Monday, March 2nd, 2020
Old Town Spice House has graced Wells Street for over 60 years. From Michelin starred chefs to people who only know how to make pasta, the Spice House is a neighborhood favorite. The Spice House was founded in 1957 by Bill and Ruth Penzey and over the years has scaled into a global brand. Because they have such a broad global network of suppliers, Spice House has built a reputation for having some of the highest quality products and widest selection. The Spice House is also a go-to resource on recipes and all things spice. Although the business has grown, Spice House has still retained its quaint character.
After a fire last July caused significant damage to the original structure, which was constructed in the 1800s, Spice House used it as an opportunity to blend modern renovations and repairs with elements of the original building, and even preserve some of the original features. For instance, the reclaimed wood rafters that were previously covered have now been painted and cleaned so they could be left exposed. The building’s original exposed brick has also been refurbished. They also uncovered two of the windows at the back of the store to add natural light. Gensler architects led the way on the renovations.
The historic charm, loyal neighborhood customer base, wafting spice aromas, and overall engaging experience of visiting the Spice House has kept the brick and mortar store competitive in an age of increasingly popular e-commerce. The brick and mortar store is also central to their wholesale business, which supplies to local restaurants, bakeries, and breweries in Chicago.
Whether you’re looking for a specific rare form of truffle oil or just looking for a unique place to stop in and “spice up” your weekend stroll, be sure to check out Old Town Spice House (and grab a sample of the delectable crystalized ginger while you’re in there)!
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