As downtown merchants gear up for Mount Dora Arts Festival next weekend, an anxiously awaited new store is busy preparing to open in time for the big event. The Spice and Tea Exchange, a chain of specialty stores throughout the country, is opening its thirty-ninth location on Donnelly Street between Fourth and Fifth Avenues. Glen and Kim Gordon have owned the Tarpon Springs location since October, 2013 and scoured for a second location for seven months before deciding on Mount Dora. The couple said the friendly people, culture of the town and knowledge that The Spice & Tea Exchange stores thrive in destination locations made the choice obvious. The specialty store provides a sensorial experience where customers are encouraged to explore and smell its bulk spices, blends, sea salts and rubs, as well as over thirty loose teas. Kitchen accessories that can be used with their products will also be sold at the location. The downtown store has hired three part-time employees, in addition to their son, to introduce foodies and novices to their specialty products and provide suggestions of how to use them.
The couple's first visit to Mount Dora was in April, 2014 and they now have a place locally to hang their hats. By all accounts, they are quickly beginning to fall in love with the community.
GETTING TO KNOW YOU.... BUZZ: Where do you call home? TSTE: St. Petersburg
BUZZ: Birthplace? TSTE: California (Glen), South Carolina (Kim)
BUZZ: Worst job you ever had? TSTE: Job with food distributor that started at 3am
BUZZ: Favorite two products from your store? TSTE: Florida Sunshine Blend (perfect for seafood and chicken) and the Backwoods Hickory Rub (used in the smoker).
BUZZ: Favorite music genre? TSTE: Comtemporary Christian
BUZZ: Spiders or snakes? TSTE: Spiders (Kim)
BUZZ: Number of children? TSTE: 4
BUZZ: Past professional life? TSTE: Customer service manager for manufacturing company (Glen)