Penzeys: Spicing Up Life in Houston and Around the United States

Updated on May 2, 2020
Peggy W profile image

My husband and I are what could be called "foodies." We enjoy sampling and discovering new and different foods from all areas of the world.

Inside the Houston Heights location of Penzeys
Inside the Houston Heights location of Penzeys | Source

Penzeys

If you are a seasoned chef or an aspiring home cook, you will fall in love with Penzeys. They are a Wisconsin-based chain of stores carrying a wide variety of herbs, spices, and more. Currently, as of 2019, they are in 30 states, according to their website.

There is only one location in Houston, and it is in the Houston Heights. The address is 516 W. 19th Street, Houston, Texas 77008.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
The interior features a homey environment An old Kelvinator refrigerator inside of the Houston Heights storeThe aproned staff is very friendly (permission given to take and publish this photo)
The interior features a homey environment
The interior features a homey environment | Source
An old Kelvinator refrigerator inside of the Houston Heights store
An old Kelvinator refrigerator inside of the Houston Heights store | Source
The aproned staff is very friendly (permission given to take and publish this photo)
The aproned staff is very friendly (permission given to take and publish this photo) | Source

Comfortable Atmosphere

Much thought went into the interior design of Penzeys. Looking at the Kelvinator refrigerator, homemade-looking curtains, and rag rug on the floor, it is reminiscent of the 1950s. Before refrigerators, iceboxes were in everyday use.

My mother always wore an apron when she was working in the kitchen. The clerks inside this store also wear aprons. They are happy to assist store patrons with selections of the wide variety of herbs, spices, and other flavorings required in recipes.

The gentleman pictured above told us that he could always tell when an online recipe was going viral and needed an unusual ingredient like sumac as an example. Suddenly they would have many customers looking for that ingredient inside the store.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Children’s art display inside of the storeArt drawings by children on display inside of the store The store features an area where children can make art
Children’s art display inside of the store
Children’s art display inside of the store | Source
Art drawings by children on display inside of the store
Art drawings by children on display inside of the store | Source
The store features an area where children can make art
The store features an area where children can make art | Source

Family-Friendly Place

A cute display of children's drawings is inside of the store. There is seating for children, along with an inviting place to draw new works of art. This art space is particularly lovely for parents who wish to peruse the store offerings while at the same time keeping their little ones occupied and happy.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Salt selections on displayDifferent seasoning blends on displayRosemary for sale in different sized containersCrushed jalapenos for sale in different sized containers
Salt selections on display
Salt selections on display | Source
Different seasoning blends on display
Different seasoning blends on display | Source
Rosemary for sale in different sized containers
Rosemary for sale in different sized containers | Source
Crushed jalapenos for sale in different sized containers
Crushed jalapenos for sale in different sized containers | Source

Aromas and Packaging

Upon entering Penzeys, your olfactory senses will suddenly kick into gear due to all of the spices and herbs. What is particularly enjoyable is the ability to lift off the lids of the sample containers and take a sniff if one is unfamiliar with a particular herb or spice.

Descriptions and suggestions on how to use the various flavorings are helpful. But being able to get a sense of how they might taste by being able to smell it first is even more useful. That cannot happen in a typical grocery store!

The packaging offers shoppers a choice of how much or how little they wish to purchase. Separate empty jars are available for purchase for those who like to buy more significant amounts in bags and then repackage it for ease of application when cooking.

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Gift box assortmentsGift boxesGift boxes
Gift box assortments
Gift box assortments | Source
Gift boxes
Gift boxes | Source
Gift boxes
Gift boxes | Source

Ready-Made Gift Boxes

There are many sizes of prefabricated gift boxes with various assortments of herbs and spices. They also have empty ones whereby shoppers can make their selections and fill the boxes accordingly.

Several times we have purchased these boxes and have given them as gifts. They have ones made up for teachers, people who like to barbeque, those who wish to bake, people who enjoy cooking with flavor but be salt-free, etc.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Interior viewView inside of the storeSpices A to ZSoup basesEmpty glass jarsDifferent types of vanilla for saleAssortment of pepper choicesHerbsView inside of the store
Interior view
Interior view | Source
View inside of the store
View inside of the store | Source
Spices A to Z
Spices A to Z | Source
Soup bases
Soup bases | Source
Empty glass jars
Empty glass jars | Source
Different types of vanilla for sale
Different types of vanilla for sale | Source
Assortment of pepper choices
Assortment of pepper choices | Source
Herbs
Herbs | Source
View inside of the store
View inside of the store | Source

Catalog Sales

Fortunately for those who cannot travel to the stores in person, the shop has an online catalog. Shipping is free if purchased from their mail-order business totaling $40 or more. There are many tasty-sounding recipes in their catalog, which is reason enough to take a look.

Food pantries and other organizations that help to feed the poor are given Penzeys pepper in an equal amount to the pepper that is purchased in their stores and catalog. I always like hearing that companies do good by helping others.

Exterior of the building in the Houston Heights
Exterior of the building in the Houston Heights | Source

Business Hours

The store is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Mondays to Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Founded in 1986, I hope that they thrive long into the future. We are lucky to have one of their stores here in Houston.

