We credit everything from Food Network to the national attention drawn by celeb chefs Beau Mac Millan and Chris Bianco to new restaurant concepts such as Cycle for the upswing in local culinary interest.
Still, we were surprised when a new Penzeys Spices location popped up at the still-trendy Tempe Marketplace. The old Scottsdale branch of the nationwide spice company, tucked into a dark corner of the strip mall on Hayden Road just south of Osborn, closed this past Monday, April 4 in preparation for the move to their new, more visible digs.
If you haven't been to Penzeys before, and you like to cook, you're totally missing out. They stock standard cooking spices like thyme, allspice, and sage, plus a range of exotics from Spanish annato seed to garam masala, the quintessential Indian curry spice. A few years back, we received several small jars of Penzeys' Herbes de Provence and Old World Seasoning that ruined us for over-salted grocery store blends.
We snuck a peek at the new shop and spotted Penzeys signature sage green walls, natural wooden shelving housing the spices and extracts, and a cute kids' area outfitted like a pirate ship. There's a bit more square footage here than at the old space, which works well considering the shop will carry all of the spices contained in the large Penzeys catalog.
Penzeys Spices officially opens to the public at 10 a.m. this Friday, April 8 (though an insider tells us that if things are ready to go earlier, the store could be open Thursday). Regular hours are 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Another local Penzeys location is set to open mid-May at 10810 North Tatum Blvd. in Phoenix.