BEST SPICE SHOP (1998)
The Penzey family began its mail-order business in 1957 out of the back of Bill Penzey's Milwaukee store. Since then their list has grown to 140,000 customers around the globe. We suppose it's to our credit that the Twin Cities ordered enough spices to warrant our own store, which opened in August. Business is booming. And no wonder: According to store manager Linda Klean, the store stocks more than 250 spices and seasonings. Everything is imported directly from its country of origin (Bill's a big traveler), and ground fresh. Turnover is quick; nothing sits around the store for longer than six weeks. Among the original blends are nine curries based in nine regions of India. Best-selling spice blends include the Chicago Steak Seasoning and Brady Street Cheese Sprinkle. And the number-one top-selling item? Black pepper. This is Minnesota.