Savory Spice OKC, a locally owned specialty spice shop opened its doors on September 16, 2012 at 4400 N. Western Avenue in a revamped space, previously an old laundromat just north of Lobby Bar.
I heard about Savory from a few friends and a little twitter buzz, I visited the store one day and ended up becoming friends with store owner Able Blakely, like most customers do.
I was shopping for jerk seasoning. I had been craving that authentic Caribbean flavor since I visited Jamaica years ago, and Savory was the first place that I had found to fulfill that need. Upon this discovery I began to find tons of spices to use, some I have never thought of. It has been one of my favorite specialty shops since opening, and I just had to sit down with Blakely to get the back story on this fantastic shop.
Blakely grew up on a large farm in Northern Oklahoma, attended Oklahoma University, and moved straight to Denver out of college. “I was selling insurance and being gainfully unemployed,” stated Blakely. After the passing of his father, Blakely returned home to help his mother manage her estate, and they were both needing a bit of a life change.
“I came back to help my mother with her large estate, she was wondering what she would do for retirement and I talked about how much I hated selling insurance. “I needed to be back home,” said Blakely.
He was looking for something new without even realizing it.
“I discovered Savory in Denver in 2004 from a butcher seeking rib rubs,” said Blakely. “He said, ‘If you want the good stuff, go down to Savory’, so I did. That store was set up very much the way mine is today.”
Savory, though local, is a very small, owner/operator ran franchise.
Everything sold in the store is a concept of the franchise, and all spices are blended fresh. “They don’t grind the spices until I order; the oldest you could purchase here wouldn’t be older than a month or two.” “Six months to a year, spices began to lose essential oils and flavors, with the exception of saffron, which has a shelf live of seven years”
If you purchase something from Savory, don’t toss that jar! They are refillable, and the refill will save a dollar or so on each spice. ”I was throwing away empty glass spice jars, and we really wanted to minimize our economic impact.”
Able’s favorite spice: Tasmanian pepperberries, a very floral, light pepper, that also turns purple when sprinkled on food, making for a magical.presentation.
Savory also carries many spice blends developed for baking, such as vanilla powder, pumpkin powder, coconut powderand honey powder, along with local honey from Hilltop Gardens, a purple thrush/clover blend that has a consistent flavor throughout the year.
Most small jars of spice are in the $4-$5 range, with the exception of specialty spices. Many customers assume that a specialty spice shop would be more expensive than a chain grocery store, but that isn’t true at Savory, and you won’t find these items in the grocery store.
Coming upon the first year of business, Savory Spice OKC is proud to be part of the Western Avenue Shopping District. “It’s such a cool time to be in the small business community in Oklahoma City right now, I think we are going through a renaissance right now.”
“I moved back here from Denver because I would have never had this business opportunity there. Oklahoma City is blowing up with noteable local restaurants such as Coach House, Lobby Bar, Ryan Parrot and his new concept Tamazul, Cafe 7, and many others.”
Savory Spice is a discovery for Oklahomans over the past year, with the addition of good, healthy grocery shopping in the metro like Urban Agrarian and Native Roots, leading us to a healthier lifestyle as well.
Shop at Savory and I can promise that you will discover new flavors and new people, and you will walk away with a good taste in your mouth.
Mon – Thu: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Fri – Sat: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Follow Savory Spice OKC on Twitter @savoryspiceokc
Like their Facebook page here.