Lynnhurst life partners Lois Kehl and Mark Kryzer developed a shared passion for spices over very different careers and are eager to share their knowledge and products at their new Windom store.
Spice Your Life, a destination for high-quality spices and olive oil, opened at 54th & Garfield in late March. As a grocer, the store has been allowed to operate during the coronavirus pandemic.
Kehl is a neuroscience Ph.D. and dentist who worked as an assistant professor at the University of Minnesota. Her partner, Kryzer, was a longtime State Department employee who served as a diplomat in the Middle East. While Kehl became interested in the health benefits of spices in the lab, Kyzer was developing a passion for the flavors while stationed in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Nepal.
“If you have the right ingredients, food is very flavorful and very healthy,” Kehl said.
It was walking through the Dubai spice market a couple years ago that inspired Kryzer to want to begin selling some of the rare spices he’d been exposed to. The couple began to sell online and at the Linden Hills farmers market.
“The response was good enough that we said, ‘Let’s take it to the next level,’” Kryzer said.
Their new shop is full of high-quality blends of familiar spices like chipotle chili powder, smoked paprika and turmeric. But Spice Your Life also carries harder-to-find products like Urfa Biber (Turkish pepper flakes), Pipelchuma blend (a mix of crushed chilis and garlic popular in Libya and Israel) and Berbere spice blend (an Ethiopian mix of cumin, paprika, turmeric and coriander). The store also carries a wide range of high quality olive oils.
“These are things you won’t find at your local grocery store,” Kehl said.
The couple keeps a blog full of recipes and hopes to bring in local chefs for events and demonstrations down the road.
“We want the shop to be a bit of a social place in the future,” Kehl said.
During the COVID-19 shelter-in-place order, Spice Your Life is offering delivery in most of Southwest Minneapolis and has added a curbside pickup option. The retail store remains open during the shutdown but is closed on Mondays.
614 W. 54th St.