Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Win gift set from Savory Spice Shop and create your own inventory

There is something new inside Savory Spice Shop in North Raleigh that is making customers a bit more giddy than usual, and it’s not a sneeze-inducing sniff of hot chile powder.

Cindy and Bob Jones of Savory Spice Shop-North Raleigh
“People come in here all the time ready to buy a favorite spice that they just ran out of, but they get confused when they're in here surrounded by so many jars,” laughs Cindy Jones, who co-owns the shop with her husband, Bob. “We want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to enjoy the experience of selecting great spices - and finding them again when they need refills.”

Jones says it’s easy to identify determined but distracted customers from their body language. They often cluster before the rows of cinnamon, sniffing each varietal again and again. Was it the Vietnamese cinnamon they liked so much last time, or the Ceylon? And what about those six different types of paprika?

“People can really get lost among all the spice rubs. We try to steer them to the right jars,” Jones says, “but, honestly, sometimes we’re not entirely sure what they’re looking for, either.”

Until now. Earlier this year Savory Spice launched an optional program that archives customer purchases online. If a shopper wants their virtual list recorded at the store, a staff member can create a profile and log each purchase with a few clicks. Records will be maintained a minimum of six months.

“It will make the whole experience quicker and a little more personal,” Jones says. “We love it when people take their time to wander the store to experience it all, but we’re here to help our customers find whatever they need.”

Win this North Carolina Living gift set in the Eating My
Words-Savory Spice Shop giveaway contest.
While Denver-based chain has implemented this system at all franchise stores, Cindy and Bob Jones are offering additional benefits for North Raleigh customers. "Cash in the Cupboard" starts the new year by having customers exchange an old spice jar for a dollar off a purchase of their brand. They also occasionally slip a pair of “Savory samples” into shopper’s bag – one for them to enjoy and one to share with a friend.

This branch of Savory Spice – there are four stores currently operating in North Carolina – also makes a point of being very community involved. Its monthly newsletter spotlights new spices and in-store events, including cooking classes. At 6:30 p.m. today they will feature Jenni Field of Garner, who will demonstrate how to make decadent stove top puddings. Garner will live-stream the instruction online via Google+ Hangouts on Air; see details in this Indy Week story.

The Jones’ are familiar faces at local culinary events and support a number of community causes. They also boost area food bloggers by promoting their posts among customers.

Readers of those blogs benefit, too – just as you might in coming weeks. Savory Spice Shop is offer its North Carolina Living boxed set as a giveaway to readers of Eating My Words. The package, valued at $28, includes jars of Carolina High Country BBQ Rub, Park Hill Maple & Spice Pepper, Cape Hatteras Smoked Seafood Seasoning, and Baking Spice. It also includes a nutmeg seed, star anise and a dried chile.

If you’d like to add this collection to your spice cupboard, here are the rules: Before 5 p.m. Thursday, April 4, tell Savory Spice Shop which of their specialty blends you like best, and how you use it. You can do this on their Facebook page or via Twitter. While you’re at it, I would appreciate if you would follow my blog feed (see link at right) and/or join me on Twitter and Facebook.

I’ll join Cindy and Bob Jones to randomly select the winner of the North Carolina Living gift set the evening of April 4. The contest is open to everyone, regardless of where you live. If you are located too far to drive to their wonderful shop, they’ll mail it to you.

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