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boulder: savory spice shop

NaBloWriMo day 15.

Eat on $30 day 5.

Last day to enter for the Macy’s gift card giveaway!

Remember when I started the Eat on $30 challenge and I mentioned a local spice shop? Several friends of mine had recommended it to me before, but I never set foot in the store until last week. In need of small quantities of nutmeg, cinnamon, and whole star anise for Eat on $30 (because I couldn’t afford whole jars in the grocery store), my brain did me a solid and remembered Savory Spice Shop on Broadway just north of Pearl Street. I was greeted by the warm smell of spices on the air and a very friendly and knowledgeable staff.

dan hayward: owner of the boulder savory spice shop

spices, blends, gift sets and more

For my immediate needs, Savory Spice Shop worked. The minimum amount you can buy is a half ounce of any spice or seasoning. That cost me $3.45 for the ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and star anise pieces. If you have ever had to purchase spices in an “emergency” at a typical grocery store, you know they are not only inferior in quality, but really bloody expensive. I only needed a half teaspoon or a quarter teaspoon, but since I had extra, the cinnamon and nutmeg have livened up my otherwise lifeless oatmeal during this week’s challenge and they came into play for a last minute snap of brilliance on day 4 (see after the jump, yo).

paprikas (top left), so many lovely salts (bottom left), great staff (right)

Savory Spice Shop is a local business. It started in Denver about 5 years ago and has expanded to a few other locations in Colorado, including (thankfully!) Boulder. Dan Hayward is the owner of the Boulder store and explained that their spices are ground on the premises each week to ensure freshness and the highest quality. They do more than just sell spices and seasonings – every person working in the store has a personal love of things culinary as well as professional ties to the culinary industry (one employee is a chef). They are constantly educating themselves on food. That is a welcome change for someone who is passionate (and a little OCD) about her food. I’d much rather ask an employee of Savory Spice Shop about the spices I want to purchase than *anyone* working my local grocery store. Know what I mean?

in the store window (left), herbs (top right), cinnamon sticks (bottom right)

The Eat on $30 challenge aside, I know I will be coming back to Savory Spice Shop from now on. I spied vanilla beans, extracts, kaffir lime leaves, several types of dried mushrooms, rubs, seasonings, just to name a few. They also have several smartly packaged gift sets throughout the store. Their prices are cheaper, the quality so much higher, the quantities more reasonable, and the selection is better than anything in town. And the added bonus is that I feel better purchasing from a local store than from a national chain. I’m a little giddy thinking about what I’m going to purchase there the next time when I’m not on the $30 restriction!

huge bin of star anise

Savory Spice Shop
2041 Broadway
Boulder, CO 80302
Ph: (303) 444 0668
Fx: (303) 444 0652

Full Disclosure: I wrote this review of my own volition and without compensation in any form from Savory Spice Shop or Metroseen. I just happen to love Savory Spice Shop and want to promote good local businesses in my area.

Thursday morning, I returned to the shop for a fun little project. Mark Montalbano of Metroseen asked if I wanted to be in a video shooting for Savory Spice Shop. What a coincidence since I was planning to feature the store on urb! Of course, I brought my camera…

dan during filming

sarah blecher of culinary school of the rockies (left), mark (top right), jayne romyn filming (bottom right)

Sarah is a former employee of Savory Spice Shop and she now works for the Culinary School of the Rockies where I took my pastry skills course and my knife skills class. [Remember how so many of you were squealing over Chef Michael, my knife skills instructor?? Uh huh…] Sarah writes their blogs (which I read) and manages most of the goings-on over at their office. Very cool. Lots of foodies.

So before I run out of time and turn into a pumpkin, here is the recap of what we ate for the past two days:
day 4: oatmeal for brekkie, beef stew and scallion pancakes for lunch, enchiladas, corn, refritos, zucchini for dinner, apple turnovers
day 5: oatmeal for brekkie, beef stew for lunch (jeremy), no lunch for jen (busy), coffee sample for jeremy (more on that tomorrow), beef stew, scallion pancakes, and fried rice for dinner, apple turnovers, apple for jen, coffee for jeremy (more on that tomorrow)

What’s with the apple turnovers, you ask? Funny thing… I weighed out 5 ounces of flour that was not designated for anything. Since I am a proud member of the Daring Bakers, I recalled last month’s challenge of puff pastry. It’s time and a tad labor intensive, but it requires, flour, butter, water, salt. I had those.

make the dough

enclose the butter

turn 1 of 6

I chopped up one of my apples and simmered it in butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon (oh, to use that lovely cinnamon from Savory Spice Shop – so glad I had extra) for the filling.

delightfully fragrant apple filling

folding the pastry

et voilà! apple turnovers

I apologize for not having anything profound to share tonight. It’s late. I’m tired. May The Force be with you.

