- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Good taste tastes good: Almost anyone with a kitchen shares the experience of getting to the end of a new recipe and discovering that it calls for an exotic herb or spice that isn’t offered at the local supermarket.
For locals stuck in what seems a perpetual search for that special something to top off dinner, a new haven awaits.
More than 200 different spices, herbs, powders, seasonings, peppers, seeds, teas, salts and sugars line the shelves along a single wall of the International Spice Rack, which opened June 29 in a tiny strip mall at 2214 Crain Highway in northern Waldorf.
On the other side, just in time for tailgating season, shop owner Betty Moyler features another 20 or so grilling rubs and spices, with names such as Beer Butt Chicken Rub, Big Girl Rub and Knucklehead Rub. Included is a smoke flavoring that Moyer said will give food cooked on a gas grill some rustic charcoal flavor.
Each jar of spice is accompanied by a small, tea-light cup sample of the substance for customers to sniff, as well as a laminated information card describing the spice and its uses.
An accountant by trade, “I have always wanted to own a store business,” Moyler said.
She originally planned to relocate to Gaffney, S.C., where she was born, but opted to stay in Charles County, where she has lived for 35 years.
Market marketing: Initially, Moyler didn’t know what kind of store she wanted to open, but she settled on the Spice Rack about two years ago when her market research revealed that the area could use a shop that offered a variety of culinary herbs and spices.
The store is open Wednesday through Saturday. Moyler said business “comes in spurts,” with one day being really busy and the next slow. She plans to open every other Sunday beginning in the fall.
“People are still learning that I’m here,” she said.
But given the feedback she’s received from customers thus far, Moyler is hoping word of her shop spreads fast.
“Most people that come in are really happy that I’m here,” she added.
“We’re happy she’s here,” Waldorf resident and loyal Spice Rack customer Tracy Love confirmed. “She’s going to do really well, because Waldorf is in such a need of a place like this. It’s about time Waldorf had something original.”
Global flavors: Ordered from a wholesaler, Moyler’s spices come from all over the world, including as far away as India and Egypt, she said.
Early top sellers include applewood smoked sea salt, sweet smoked paprika, sweet cherry rub, blood orange smoothie tea, chamomile flowers and tandoori seasoning, Moyler said.
She also has been surprised by how popular her vanilla beans have been, and even more by how well her saffron has sold, considering it goes for $10.50 a gram.
Moyer has partnered with a local chef to offer monthly cooking classes, the next of which will be Sept. 21 and will cover how to cook three Spanish dishes.
The shop also will host a canning class Sept. 28, Moyler said.
Eventually, Moyler wants to sell rare coffees and set up half of her store as a cafe, complete with Wi-Fi Internet access, where customers can relax and sip tea or a cup of joe.
“Just have a really cozy place, because I have the room for it, where people can come relax and read, have some tea. That’s my plan,” she said.
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