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      SPECIAL: Free Oakland Delivery!
      SPECIAL: Free Oakland Delivery!
      the freshest, most delicious, high-quality spices

      Oaktown Spice Shop

      Browse Products

      When John Beaver and Erica Perez moved to Oakland in 2009, they found a community that placed immense value on food.


      But they noticed that while people were buying their produce at the farmer’s market and their meat at the butcher shop, they were not putting as much thought into where they bought their spices.

      John had developed a fascination with spices early on, mentored by William Penzey, Sr. at The Spice House, a local, family-run spice shop in Milwaukee's historic downtown.

      Each spice made him think of a new and different place, its history and its terrain. How remarkable, for example, that India did not have chiles until the 16th century, sometime after they were ferried by Columbus from the Americas to Europe. Now, chiles are integral to Indian cuisine and the modern culture.

      Under Penzey’s tutelage, John also became intimately familiar with the properties of each spice. Cinnamon chips had to go through the mill in several steps to reduce their woody, fibrous matter to powder, which then had to be rubbed by hand through the smallest screen to produce deliciously delicate dust.

      John quickly learned the difference between high-quality whole spices -- bursting with flavor, plump in shape and vibrant in color -- and their inferior counterparts. Grinding spices in the mill every day also taught him the advantage of freshly ground spices. The moment a whole spice is ground, it begins to release its oils and lose flavor. Grocery store spices, ground years before, were paltry substitutes for the freshly ground stuff.

      In 2011, John and Erica opened Oaktown Spice Shop and the business has grown to a full team of employees, two retail shop locations and a growing number of restaurants, bakeries and bar customers -- not to mention chocolatiers, distillers, popcorn producers and candy makers -- who source their spices from the shop.


      Erica and John, owners
      Just a couple of their world class spices


      KOA: Why did you decide to open up shop in Oakland?
      ERICA AND JOHN: We lived right around the corner from the first shop location in Oakland, and we thought the community would love a shop dedicated to spices, the same way they love the local butcher, local bakery and local farmer's market.

      KOA: How long have you lived in the community?
      Erica and John: 11 years

      KOA: What do you love about Oakland? 
      ERICA AND JOHN: We love the people of Oakland. We love that it is a welcoming and inclusive city.

      KOA: What does your store say about Oakland?
      ERICA AND JOHN: Oakland is spicy! People here love food, and they love to try new things.

      KOA: What are some other local shops you love?
      ERICA AND JOHN: Umami Mart, Preserved, Oakland Yard, Oaklandish, Oak Common, Silver Moon, Kosa Arts, Red Bay Coffee, Cupcakin Bake Shop, Angel Cakes Cupcakes, Crown Nine Jewelry, Maple Street Denim

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        from $3.00

        Cinnamon, Korintje Sticks

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        These cassia cinnamon sticks hail from Indonesia. They're perfect for infusing hot drinks, adding flavor to stews and curries and spicing up liquid...

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        from $3.00
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        from $6.75

        Zahtar

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        A versatile blend with many incarnations, Zahtar (aka Za'atar) can be used as a simple condiment with olive oil for dipping bread or baked on flat ...

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        from $6.75
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        from $12.25

        Chai Masala

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        The spicy heat of cinnamon, ginger and pepper meets sweet notes of cardamom, star anise and cloves along with fragrant coriander to give you the ma...

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        from $12.25
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        from $4.00

        Nigella Seeds

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        You'll find nigella seeds gracing the top of your Indian naan, and bakers are finding it a winsome baking ingredient in other breads and crackers a...

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        from $4.00
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        $6.75

        Ancho Chiles, Whole

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Ancho, or "wide" chiles, dried poblanos, are one of the most popular peppers in Mexico. These chiles are commonly used in sauces (moles) and are th...

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        $6.75
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        from $14.00

        Cardamom Pods, Green

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        The delicate and floral flavor of green cardamom lends warmth to pastries and other desserts. The pungent and camphor tones also make this spice a ...

