The Food Network was the catalyst that launched Hollie Rollins’ foray into the small business world. An avid participant of the channel’s shows, she and husband David were watching one evening when they got a hankering for the homemade corn beef sandwich that Rachel Ray was making.
To the Rollins’ disappointment, the recipe called for juniper berry, an ingredient they couldn’t find after a high-low search. That’s when Hollie discovered that Middle Tennessee couldn’t claim a spice shop, a fact she found odd in light of the exploding culinary scene.
“We’re such a foodie town. We’re seeing a rapidly growing interest in food. People around here love to cook and entertain, and I just couldn’t believe we didn’t have a spice shop,” Rollins said. “Then I stumbled upon Savory Spice Shop, and knew I had to bring it to Main Street. I really feel like we’re filling a need.”
On Wednesday, Oct. 16, the Rollins family threw open the doors to their own Savory Spice Shop, located at 324 Main Street in downtown Franklin. Founded in Denver in 2004, Savory Spice Shop is a collection of locally owned stores around the country that offer a vast stock of high-quality herbs, spices, extracts and seasonings.
With nearly 400 varieties in store, the Rollins say that all blends are handcrafted in small batches in Colorado, and spices are ground by the week.
“We will have more than 160 blended spices. To give that reference, we have about 25 or so types of curries,” she said. “There is no MSG or GMO in any of our products, and most are gluten-free. Plus our prices will be very competitive with the grocery stores.”
In addition to the superior freshness of the items, the Rollins say one of the most unique aspects of the store will be the ability to customize the amount of spice needed for individual’s recipes. Customers can purchase product at as little as one ounce, and are encouraged to taste before they buy.
The shop owners say they also plan to have the store staffed with knowledgeable employees who will be able to suggest recipes to customers, or walk them through the Savory Spice Shop recipe book housed on the in-store tablet.
“Come taste all of our cinnamon. Or taste from our 20 kinds of salts. We want this to be a place you can come hang and talk about food,” Hollie said. “You know, I love to cook but what I create is not gourmet. So we will have recipes available for someone who has never boiled water, but we’ll also carry those spices that the best chef in the area would use.”
Before opening shop, Hollie traveled to Denver to learn about the items she carries, and how to present each. She says she has tasted all of the available products in the downtown Franklin store, and that Savory Spice Shop’s corporate even crafted two blended spices specific for the surrounding communities.
“When they heard where I was, they exclusively made a Memphis BBQ rub and a Nashville hot chicken spice, and we’ve already had pre-orders on these,” she said. “People are just excited to be able to experiment at home with our spices. With social media, there is such a desire to show off your food and recipes. We hope to be part of that.”
Hollie, who previously held a career in corporate marketing, says that the downtown Franklin location was the most important part of her small business ownership.
“You know, I never wanted to be anywhere else,” she said. “The culinary world here is just thriving. This is where we needed to be.”
The store is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. To learn more about the shop, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/savoryspiceshopfranklin.
“Faces of Franklin” is part of a series on merchants and small business owners in downtown Franklin, Tenn. that runs in the Williamson Herald.