Promoting love and cooking
Promoting love and cooking | Source
Our latest acquisitions from our last shopping trip to this store
Our latest acquisitions from our last shopping trip to this store | Source

The difference between herbs and spices is that herbs come from the leafy part of plants and spices from the wood, seed, fruit, or other nonleafy part.

— Bill Bryson At Home

Source:

https://www.penzeys.com/

Questions & Answers

    © 2020 Peggy Woods

    Comments

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      • Dianadee profile image

        Diana Carol Abrahamson 

        4 weeks ago from Somerset West

        Stores that display their wares well and pay attention to detail, really care.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        4 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Diana,

        I agree with you. The decor in this Penzeys store is cute and creative.

      • Dianadee profile image

        Diana Carol Abrahamson 

        4 weeks ago from Somerset West

        Thanks Peggy. I love the shop and the decor is so creative. The boat turned into shelving is just the best.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Rosina,

        Thanks for adding your kudos to this chain of stores selling herbs and spices.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Lorna,

        Their gift boxes are great. Sometimes they are prefilled, and a person can always use an empty one and fill it with their own choices of spices and herbs. We have given some as gifts to those who enjoy cooking.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Ruby,

        It is funny how times change. Washing clothes used to be more of a project back then, which is probably why they wore aprons to protect the clothing when cooking. In my early childhood days, my mother's washing machine was in the basement. We had to haul the wet clothes upstairs and hang them out on a line to dry. That was before the advent of clothes dryers.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi greg cain,

        They used to share recipes in their catalog and I would guess that they still do. Enjoy!

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Bill,

        What we particularly like about them is the freshness compared to items on most grocery store shelves, which may or may not be as fresh. That, and getting to smell them before purchasing them, is a treat.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Louise,

        You probably have some stores that are unique to your area and ones that we wish we had over here.

      • surovi99 profile image

        Rosina S Khan 

        5 weeks ago

        I am already in love with the Penzeys which consist of a chain of stores covering many states in the US. They carry spices, herbs and more, which is marvellous.

        I especially like the fact that they maintain the 1950s setting and environment inside the store especially in Houston and probably in the other stores of the chain.

        I particularly like the idea of the children's corner where they can do artwork while their parents look around and shop in the store.

        Great hub, Peggy!

      • Lorna Lamon profile image

        Lorna Lamon 

        5 weeks ago

        It looks so enticing and I love the idea of the 'gift boxes'. I have Indian friends who educate me when it comes to various spices, and I find myself using them more and more. I also wear an apron in the kitchen, a habit I picked up from my Granmother and Mother. Another delightful article Peggy and an enjoyable read.

      • always exploring profile image

        Ruby Jean Richert 

        5 weeks ago from Southern Illinois

        This would be an interesting store to visit. The name is new to me. I like to cook with some spices, esp. black pepper and onion. I also like the 50's theme. My mother always wore an apron when cooking, funny how times change. I do not own an apron.

      • boxelderred profile image

        greg cain 

        5 weeks ago from Moscow, Idaho, USA

        I want to go to Penzey’s! Great article and since we don’t have one here I think I’m going to do some browsing through their online catalog. Thanks for the great and tempting tip, Peggy.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Liz,

        Yes, the decor in this store and how they present the herbs and spices is well done.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi FlourishAnyway,

        I agree that some of their flavor combinations are great! Our cupboards are filled with many of them!

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        5 weeks ago from Olympia, WA

        Never head of them, but I would love them if they were in Washington. I'm drooling just thinking about all of those delicious flavors.

      • Coffeequeeen profile image

        Louise Powles 

        5 weeks ago from Norfolk, England

        I love the look of that store. I wish we had that here in the UK.

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Patricia,

        The smelling of the herbs and spices can get overwhelming if smelling too many of them at one time. We generally only lift the lids and smell limited amounts of them during any one visit, if we are curious as to what they might add to our cooking.

      • Eurofile profile image

        Liz Westwood 

        5 weeks ago from UK

        It seems that a lot of thought has gone into the presentation and business model of this store.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        5 weeks ago from USA

        We have a Penzy’s in Richmond and I love them. There are spice combinations there that I can’t live without, and it’s always so fragrant. I swear by certain spices that dress up plain vegetables without salt and really make them pop.

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        5 weeks ago from North Central Florida

        This sounds like my kind of store. As soon as you mentioned the type of store, I could almost smell the aromatic blend of delights waiting to tempt us. Angels headed your way this morning. ps

      • Peggy W profile imageAUTHOR

        Peggy Woods 

        5 weeks ago from Houston, Texas

        Hi Pamela,

        The setting is cute with that 1950s vibe. My grandmothers, as well as my mother, always wore aprons when cooking.

      • Pamela99 profile image

        Pamela Oglesby 

        5 weeks ago from Sunny Florida

        This store looks great with all their herbs an spices. I was not familiar with this store and I don't think we have one where I live. I like the 1950s type setting. My mother wore an apron in the kitchen also.

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