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

My husband and I both enjoy cooking. We like 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


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

Our latest acquisitions from our last shopping trip to this store

Our latest acquisitions from our last shopping trip to this store

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


© 2020 Peggy Woods


Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on August 17, 2020:

Hi Sarah,

It is good to know that their contactless curbside pickup for orders is going well. I am sure that they are also doing more mail orders than ever because of the pandemic. My husband and I enjoy their products.

Sarah on August 17, 2020:

Wonderful products. Recently picked up a pandemic inspired order placed via the internet. Very well handled with curb side no contact. Look forward to the day when in store shopping will again be allowed. Their specials are always really good values.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 24, 2020:

Hi Denise,

I am sure that their mail-order business has significantly picked up during this pandemic. You will find a fantastic variety of items in the Penzeys catalog.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on July 23, 2020:

I'm very interested. I have been shopping for more herbs and spices lately, because the vegan recipes often call for things I never even heard of before. I've been educated and my cooking experience expanded in the process. This could come in handy. I'll have to check out the catalog.



Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on July 10, 2020:

Hi Rajan,

I'm pleased you enjoyed learning about Penzeys. Because of the pandemic, they are doing some business by people ordering ahead of time and picking up their items curbside. They are also doing much of it online and shipping items to people's homes.

Rajan Singh Jolly from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 10, 2020:

This store is a revelation and a delight to watch. You are lucky to be having such a herb and spice store in Houston. Thanks for sharing useful information and great photographs.

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on June 18, 2020:


It must make you smile to be awakened by your pet cat, Charlotte. I remember being awakened by our cat's whiskers, tickling our faces in the past. Penzeys does offer so many tasty spices and herbs to stimulate the senses!

DREAM ON on June 18, 2020:

What a delightful hub. A place like no other. Tying in the past with the present. So we never forget the good and how far we have come. I have never heard of Penzeys.Spices. My cat Charlotte woke me up from a deep sleep. Now all the wonderful spices are stimulating my senses. Thank you so much for sharing.

Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on May 04, 2020:

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

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on May 04, 2020:

Hi Diana,

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

Diana Carol Abrahamson from Somerset West on May 04, 2020:

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

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 30, 2020:

Hi Rosina,

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

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 30, 2020:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 30, 2020:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 30, 2020:

Hi greg cain,

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

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 30, 2020:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 30, 2020:

Hi Louise,

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

Rosina S Khan on April 30, 2020:

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 on April 29, 2020:

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.

Ruby Jean Richert from Southern Illinois on April 29, 2020:

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.

greg cain from Idaho, USA on April 29, 2020:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 29, 2020:

Hi Liz,

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

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 29, 2020:

Hi FlourishAnyway,

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

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on April 29, 2020:

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.

Louise Powles from Norfolk, England on April 29, 2020:

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

Peggy Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 29, 2020:

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.

Liz Westwood from UK on April 29, 2020:

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

FlourishAnyway from USA on April 29, 2020:

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.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on April 29, 2020:

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 Woods (author) from Houston, Texas on April 29, 2020:

Hi Pamela,

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

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on April 29, 2020:

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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