Put a little tea and spice in your life

Pam Jennings, an avid cook, often had trouble finding certain spices for her recipes, so she did something about it — she opened her own shop dubbed Magnolia Spice and Tea.

She opened the new business on Fairgrounds Road and liked the idea of opening not only a spice shop, but a place where people could find a large assortment of teas.

“A lot of people are moving toward tea,” she said. “I thought tea and spices would be great. The variety of teas is amazing, there’s so much out there.”

She says more people are moving toward tea for the health benefits including white tea which is becoming more popular.

“It has a greater amount of antioxidants (compared to green tea), about three times the amount,” Jennings said.

She offers about 85 bulk teas which are sold by the ounce as well as a variety of packaged bagged teas.

“There are a number of black teas, green teas, herbals and decaf,” she said. “I wanted to have a good selection.”

Tea accessories include infusers, Japanese tea pots, ceramic pots, cast iron pots and stovetop kettles. She also offers other “accessories” that complement tea well including scone mix, shortbread and clotted cream.

“They’re things that go well with tea,” Jennings said.

She also sells a variety of different spices, spice blends, herbs and herb blends. She says the vanilla bean and saffron spices are the most popular, but she isn’t surprised because those were the two spices that she always struggled to find.

“I love cooking and I had a hard time finding spices,” Jennings said.

She offers spice accessories as well including spice racks and extracts. Whether it’s spices or teas, she says she is always learning from customers and tends to share stories or recipes. Most of the bulk teas and spices are proportioned out which she said is not only perfect for people on the go, but gives people an idea of how much an ounce is. If there is a certain tea or spice that a customer is looking for, she said she’ll try to order it.

“It’s a fun place to be, I enjoy being here and I’ve met a lot of people,” she said.

She also will show customers how to brew teas or answer any questions they may have regarding preparation. She also offers a free sample of a different tea each day and on warm days she’ll prepare iced tea for customers to sample.

“There is usually something that appeals to everyone who is tea drinker,” Jennings said.

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