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Spice store Penzeys is open in Santa Monica

March 19, 2009 |  9:42 am


The economy may be inspiring people to cook at home more. At least that's one explanation temporary manager Frank Locante has for why the new Penzeys Spices shop in Santa Monica has been busy since it opened Feb. 27.

He also credits the location -- on 4th Street, between Arizona and Santa Monica Boulevard. It's the second Southern California store; there's one on Hawthorne Boulevard in Torrance.

Penzeys Spices is a Wisconsin-based company that began doing only mail orders more than 20 years ago. The Santa Monica store is the 41st for the company, and like some others includes a '50s kitchen as part of its decor.

Penzeys has more than 250 products, from chile spice mixes to extracts, common herbs and spices to the more unusual, such as ajwain -- which is a bit like thyme and is used in Indian and Pakistani dishes.

-- Mary MacVean

Photo: Jerry Bojarski / Penzeys Spices