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      SPECIAL: Free local delivery during pandemics!
      SPECIAL: Free local delivery during pandemics!
      the freshest, most delicious, high-quality spices

      Oaktown Spice Shop

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      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 $7.50

        Black Truffle Sea Salt

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        This finishing salt is a favorite for enhancing popcorn, mashed potatoes, polenta or any dish where you want to add the subtle flavor of this elus...

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        from $7.50
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        from $5.00

        Erbe Italiane di Lusso

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        This blend is a twist on the classic Italian Herbs seasoning. Add to pasta sauces, soups, salad dressings, eggs or breading. Hand-mixed from: Garl...

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        from $5.00
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        from $4.00

        Onion, Granulated

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Granulated onion provides an easy way to add an onion flavor to stews, soups, sauces, and dips. It can also be used in marinades and rubs. Ingredie...

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        from $4.00
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        from $3.50

        Pacific Flake Sea Salt

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        A light and flaky pure salt without any additives, this sea salt is good for everyday cooking, tossing in the pasta water and using in rubs. Ingre...

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        from $3.50
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        from $4.00

        Cumin Seed, Whole

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Introduced by the Spanish to Latin America, cumin is one of the most widely used spices. Use with beans, chili, curry, lentils and more. Oaktown S...

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        from $4.00
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        from $5.00

        Italian Herbs

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Ideal for Italian cuisine, these herbs are essential for red sauces, vinaigrettes, breading for eggplant parmesan, atop goat cheese, on lamb chops...

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        from $5.00
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        from $7.50

        Clear Mind Mint Tea

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Clear the mind and refresh the senses. Peppermint combines with notes of green earth and a touch of malty Rooibos to make this mineral-rich tea the...

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        from $7.50
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        from $4.75

        Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        With an excellent sweet and hot chile flavor, our crushed red chile flakes make a tasty addition to pizzas, red sauces, chili, or anywhere you wan...

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        from $4.75
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        from $6.75

        Curry Powder, Japanese

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Curry’s introduction to Japan was not from India but via the British Royal Navy in the 19th century. Today, curry enjoys great popularity in Japan...

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        from $6.75
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        from $11.25

        Matcha Tea

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        This vibrant green Japanese matcha has robust notes of spinach and fresh cut grass, with a touch of nutty sweetness. Try with milk and a sweetener,...

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        from $11.25
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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 o...

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        from $7.50
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        from $5.75

        St. Basil's BBQ Chop and Rib Rub

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        With a touch of sweetness and a Caribbean flair, this seasoning adds a little kick to your favorite meats. This paprika-based blend has notes of a...

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        from $5.75
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        from $10.50

        Ume-Shiso Furikake

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Furikake is a Japanese seasoning meant to be sprinkled on rice, veggies, and fish. This vegan version combines sweet shiso and umeboshi with the ro...

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        from $10.50
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        from $11.75

        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 m...

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        from $11.75
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        from $7.50

        Citrus Hibiscus Twist

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        This zippy tea blend combines the citrus tartness of hibiscus flowers and Omani lime with subtle sweet aromatics and bright lemony notes. Enjoy its...

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        from $7.50
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        from $4.75

        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 gril...

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        from $4.75
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        from $3.50

        Sesame Seeds, Toasted

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Toasted sesame seeds make a great accompaniment to salads, breads, grilled tuna, vegetables and stir-fries. Open Sesame! Ingredients: Toasted sesam...

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        from $3.50
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        from $3.50

        Hibiscus (Organic)

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Concoct a delicious hibiscus tea, agua fresca de jamaica, sorrel or hibiscus cooler with dried hibiscus flowers. Steep or cold-brew and flavor wit...

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        from $3.50
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        from $7.75

        New World Poultry Seasoning

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        With rubbed sage, white pepper and notes of ginger, green onion and thyme, this poultry seasoning is a classic hit. Rub a few teaspoons on and in ...

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        from $7.75
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        from $7.50

        Jamaican Jerk Seasoning

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Use this hot and savory spice as a rub with salt or in a marinade blended with citrus, vinegar, salt, and dried habaneros. The heat of dried haban...

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        from $7.50
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        from $4.00

        Onion, Toasted Granulated

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Granulated toasted onion provides an easy way to add a toasted onion flavor to stews, soups, sauces, and dips. It can also be used in marinades and...

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        from $4.00
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        from $4.75

        Cayenne Red Pepper Powder

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        The classic red pepper. Sometimes referred to in recipes as red chile powder, cayenne offers a reliable heat and is found in cuisines from Cajun to...

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        from $4.75
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        $38.50

        Madagascar Vanilla Powder

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        Vanilla powder comes from vanilla beans that have been sun-cured and dried to remove nearly all of the moisture in the pod, and then ground to a f...

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        $38.50
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        from $8.25

        Cinnamon, Ceylon

        Oaktown Spice Shop

        This cinnamon has quite a different flavor profile than the more prevalent cassia cinnamon. Ceylon, also known as "true" cinnamon, has a delicate ...

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        from $8.25