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We inherited our love for food and cooking from our parents. Shuli grew up on a paprika farm and spice business in the Negev desert, run by his Israeli Yemeni family; Ronit’s family comes from Casablanca in Morocco, where complex and subtle spice blends are part of everyday cuisine.
In northern California, where we met in the 1990s, we couldn’t forget the home cooking we grew up with; so we decided to continue our culinary traditions, and to share these gifts with others.
We started Whole Spice in 2000, selling freshly ground spices, herbs and blends at local farmers markets in the San Francisco Bay area. We soon began to have regular customers and people would linger at our booth to learn about how to cook and bake with their new spices. We shared our favorite recipes, and soon had crowds at our tables.
Word of mouth led us to bigger pastures: We began working with independent grocery stores, restaurants and catering companies. Next, we launched wholespice.com and customers from all over the country started ordering freshly ground spices and herbs for home delivery. Many customers asked us for organic spices, so we added a full line of USDA-certified organics.
With great excitement, we opened our Whole Spice shop in 2008 inside the Oxbow Public Market in Napa. For the first time since our farmers market days, customers could smell and sample our freshly ground spices and blends — only now they could choose from hundreds of different varieties.
Our shop has become a Napa Valley destination for tourists and locals alike, including area winemakers and professional chefs from acclaimed restaurants and culinary programs.
They come to us because they know we grind and blend our stock as needed, so it’s always fresh — and fresh spices make all the difference in any dish. First-time customers often tell us their culinary experience will be changed forever, now that they’ve discovered truly fresh spices and exciting new flavors.
“Spices bring the whole world into your kitchen,” Ronit says. “You can take an international trip without having to fly.”
You’re invited to join us on this never-ending journey.