After John Beaver and Erica Perez moved to Oakland in 2009, they were surprised by the lack of fresh spices available in the otherwise abundant and diverse food scene. John Beaver’s experience with spices goes back to his very first paying job with the Spice House in his native Wisconsin, and he knew if a spice shop could work in the Midwest, that it could work in Oakland. Together Erica and John opened Oaktown Spice Shop in 2011, and expanded to Albany in 2017.
Oaktown works with hundreds of importers sourcing the “absolute best-tasting version of each individual spice,” grinding them in-house to produce spices and blends with potent flavors. The shop’s aroma is so delightfully intense, an Oaktown employee decided to bottle it in the form of an aromatherapy roller.