Tom and Patty opened the second Spice House location in Evanston, Illinois in 1996--close enough to home and parental business consulting to be comfortable, yet far enough to feel it was their own adventure.
Located right next to the Central Street stop on the Union Pacific North Line of Metra, and a short walk from the purple line of the El, our Evanston shop is easily accessible from Chicago.
The opening of the shop in Evanston had coverage by both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun Times. Wonderful things happened in this venture, including the Evanston Small Business of the Year award in the year 2000 and a morning segment on FOX news.
Patty and Tom have become members of several organizations involved in the culinary arts, and participated in many programs combining restaurateurs and chefs with educational spice programs. They've spoken at events for the Culinary Historians of Chicago, Slow Food, Les Dames d'Escoffier, and were selected by the American Institute of Food and Wine as participants in the Best of the Midwest Festival. They were on the circuit tour as educators for the AIWF, although their daily duties as shopkeepers limited them to mostly events in the Midwest. They lecture regularly for Kendall College's Culinary Program in Evanston and Chicago.
Another notable event was Alton Brown's taping of a segment for his Food Network show "Good Eats" in the Evanston shop. He began at 7am and was dragged out by his camera crew at 7pm -- only because they were from Atlanta and their baseball team was playing in the World Series that night. The "fruitcake" episode has now aired fifteen years in a row at Christmastime (Patty has delusions that she is just like Jimmy Stewart in "It's a Wonderful Life"!).
Since then, we've hosted National Public Radio's Michelle Norris here, for a segment on cinnamon. Even a few years later we continue to have customers tell us they first heard about our store on All Things Considered.
The Evanston store also hosts several tours groups and lectures every year.
Got my spices in the mail today. The extra loose cinnamon sticks, nutmeg, and bay leaves inside the popcorn seasoning box was a wonderful touch. And then a handwritten thank you on my invoice melted my heart. You guys are awesome!Deana Culbreth, Facebook Review