Frequently asked questions

What makes Spice For Life different than other spice stores or grocery stores that sell spices? +

Spice for Life is a gourmet spice store with an extensive array of reasonably priced and very fresh spices, some of which are ground on site to insure freshness. Many of the spice blends are custom made at the stall. We package in small quantities to ensure freshness. And we are a social enterprise, which means we give all our profits to nonprofits in the Cleveland area who are working to combat human trafficking.

Why buy from Spice For Life? +

As a social enterprise which donates its profits to a good cause, we are unique in the Cleveland spice scene. In addition to that, we are confident in our offering the absolute highest quality, and freshest spices in Northeast Ohio.

Social Enterprise? What does that actually mean? +

The owners of Spice For Life didn’t found the business to make money for themselves. Instead, we’re here to encourage healthier home cooking and raise money to fight human trafficking, a major problem in the state of Ohio. As such, we pay our expenses like a for-profit business, but instead of profits from the business going into the pockets of the owners, all profits are donated to local non-profit organizations.

Do you really donate ALL of your profits to charity? +

Yes, when we make a profit, we will donate it to organizations that fight human trafficking. This year, our featured organization is Renee Jones Empowerment Center.

How do you sell spices? +

We sell all of our spices by weight, in ounces. We usually sell in 2 ounce bags.

Where do you get your spices from? +

After much research, we found a wholesaler with very high quality spices. They are a family run business, and they share our values by giving back to the community. They source the spices from all over the world.

What is the shelf life of spices? +

For spices that are ground, the shelf life is usually one year. For whole spices, 2-3 years. Spices don’t necessarily spoil; however, their flavors are less potent after the shelf life and can become stale and bitter.

What is your most popular spice? +

Our most popular spice is the Bourbon Smoked Black Peppercorns, which are soaked in bourbon for 24 hours and then smoked. They go well on steaks, burgers, a rich mac & cheese, and roasted potatoes.

Why should I use spices in my cooking? +

The role of spices is to enhance the flavors of the food, not to overwhelm them. Spices can elevate the flavors to new levels of complexity and allow some more of the nuances of the flavors to come through.

Do you have salt free blends? +

Spice For Life has 14 salt free blends, which go well with many types of food. We feature a poster in our store, and on our website that shows the blends that are salt free.

Isn’t salt just salt? What are the differences? +

All salts are different. They differ in their source (mined salt like the Himalayan, versus sea salt like Hawaiian Black Lava Salt). Some offer advantages for cooking, like Sel Gris. Others, for their appearance or the shape of their crystals (Fleur de Sel for example), and are more suited for sprinkling on top of prepared food as a finishing salt.

Do I have to buy those peppercorns whole? +

Nope! We’re happy to grind up any peppercorns, spices or chilies to your specifications. We want great customer service to set us apart from our competition, so we don’t charge extra for grinding.

Are your spices gluten free? +

There are no additives in any of our spices or spice blends, so all the products are gluten free.

What spices are kosher? +

Spice for Life has over 65 spices that are certified kosher. We maintain a list of the kosher spices for our customers to consult at our stall, and can be e- mailed.

Are your spices organic? +

Some products are best to get organic and others may not be. In the process of making spices, many spices are laid on the ground to dry, thus exposing them to bugs, bacteria, and other substances. If the spices are not sanitized, people can be exposed to these unhealthy substances.

How will I know if this is too hot? +

Heat is a matter of taste. We rate our chili peppers on a scale from 1-10, with 10 being the hottest; 10 is the equivalent of around a 1,000,000 in Scoville Heat Units.

Do you have other stores? +

This is our only store, and we opened December 2018. We are 3 women who have had successful careers and we want to give back to our own community. We also have a website www.spice-forlife.com where spices can be purchased.

Do you sell jars? +

No, We do not sell jars... We have no facilities to sanitize jars. But if you bring in your own jars, we will happily fill them, provided you allow us to add our own label. After all, we want folks to know where those delicious spices came from.

Do spices have health benefits? +

While some studies indicate that some spices and herbs may have potential health benefits, there are not consistent and firm data which supports many of the health claims. Thus, we don’t comment on this topic.

What goes well with chicken? +

We have a wonderful suggestion board in the store that gives you some ideas for blends that go well with different types of foods. Of course, it's all a matter of personal taste. I like Spicy Poultry Rub and Five Spice Powder, but there are lots of choices. Try Smoked Sweet or Hot Paprika, too. And don’t stop with chicken…we make suggestions for all types of meat and vegetables.