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        from $14.00
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        from $5.50

        Allspice, Ground

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        With the combined flavors of cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, allspice is well-suited for baking. Allspice is also an essential ingredient in Jamaican ...

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        from $5.50
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        from $4.00

        Mustard Powder, Yellow

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        The product of ground yellow mustard seeds, mustard powder can be used to add tang to dry rubs or zesty sauces and salad dressings. Add water to ma...

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        from $4.00
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        from $5.25

        Sumac

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        This dried sour berry of a sumac shrub is used widely in Eastern Mediterranean cuisines. Sprinkle it on hummus, a cucumber tomato salad or on grill...

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        from $5.25
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        from $12.00

        English Breakfast Tea

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        English Breakfast Tea is the most popular black tea blend in the western hemisphere. This version is smooth, balanced, and full-bodied. Try with mi...

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        from $12.00
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        from $7.50

        Bombay Orange

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        This bright, flavorful seasoning adds pizazz to everyday cooking. Coriander, fennel and orange zest add citrusy pop while chile and onion round out...

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        from $7.50
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        from $7.75

        Cloves, Ground

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Potent and aromatic, cloves can be used with meats and marinades as well as in sweet applications paired with fruits, such as citrus or apple. Use ...

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        from $7.75
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        from $15.00

        Cardamom, Ground

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        The delicate and floral flavor of green cardamom lends warmth to pastries and other desserts. The pungent and camphor tones also make this spice a ...

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        from $15.00
      • ...
        from $5.75

        Harissa

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Use this Moroccan blend to make a Harissa condiment by mixing with warm water and extra virgin olive oil. Puree it with parsley, lemon, cilantro, o...

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        from $5.75
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        from $3.75

        Pacific Fine Sea Salt

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        A pure and fine grain salt without any additives, this sea salt is good for everyday cooking and pickling. Ingredients: sea salt. Need a shaker top...

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        from $3.75
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        from $6.25

        Cumin, Ground

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        We grind cumin seeds every week or two, making our version of this staple incredibly fresh. Introduced by the Spanish to Latin America, cumin is on...

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        from $6.25
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        from $10.75

        Single-Origin Turmeric

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        This special turmeric is from Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh in India and is sourced by a queer, woman-of-color owned business that was founded in an e...

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        from $10.75
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        $6.75

        Guajillo Chiles, Whole

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Dried from a Mirasol chile, Guajillo chiles have a sweet heat and are widely used in Mexico. They form the base for many recipes. Try in enchilada ...

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        $6.75
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        from $4.25

        Dill Weed

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Dried dill weed is a great addition to salmon dishes, potato salads, yogurt sauces, mustards, vinegars, dips and salad dressings. Need a shaker to...

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        from $4.25
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        $7.75

        Nutmeg, Ground

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        A classic baking staple for pies, cookies, cakes and pastries. Try it in some in rum punch or a cantaloupe agua fresca. It's also delicious in pota...

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        $7.75
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        $12.25

        Pasilla de Oaxaca Chiles, Whole

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        With mild heat and a smoky flavor, this chile will make your mole sing! Try in sauces or rehydrate for rellenos. To use, rehydrate in hot water for...

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        $12.25
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        from $4.00

        Sesame Seeds, White

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Sesame seeds make a great accompaniment to salads, breads, grilled tuna, vegetables and stir-fries. Ingredients: White hulled sesame seeds Need a s...

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        from $4.00
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        from $7.50

        Pumpkin Pie Spice

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        The perfect spice for your pumpkin pie is great on oatmeal too. Try it on vanilla ice cream, in coffee, cookies, french toast and more. Our take on...

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        from $7.50
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        from $4.00

        Poppy Seeds, Dutch Blue

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        In the West, poppy seeds are ubiquitous on bagels, breads and crackers. In India, ground poppy seeds thicken curries and kormas. Ground with honey ...

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        from $4.00