The Spice & Tea Exchange opens downtown this week

June 12, 2019

The Spice & Tea Exchange brings its distinct aroma and wide variety of spices, herbs, sugars, salts and teas to Phillips Avenue starting Friday.

The national shop and tea bar is opening at 328 S. Phillips Ave., next to M.B. Haskett Delicatessen, and being franchised by local owners Tami and Vernon Brown.

“I think the look and feel actually surpassed what I thought it might be,” Tami Brown said. “We’ve been to these stores before, and we knew what they looked like, but this is such a fit for a historic building.”

Shoppers will discover a multisensory experience, Brown said, which will encourage them to smell and taste the products.

“Visually, you’ll see the bold colors of the spices and blends, which is a testament to how fresh they are, and the smells change depending on what we’re blending or what tea we’re serving,” Brown said.

“You can smell almost every product in the store, and we will sample quite a bit. That will range from dips to teas and feature different products all the time.”

The tea bar will serve any of the four dozen teas available warm or cold along with a daily featured tea.

The store also includes 140 spices, 85 exclusive hand-mixed blends, naturally flavored sugars, infused salts from around the world, gourmet gifts and accessories.

There are about 10 part-time employees, which Brown said is enough for now until she determines if more are needed. Many, like she is, are former teachers. Brown finished her teaching career at Washington High School in May, didn’t take any days off and started working on her new business.

“I moved out of my classroom and came down to the store, literally,” she said. “Two months ago, this was empty. The office supplies in our back room came from my classroom. But we think it’s a great time to be opening. With Father’s Day coming up, we’ve got great items for grilling.”

Vernon Brown will help with the business but remain at SDN Communications as vice president of marketing and community relations.

They also plan to welcome the first Sioux Falls Pride parade Saturday by featuring their ROY G. BIV tea, a rainbow of flavors including apples, hibiscus flowers, green tea, orange peels, strawberries, lemongrass and rose petals.

“This is for everyone, men and women and all ages,” Brown said. “Middle school kids drink tea, all the way up to octogenarians.”

The Spice & Tea Exchange plans to hold a grand opening in July.

Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The Spice & Tea Exchange expanding to Sioux Falls

The Spice & Tea Exchange opens downtown this week

The Spice & Tea Exchange brings its distinct aroma and wide variety of spices, herbs, sugars, salts and teas to Phillips Avenue starting Friday.

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