The Allspicery was born out of Heather Wong's passion for cooking and travelling, and a realization of the scarcity of great quality and diverse spices in the Sacramento-area.The Allspicery is "Sacramento's one-stop spice shop" and features every day spices as well as uncommon, hard-to-find ingredients. They also offer unique spice blends, spice "kits" and in-house blended loose-leaf teas.
Heather Wong, Owner of Sacramento's The Allspicery
Heather was one of the first people I reached out to when I started planning Poppy and Oak last year and she's been kind enough to sit down to chat with me on a couple of occasions, most recently earlier this month. We chatted about our kids, running a small business and our love of travel.
Without her love of travel, The Allspicery as we know it probably wouldn't exist. But Heather didn't grow up traveling. She was afforded the opportunity to travel extensively while she obtained her MBA. Even before classes began, she was off to Peru. This kick-started her passion for travel and by the time she graduated with her MBA she had traveled to the Middle East, Greece, Africa and even studied abroad in Shanghai.
She and her husband share a love of travel and when he accepted a new job, they took the opportunity to travel for three months before having to settle in.
She makes a point of really being immersed in a part of that area that is not just seen by tourists. She takes cooking classes to learn about new cuisine and cooking techniques. Some of her favorite parts of travel (mine too) are the local markets where she takes time to learn about new ingredients, new spices and new flavors.
Some of the many spices available at The Allspicery
And once she and her husband returned home from traveling, they had that shared bond. Whenever they'd cook something they learned in a cooking class, or used an ingredient they found at a market, it reminded them of their travels together.
A few of Heather's favorite places include...
- Istanbul: Heather first traveled to Istanbul while in business school and loved it so much that she returned for her Babymoon.
- Morocco: Morocco satisfies Heather's desire to travel to countries totally different than our own.
- Vietnam and Thailand: The amazing food and the relatively low cost (once you get there) makes ranks these countries up there with some of her favorites.
- New Zealand: The landscapes alone are reason enough to travel to New Zealand.
So where else is on Heather's travel bucket list?
Some of the many countries she's looking forward to traveling to in the future include:
- Papua New Guinea
- More of Africa
Note: Let me just add how much talking to Heather about her travels has whetted my appetite for travel! She's been to some amazing places and you can really see her love of travel shines through in the incredible selection of spices at The Allspicery.
A few way Heather likes to use spices at home...
As a fellow parent of two young children, time is often scarce and hobbies we used to take time to enjoy are often relegated to only doing the essentials. Heather, like many of us, subscribes to a meal delivery plan and uses her own spices to supplement her weekly meals.
This is an easy use for more refined spices and one I look forward to implementing at home. Heather's suggestions are a creative take on the prepared meals, but are suitable for all palates, including toddlers!
- Swap table or kosher salt for flavored salts.
- Add in an ethnic spice if that meal is ethnic themed.
- When in doubt, throw in some vadouvan (French curry) or urfa biber (Turkish chili with a mild smokey flavor).
Just a few of the many flavored salts available at The Allspicery
What Heather loves about Northern California...
Originally from New England, Heather was used to the changing seasons and loves that Northern California still has access to all four seasons (even if they're a little milder than the frigid New England winters or humid summers).
The year-round mild weather also has enabled her and her family to participate in outdoor activities almost any time of the year.
Which leads into some of Heather's favorite spring traditions, including getting outdoors and hiking. Hiking allows her family to get outdoors together and explore things that you may otherwise take for granted. And bonus, it's free!
Collaborations in the City of Trees
Sacramento is uniquely situated as the self-proclaimed "America's Farm to Fork Capital" and also has a burgeoning population of creatives and entrepreneurs. And Sacramento folk are just good people. This equation makes it ripe for collaborations, of which The Allspicery has had many a successful collabs.
Root Beer Kit from The Allspicery and Burly Beverages (there's also a Ginger Ale Kit)
Another tasty collab was the espresso spice rub with Chocolate Fish Coffee and V. Miller Meats. All three businesses have a presence in East Sacramento (Heather is an East Sacramento resident) and value craft and sustainability. It was just an added bonus that Heather was able to bike an order of the spice rub over to V. Miller Meats!
Espresso Spice Rub from The Allspicery, Chocolate Fish and V. Miller Meats
Another collaboration and fellow winner of the Calling All Dreamers competition is Andy's Candy Apothecary, whose candies spiced with Allspicery spices are sold at the Allspicery, and include saffron gummies, dark chocolate chipotle almonds and coconut curry cashews.
Andy's Candy Apothecary sweet treats featuring spices from The Allspicery
All three of these collaborations work because of the independent nature of their shop owners who are willing to, every once in a while, throw caution to the wind, say "yes" and try crazy things.
Heather Wong, Owner of The Allspicery
The Allspicery is Sacramento's first, and only, one-stop spice shop offering the highest quality spices, herbs and spice blends from near and far. You can find their loose-leaf tea blends in many of Poppy and Oak's gift boxes including the Market Box, Darling Box and soon-to-be-released spring mini box.