Nestled below Pike Place Market on the Seattle waterfront, World Spice Merchants has been a hub of flavor exploration since 1995. It is a modern day spice bazaar — vibrant, diverse, and exploding with flavors from around the globe. With our doors and windows flung wide, the intoxicating aromas will guide you in. With over 200 spice selections gracing the shelves, World Spice is a destination offering unique flavor selections for every chef - from the humblest home cook to our James Beard awarded fans.
We fuel our passion for food and flavor by focusing on what we do best: spices, spice blends and estate teas. Our crew of spice specialists draws on expertise in many areas - from botany and plant chemistry to every aspect of the culinary arts, including eating! We bring all our spices in during the current harvest cycle and test each one as it arrives to ensure that it is the best possible quality. This level of dedication and love of our craft means that each spice and recipe we offer comes not from a numbered bin from an industrial outpost but straight from our kitchen to yours.
It is unlikely that anyone could have predicted my future as a spice merchant, but the signs were all there from the beginning. My interest in plants started at the ground level in childhood, with my hands in the dirt, always checking out the twigs and stems. This led to a degree in botany and organic chemistry, followed by several years in the medicinal herb industry. I have always studied the plant kingdom with infinite interest—in both the field and the lab.
Then, in 2001, my nose led me into "the spice shop" on the Seattle waterfront and it was love at first sniff! I began spice hunting in earnest and the kitchen became my new research lab. That was over a decade ago, and I'm still discovering new flavors every day. As the owner of World Spice Merchants, my passion for all things botanical has come full circle and I am pleased to share this glimpse into our world of spices with you!
Holly grew up on the east coast in a large, close knit family. Throughout her childhood every celebration was cause for a picnic, crabfest, or BBQ and every week ended with a large family dinner. This upbringing cemented a love of good food and community and a recognition of the need for both in a well-lived life. After many positions in small business and non-profit development and countless cups of tea at the World Spice tea counter, it was an easy jump from World Spice customer to World Spice merchant. As General Manager, Holly applies her business and style savvy to develop our merchandise, gift set, tea and cookbook selections, as well as taking lead on new product development and community relations around World Spice. If you have are interested in featuring World Spice in a blog, magazine, or video, have an event that should involve World Spice or just have a merchandise or cookbook suggestion, please contact her through [email protected].
I was born and raised in eastern Pennsylvania and was first introduced to the culinary industry through a series of after school jobs as a busboy, server, and bartender. A budding passion for the food industry, desire to try working on the kitchen side of the line, and a healthy dose of wanderlust led me to the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. After graduating, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take an internship in South Africa led me to trade the world famous wineries of Napa for the emerging wine country of Stellenbosch, outside of Cape Town.
After returning to the States, my culinary journey took me from Philadelphia to Hawaii where I was fortunate to study Japanese cuisine at the Honolulu location of the famous Nobu restaurant.
When I arrived in Seattle in 2010, I was curious about the supply side of the restaurant industry, one of the few hats I hadn't yet tried. A desire to work in a small, locally owned company that was passionate about quality and customer service made World Spice the perfect fit. Over the past several years I've learned a great deal about both the spice trade and the logistics of supplying some of the finest restaurants in Seattle and around the world. I am proud to run our professional chef division as well as overseeing our blend production and mail order business from our warehouse location.