking rut? Want to get a little more adventurous with your cooking or grilling, especially as the warm weather (eventually) comes out and beckons you to dust off that barbecue?
Enter Spice Merchants, Fairfax City's newest shop in Old Town.
Spice Merchants just opened at 10376 Main St. a few weeks ago, the passion of three childhood friends from northern Virginia - Christine Prucker, Charles Woodard and John Horn.
The store is a haven of everything tasty, with shelves and racks full of loose-leaf teas and tea accessories; custom spice blends for cooking, grilling, baking and just adding a bit of flavor to any food; specialty items like flavored sugars and peppercorns; various types of sea salts; and exotic chocolates.
Woodard and Horn say, the store was really the longtime dream of Prucker's, and when she decided to take the plunge, they took it with her and decided the three of them should all go into business together.
"Christine really always wanted to open a tea and spice shop," Horn said.
"It was Christine's dream," Woodard agreed, "so we all started talking about it last year, and finally decided to make the dream come true."
The three owners say, Spice Merchants' prices are highly competitive versus other spice shops - especially those in northern Virginia - and their offerings are convenient, because you can buy spices and teas by the ounce to try something out before committing to a big bottle or jar.
"We really encourage people to open up any jar in the shop and smell the blends, too," Horn said. "And, we're really known for our freshness."
In the near future, Woodard said, they will be expanding the shop's offerings to carry olive oils as well.
So far, the three friends say, business has been good and they hope it will only continue to get better.
"Being so close to George Mason University is great, too," Horn said. "A lot of the college kids, especially, like the teas we offer."
The owners say, soon the community will be seeing a lot more of Spice Merchants around town, as well - starting in August, they plan to have a booth at the weekend farmers markets.
They are also currently renovating the bottom floor of their shop at 10376 Main St., where they plan to eventually host tea tastings, and chef demonstrations and cooking classes.
Take a tour of the Spice Merchants shop with co-owner Christine Prucker in our video above!
Have you been to Spice Merchants yet? What do you think of the shop? Tell us in the comments below.
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