When I lamented my love/hate relationship with Penzeys Spices, one of my readers pointed me to an alternative spice source. I wasn't particularly looking for a new source at the time, having resigned myself to making do with grocery store spices except when Penzeys had a very, very special sale—which they seem to do every time Bill Penzey wants to point to a spike in sales as evidence that his customers support a particular political position.

But I checked out The Spice House and was blown away. I had not known the greater Penzeys story: It was Bill Penzey, Sr. who started the original Spice House company. His daughter took over the business, while his son, Bill Penzey, Jr., started his own spice company. Both companies have access to the old family recipes. The Spice House is smaller and more local than Penzeys, which they count to their advantage, all their spices still being prepared by hand in small batches, at their store.

The biggest difference between Penzeys and The Spice House is in politics. For all I know, the owners of the two stores share the same exact political views—or perhaps they are poles apart. I wouldn't know, because, unlike Penzeys, The Spice House makes a point of welcoming customers of all political persuasions, and keeping a very low profile themselves.

Here at The Spice House we are strictly a community of folks who like to cook; you will never get any lectures from us that include our personal agenda. We are just about the love of cooking and getting you the best possible ingredients to produce the most flavorful results!

Penzeys-quality seasonings without the side order of vituperation? I'm in!

My first order with The Spice House was just large enough to qualify for free shipping, because I'm trying to draw down my current spice stockpile, but what I've seen so far, I like very much. Here's a new blend that quickly became a favorite: Lake Shore Drive Seasoning: Gently hand mixed from salt, shallots, garlic, onion, chives, ground green peppercorns, scallions. My favorite alliums all together! I could only be happier if they had—without replacing this one—a blend that included all of the above except the salt, so I could add still more of the flavor to a dish.

I doubt The Spice House will totally replace Penzeys for me, as not all blends are available in both places. But it has certainly become the go-to store for my regular seasoning purchases.

Posted by sursumcorda on Wednesday, June 19, 2019 at 6:15 am | Edit
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I left Penzeys years ago, after many orders and telling friends. I left b/c they sent out very shockingly rude political emails. I’ve never been treated this way by anyone, even friends with opposite political views.
Their spices were very good, but not good enough to put up with that abuse.

There’s one spice mix I particularly like.. Turkish Seasoning.
I read some of the family recipes are tgg by e same from both companies.
Does The Spice House make anything resembling Penzey’s Turkish Seasoning? I used it on so many dishes?
Thanks in advance for your reply ….and I pray/wish you continued success in your business.m

Posted by Barbara G on Monday, January 31, 2022 at 2:29 pm

This site is not associated in any way with the Spice House, except as a customer. But I've found that if you contact them, they are very friendly and will let you know whatever they have that is closest to the Penzey's version.

Posted by SursumCorda on Monday, January 31, 2022 at 2:46 pm

I caught on to Penzeys hate filled rhetoric several years ago. I decided then not to purchase from a company that cashed in a the divisive attitude in the flyers that came with each delivery.
I now do business with the original company they sprang from. I’m not cancelling them - Bill Penzey can torpedo his business without my criticism. Short term jumps will cost him long term in good will. Sad he can’t see that.

Posted by Mary P on Tuesday, February 01, 2022 at 8:13 pm

I just bought 135 dollars worth of spices, a day after I bought them I got a ridiculous and hateful email from Bill. Lucky for me they screwed up my order in shipping and I never received my spices. I was able to get a full refund, and will never buy anything from this ignorant man again. I will also tell my friends and family about his hateful ways. I already got all of my family members to stop buying penzeys products, they were just as disgusted as I was about the emails.

Posted by Steven sullivan on Wednesday, February 09, 2022 at 8:09 pm
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