Frequently Asked Questions
How much is shipping?
We try to price spice shipping to just cover our costs. Your shipping cost is based on the weight of the products in your order and your geographic distance from Chicago. The price will be provided to you before you confirm your order. Please see our detailed Shipping Information page for more information.
How will I know when my package has shipped?
As soon as UPS picks up your package and enters it into their system, they will send you an email with your tracking number. With this number, you can follow the progress of your package.
How do you package your spices?
Our spices are sold in resealable plastic bulk bags and flint-glass jars. For most spices, you can choose bags or jars; there are a few that come either only in bags or only in jars. Bags and jars are both available in a range of sizes.
How do I use the online ordering system on your web site?
Find the product you want using the keyword search in the top left, or navigating through the Our Spices, Gift Boxes and Accessories or Recipes link. Many products have different forms and sizes so click "Buy" next to the type and size you want. From the Cart page, you can click check out to proceed through the secure ordering process. One of our four stores will pick up the order from our secure portal and ship your order out. Please note that your card will not be charged until we ship the order.
We treat your payment information with absolute security. All purchases are secured by Thawte Extended Validation SSL, a division of VeriSign. At no time is your credit card number stored or is accessible by our staff. We are audited quarterly to ensure security compliance and follow all practices defined by our bank and credit card processor.
When placing an order a unique reference number is created to allow repeat orders without reentering your credit card details. This number allows us to process orders in the future without recollecting your credit card details. This is called a "reference transaction" and is the industry standard for secure eCommerce.
In compliance with bank requirements, the last 5 digits of your credit card number are stored to help you identify your payment method, but this information insufficient for making a purchase.
Should you wish to delete your payment details you may do so at any time from the "My Account" section of the website.
Will you add my email address to your mailing list automatically just because I order something from you?
Absolutely not! Unless you check the add me to your mailing list checkbox on the order verification page, or send us an e-mail message asking us to do so, you won't receive unsolicited email!
The Spice House does not sell, rent, or share any of your personal information to any third party. Your infomation is used for the sole purpose of completing your purchase or contacting you regarding your purchase.
If I sign up for your newsletter while I am in the store, how often will you send me emails?
We very rarely send you more than one email a month. This is done through Constant Contact and you can press the opt-out button at any time and we will delete you from our list.
What is your store address?
We now have five locations. Please see the Our Stores page for more information.
What is the best way to store my spices?
You want to get them into some kind of airtight container. Glass jars are the ideal storage container. Air, heat, and light are the enemies of fresh spices, so an airtight container in a cool, dark place like a cabinet is ideal. You can also add to the life of your spices by storing them in the refrigerator; the only problem with this is, out of sight, out of mind. The worst place to keep your spices is above the stove because the heat from the oven will destroy the essential oils in the spices.
How long do spices last?
Whole spices can last several years. Once spices are ground their volatile oils have been released and they are already beginning to dissipate. We recommend not buying a larger amount of an individual ground spice than you expect to use within a year. Old spices will not make you sick, they just won't accomplish their true purpose. A good, simple test is to smell them. If you don't get a scent, it's time to throw them away. A fun way to throw them away is to toss them on your grill when cooking. This is a way to release the last little bit of volatile oils that might still remain, and put flavor into your grilling food!
Do your blends contain MSG?
As the country's concern for MSG became apparent we made a concerted effort to remove MSG from almost all of our blends. However, MSG is a flavor enhancer that does make things taste better. What we found is our old-time customers complained about the taste difference when we took out the MSG. These are also people that knew that they did not have MSG sensitivities. Only eight of our blends still contain MSG. We try to be very upfront with our customers about ingredients in our blends. Even though the government requires us to identify only salt, sugar, MSG, garlic, onion and "spices", we give you every spice ingredient in a blend at the bottom of the seasonings description in our catalog.
Are your spices gluten-free?
Yes, all the spices and blends we process in our store are gluten-free. We carry two products that contain gluten, asofoetida and Demi-Glace, both of which come to us pre-packaged so there's no risk of cross-contamination. For more information, please see our Gluten and Allergen Information page.
How do I substitute a dried herb for a fresh herb?
Generally speaking, you use one third the amount of dried as you would fresh. If your recipe calls for one cup of fresh dill, use 1/3 cup of dried. Basil is one exception, however, where you use half as much dried as you would fresh.
What amount of a spice do I purchase to fill a spice shaker jar?
This is the hardest thing to explain to our customers because of the difference in weight and volume. Our spice jars are a half cup by volume which is 4 fluid ounces. Picture the old pound of feathers and pound of gold. Same weight, tremendous difference in volume. It takes only 1/2 oz. of an herb to fill a shaker jar, while it takes 4 oz. of salt. If you tell us what size jar you are trying to fill, we can tell you what you will need in individual spices. For our standard 1/2 cup jars, there is a "Jar Refill" option, which is 1/2 cup of spices, whatever that may weigh.
Are your spices kosher?
Our Milwaukee store is certified kosher by the Kosher Supervisors of Wisconsin. For more information, please see our kosher spices page.
Are your spices irradiated?
Can I buy wholesale?
We do sell to many restaurants. The discount is based on volume. Generally speaking, if you purchase 5 pounds or more we can offer a discount of 15%, depending on how labor intensive the product is. Call us for specifics at 1.630.262.1777.
What do you recommend for beef?
What do you recommend for chicken?
Our best seller is Old World Central Street Seasoning. We personally love our Jerk Spice, but it is on the hot side and not for everyone. Other staff favorites include Milwaukee Iron Seasoning and Greektown Seasoning.
What is your favorite fish seasoning?
How about vegetables?
Could you open a store in my neighborhood?
You never know what the future will bring! For now, we're happy to ship the finest fresh spices directly to your front door.
If you have any further questions, please Contact Us.