30 nibbles at “boulder: savory spice shop”

  1. Hana says:

    I return to Boulder about once a year to visit family, so whenever I read/see one of your posts/pics about Boulder, I just want to take the next plane out. I love Boulder (just not in the winter) (yes, I am a wuss).

  2. emhuze says:

    Dear Jen, thank you for the information you’re sharing about the Eat on $30 Challenge. I’m learning lots from you & your followers. I’ve had subsequent conversations on this topic with friends and we are waking up. I’m retired & live in a building with several elderly folks. We’ve just been hit with a whopping special assessment with payments of one to two thousand $$ a month for 4 months. I’ve agonized over how some would afford this since I know there are folks trying to get by on SS alone and barely make it. They take out equity loans or reverse mortgages. Three days ago my neighbor let me know that she’d taken on the assessment challenge by NOT taking out a loan but rather cutting back drastically on all expenses for the 4 months. She said she ate two meals a day and one of them was oatmeal. She showed me her cupboard and refrigerator and they were very sparsely populated with food supplies. She’s lost some weight but wasn’t too concerned. She looked a little frayed and not as vibrant as usual. I’m so concerned about the many hungry people. What must we do?

  3. Manisha says:

    Jen, Jen, Jen, I want to see lunch for Jen in the day’s schedule. Eat an apple, a banana, something. Busy cannot be an excuse.

  4. Kristin says:

    Since I’ve been chicken-heartedly putting off puff pastry for years, I had to laugh at how seemingly cavalierly you realized that you had the right ingredients & jumped in. The silky pastry in the 2nd to last shot, and of course the final shot, are sorely tempting me! I’m not doing your challenge, but have been doing a lot of freezer & pantry cooking this week as I haven’t had time to shop, and it’s very satisfying.

  5. Lindsey@pickyeatings says:

    You make puff pastry seem so easy! Maybe one of these rainy weekends I actually will get to try it…

  6. Karen B says:

    Oh ho ho – it’s apple season! Those look amazing!

    I always drool over the spice catalog when it comes, this store is even more amazing! And how fun to be able to buy small quantities to try new things (not to mention when you’re on the $30 challenge).

  7. Kim says:

    I would love to go to a spice shop like that. What a wonderful resource for you! It’s also nice to know that you can run in and buy small amounts – pretty cool!

  8. Ivory says:

    Savory is one of my absolutely favorite places to shop. I love walking in there and smelling whatever it is they are toasting that day… heaven!

  9. TheKitchenWitch says:

    Hey! Cool that we have such a hidden gem so close to our ‘hood!! I can’t wait to stop in the next time I’m nearby! I always think it’s so stupid that the grocery stores sell such HUGE containers of spices…and spices lose so much flavor after just a few months, so you waste a ton of money.

    Congrats on the little media gig, there–how awesome for you!

  10. April in CT says:

    I’m envious!! Savory looks amazing and how wonderful to be able to buy small amounts. I have spices languishing away (and taking up valuable space) after having to purchase larger bottles. I could SMELL the cinnamon in that pot of apples cooking…have mercy! Gorgeous!

  11. Hugo says:

    I’m envious of your cooking skills! I often eat on very few dollars per week, but none of my meal seem to make as much sense as yours (merguez, zucchini and.. rice with nori seaweed???)!

    Also free samples are something that poorer neighborhoods don’t get as many of, even packets of mayonnaise that you can simply grab aren’t available in my neighborhood as people would take advantage of it.

  12. Corinna says:

    The Savory Spice Shop looks amazing! I wish I had a resource like that nearby.

    Thank you for the apple turnover recipe. Apple season is in full swing here, and I’m so enjoying baking with them.

  13. Carolyn Parker says:

    So, so cool– all of it! I wish Savory Spice was in Walnut Creek, CA.

  14. Kimberly says:

    I LOVE Savory Spice Shop!!! The quality is amazing, and the folks are so friendly and helpful. Dan, in particular, is a gem :)

  15. Mark Montalbano says:

    Wow! The photos are beautiful, as well as your descriptions of everything. Thanks so much, Jen, for coming out to help with the video. It went well and we had a lot of fun. It was very serendipitous that you were already in the process of writing this when I approached you. There must be something buzzing in the air about Savory Spice!

    Thanks and great work!

  16. Sarah Blecher says:

    Jen, you are an amazing baker and photographer! Thanks so much for featuring Culinary School of the Rockies.

  17. Whitney says:

    That shop reminds me of the Spice House. I am lucky to live like 2 blocks away from one of their locations in Chicago. Its awesome.

