Califonia Bountiful

Bay Area company makes customers spice-wise

One of the easiest ways to add some zing to your life is to add fresh spices and herbs to your next meal.

Want to add some zing to your life? One of the easiest ways is to add fresh spices and herbs to your next meal. At Whole Spice in San Rafael, it's not only the spices that are special, but the relationship between the two owners.

Ronit and Shuli Madmone opened Whole Spice in 2000. Theirs is the place to come for top quality, freshly ground spices, herbs or teas. Along with one other employee, the husband and wife team do it all. Whether it be sourcing out new spices, grinding spices, making labels or updating their Web site, this dynamic duo does everything. And they offer everything from allspice to zhug, a hot spice perfect for mixing with cheese and dipping. "It's just fun to experiment with the spices," Shuli said. "It takes me to all kinds of different places in the world."

For some, spices can be a little daunting, and hard to understand what their applications might be. But Shuli has a simple tip. "It's like life; it's about balance. Not too much, not too little. And that should be how you use spices."

Shuli's love affair with spices began at the tender age of six, when he began helping out on the family farm. From the very beginning, his parents instilled in him a deep appreciation not only for the soil, but for different cultures as well. "I find it's easier to accept people and their cultures rather than reject them," Shuli said.

Bringing the world's botanical treasures to people across California is all in a day's work for this busy couple. And spending nearly 24 hours a day together is actually a good thing for these two. "It's the ideal thing--to work together. We just love each other and the business so much, that it just makes sense," Ronit said.

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