Spice trade on West Main

The Main Street Market, more commonly known at the "purple building" on West Main Street (Hey, what about just calling it the Purple Market?), welcomed a new shop recently: The Spice Diva.

Your olfactory system is in for a treat, as they offer freshly ground spices, salts, peppers, herb teas, and extracts ground and prepared just weeks after being harvested. Owner Phyllis Hunter, who moved here in July with her husband after nearly three decades in Virginia Beach, says the idea for the shop came to her during a family trip to Northern California where she stumbled on a similar spice shop at a city market there. She already knew she wanted to do something with food when they made the move to Charlottesville, but that chance visit to the spice shop sealed the deal. In fact, Hunter sources most of here spices from the company in Northern California that ran the store.

"These are such high quality spices," says Hunter. "They're ground within a week of shipping and never treated with pesticides. Come in and try them and you'll see what I'm talking about."

To get you to come in, Hunter is offering a pretty cool deal: bring in your old spices, trade them for her new ones, and you'll get 30 percent off. Dish smelled a few of these remarkable spices, and compared to that old jar of curry or thyme you probally have at home...well, it doesn't even compare.