Changes at World Spice
World Spice has been experiencing many changes recently, and we know you’ve noticed. We want to be direct with you about these changes and hope to answer any questions or concerns that you might have… and to ask for your support.
After 20 years of hard work, our founder and friend Amanda Bevill has retired. Amanda accomplished what many try and most fail at: building a successful business that lasts decades. Her legacy of delivering joy through high quality spices, blends, teas, and recipes remains core to our mission. World Spice is now an employee-owned company.
However, post-COVID, and in a retail environment hit hard by inflation and competition from big companies like Amazon, shutting World Spice down was on the table. Actually, it was the plan. It’s tough out there.
But three things were clear to us.
One, we wanted to stay open.
Two, we only wanted to stay open if we could be a business committed to our fresh, small batch products that help more people enjoy their food every day.
And three, in order to avoid shutting down we would need to make some big and sometimes hard decisions – quickly.
So survival has been a question – but we’re also excited about what’s next. Here’s what we’re doing right now:
Launching a new site powered by Shopify
You may not know this, but WorldSpice.com was coded and managed by our own talented tech team since we first launched! Platforms like Shopify simply weren’t powerful enough at the time.
But times have changed. We want to offer the features so many of you request: gift cards, simple subscriptions for regularly-used products, rewards programs, additional shipping options including those for overseas military, and more. Launching those features on our previous site was prohibitively costly… but on a modern Shopify store, it’s easy. This would let us focus on what World Spice does the very best: find and deliver the spices and blends we’re proud of.
The first version of the new site is up, and will absolutely evolve (recipes will be back ASAP, we promise!). We’ll make updates based on your feedback and our plans every week.
Change did come with some cost.
We did not copy over your old accounts to Shopify. Some things, like passwords and credit cards, we simply can’t for security reasons.
We know many people already have Shopify accounts. But, many of you will need to create a new account. I apologize for the inconvenience.
You’ll need to re-enter your email and address. Order information is not migrating over. (If you need to see previous order information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, with the email address you have used in the past, and we’ll send over historical orders.)
Commercial customers: we will be in touch this week, but please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
Where are the recipes?!
I know I just mentioned this, but it bears repeating: the recipes will be back on the site in no time! With more to come!!
Delayed Shipping… here’s why
Our warehouse and production facility was based in Montana, where Amanda lives. With her retirement in March, we threw into high gear to relocate the stock and equipment to another culinary heart of the US – Durham, North Carolina! Several – including Amanda 😉 – thought it would take longer than it did. It was a whirlwind, working eight days a week. Now we’re thrilled to be in two corners of the country. (Look out, Maine or California, you might be next!)
This is why we’ve had delayed shipping. But our new facility is operational, our stock is fresh, and we are catching up on orders as quickly as we can. (We’re calling the new space the Spice Lab, since we’re grinding, blending, and creating here everyday. I’d love to know what you think about the name.)
We do know that these recent shipping delays are inconvenient, especially for the many of you who plan ahead for holidays, special occasions, and everyday meals.
To thank you for your patience with us, we’re offering existing customers free shipping for the month of April. Just use promo code SPRINGCLEAN.
Speaking of gratitude: the Seattle team not only ran the retail store, but handled shipping many of your orders over the last few weeks! Give them high-five if you pop into the store.
New Sizes, Still Shipping Whole Products
We love whole & freshly ground spices.
Many of you know that the pre-ground spices you buy at most grocery stores are several YEARS old. Our spices are much fresher. We’ve taken a long hard look at what we sell, and there are some products we just don’t sell enough of to be able to keep them fresh. You’ll see some products discontinue, and that’s why. We don’t feel right selling it if we’ve had it too long.
We’re also one of the only places you can still get either whole or freshly ground spices. This is important as we support both experienced home chefs, newcomers, and everyone in between.
But being able to still offer whole spices, and grind in small batches close to the packing date, has made it hard to support the wide variety of sizes we’ve offered all of these years.
And when we look at our orders… over 90% of your purchases come in one of just three of our options. So, we’ve reduced our offerings to those popular sizes. I know and admit this is frustrating for each of you who purchase those discontinued size options, and I want to acknowledge that.
A happy “oops!”
All of you received an email last week offering 12% off your first order. That was actually meant only for new email subscribers, but we clicked the wrong button and sent it to everyone.
This meant the new site got revealed a little early! Many of you have given both praise and helpful critique. We love your feedback and are happy to offer the discount to say “thank you” for helping us get the new site right.
So, everyone, please do enjoy the 12% off with the promo code HELLO12.
You can even combine this promo code with SPRINGCLEAN for free shipping at the same time!
But wait, there IS more…
Almost all of the purchases customers make are in our refill bags. And we can do better than those bags.
Finishing a project we all started with Amanda, we are switching to barrier-safe, black, recyclable pouches that help keep your spices more fresh for an even longer period of time during shipping and for those of you who don’t use glass jars at home (and we know that’s most of you…!). The pouches we are switching to come from the experts in sustainable packaging, NoIssue. These will roll out in May.
The small pouches are roughly a half cup of spice and the medium pouches are roughly a full cup—the actual weights vary depending on how dense or fluffy a spice is.
Up until recently, we were charging less than McCormick does for many of their spices! You can get 2.5oz of McCormick Black Pepper on Amazon for $5.99… or you could get about four ounces of our much fresher, higher quality pepper for under $5. That had to change, and it has.
Sustainability includes financial sustainability, and being able to afford quality health benefits and regular wage increases for our staff, too. We’ve made this change, and with pricing we believe is still affordable, but reflective of both the quality we provide, and the world we live in.
An updated store experience, too
You can tell I like data. One scary data point is that without some changes, the store isn’t sustainable and we’d have to switch to online sales only. We don’t want that!
A more interesting data point: We estimate that for every one of you who walks in and buys spice, about 5 people leave without trying something out. And I understand – spices, like book stores, are at once inspiring and intimidating! So much to choose from!
We’ve asked ourselves how we can make sure we keep delivering our wide range of products to our loyal customers, but do a better job of introducing more people to a more flavorful life through simple, fresh spices.
We think we know. We will have more to say soon, but some changes are coming, and I can tell you about one now: we’ve discontinued store pickup and fulfillment in Seattle.
If you’re a local Seattlite, pop in the store and we have a shipping code to give you free shipping UNTIL June 30, 2023 to smooth this change over.
We want you to know that your concerns and feedback are being heard. We’re grateful for your patience and your loyalty. Team World Spice is looking forward to serving you in Seattle and across the country for many, many years to come.
- Porter Bayne, World Spice CEO with Jamie, Shauna, and the rest of Team World Spice