  18. Joan Brett says:

    Great photos. Sarah, you’re the best. Thanks, Jen, for honoring Culinary School of the Rockies and our favorite baker.

  19. Lindsay says:

    I love this spice shop! I shopped here during my last trip to Boulder. They have some of the freshest smelling spices I have found. I love their chili powder and fajita blends! Great post!

  20. lynn @ human, being says:

    I love SS, and visit the Lowry shop at least monthly. My favorites are the Mt. Olympus and Platte Park seasoning packs. I also love their freeze-dried shallots, which I put in my scrambled eggs. Ooh, and their Mexican cocoa mix is to die for. One of these months I’m going to pitch my old, stale jars of spices (I have a literal tub of oregano from Costco–what was I thinking?) and go wild at Savory Spice.

  21. Unplanned Cooking says:

    What a great idea shopping for spices in bulk. I’m always amazed by how expensive a jar of spice is in a grocery store.

  22. BldrJanet says:

    I love the Savory Spice Shop and get all my chai ingredients there for holiday gift giving and wintertime sipping! Yum! Fresh spices can’t be beat.
    But I do want to turn you onto a couple other resources for bulk herbs and spices — Whole Foods and Safeway (maybe King Soopers, too) have bulk spices and herbs! I just recently noticed Safeway in North Boulder had them in the “natural foods” area of the store. Of course, Whole Foods has a great selection, too. The good thing about these sources is that you absolutely CAN buy a half teaspoon of something, if that’s all you need. You’ll pay pennies for it, and that’s awesome, if you’re trying to eat on a strict budget. I’m old enough to remember the first food coop in Boulder, on 14th Street, just north of Arapahoe (across from the gun shop, of all things!). We sold bulk spices, there. When we went out of business, and everything was half price, my friend came in and bought this amazing amount of saffron for a song. It was brilliant of her to think of doing that, and she made Indian food for years, flavored with that stash.
    Anyway, love your blog. Fun to read your Boulder culinary adventures and see your local pics.

  23. Dani says:

    The apple turnovers look amazing! BTW, your “good morning” tweets always put a smile on my face. Have a great weekend.

  24. Rosa says:

    I am a spice addict, so i’d love to visit that great store!

    Those turnovers are irresistible!



  25. Denise @ There's a Newf in My Soup! says:

    Small, specialty stores like Savory Spice Shop add so much charm to a community. I get so frustrated living in a resort town and a majority of the businesses are tacky shops selling t-shirts and sea shells. The main drag should be lined with boutiques, specialty food stores, bakeries, sidewalk cafes, and stores offering unique products! Can’t agree with you more about employing people who know something about what they are selling. And I’m a tad disappointed that your link to Chef Michael didn’t seem to work…I could have used a little squeal this morning ;-)

    Great posts eating on your budget and it’s amazing you decided to “whip up” a little improptu puff pastry for your turnovers! Go girl!

  26. Mrs Ergül says:

    I will really like to visit you where you are babe!! I agree with supporting local stores than national chains. Unfortunately, for us here local stores do not have as competitive a price to fight against the national chains and the vicious cycle goes on and on…

  27. Sarah says:

    I love Savory! I went to one in Denver earlier this year. I love the Hudson Bay Beef Spice blend. Although I’ve never had it on beef. My mother loves it on Salmon. I LOVE it on fried eggs. Delicious! I need to reorder soon.

  28. jenyu says:

    emhuze – that is a very tough situation, but it sounds like working together you may be able to find a solution. Many people have said that pooling resources together to feed several people is more economical.

    Manisha – yes ma’am! :)

    TKW – yes, let’s go sometime!

    Hugo – so very very true. Thanks for pointing that out :(

    Kimberly – it’s true, he’s such a delightful and pleasant fellow.

    Mark – thanks for having me.

    Sarah – totally my pleasure.

    Joan – Sarah is awesome :) I love CSR!

    Lynn – ha ha! I can see it too – it’s like a cook’s amusement park!

    BldrJanet – yup, I thought about that but none of them had whole star anise and really, I wanted to check out Savory Spice Shop for a few months now, so it made sense to just go and check them out.

    Denise – that is something I love about Boulder – good local businesses! I got the link to Chef Michael working ;)

  29. Kristina says:

    Thanks for the tip regarding the spice shop! I’ve always walked by, looking for an excuse to go in…and you finally gave me one. I collected up fantastic spices for a Tikka Masala, and it was delicious. The people at the store were friendly and knowledgeable, and I immediately started looking for reasons to return. I’m also thrilled that you featured the small Asian grocer in your latest post! Love that place.

  30. Alpesh Patel says:

    I have also spicy shop in my city also good customer .this my family business since 65 years old

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