Top 10 gift ideas for nearly anyone on your list

Nov. 25, 2019

This paid piece is sponsored by The Spice & Tea Exchange.

Whether those on your holiday list are easy or impossible to please, we promise these options are going to go over well.

Need proof?

In the six months since Tami and Vernon Brown opened The Spice & Tea Exchange in downtown Sioux Falls, Tami can literally count on one hand how many returns the store has had.

That means good odds for your holiday gifting. But just to make things even easier, we’ve got a look at the top 10 picks at 328 S. Phillips Ave. based on the first months in business at The Spice & Tea Exchange. Plus, they’re bundling these items into “Sioux Falls Favorites” for easy grab and go gifts.

  1. Tuscany Italian Blend – “This one outpaces all products,” Tami Brown says. “It captures customers at the first scent.” That’s why it’s typically the jar the store’s employees first open for guests to experience.

It’s great on chicken, baked into bread or mixed with pasta dishes. Tuscany is part of the Custom Blends collection. They are hand-blended in the store from the ingredients on the shelves – salts, peppers, spices and herbs – and will kick up the flavor of baked and grilled meats. Any of the 85 custom blends also work well with olive oil as a bread dip. Many make excellent veggie dips when mixed to taste with sour cream.

  1. Florida Sunshine – This salt gets its name from the fresh orange, lemon, and lime zest that Brown and her staff peel, dehydrate and grind right in the store.

“Customers love when we’re blending Florida Sunshine because the citrus aroma permeates the air,” Brown says. The salt and citrus blend tastes especially good on fish or eggs, but guests tell Brown they’re exchanging their ordinary table salt for Florida Sunshine.

  1. Vik’s Garlic Fix – Anyone who loves garlic grabs this blend. Its potency packs enough punch to stave off a crowd of vampires. Use it as a rub on any meat or mix it to taste with sour cream for an easy dip. “Just be careful,” Brown warns. “A little goes a long way because our products are so fresh. I overdid it the first time, and Vernon, who’s a little garlic-sensitive, accused me of trying to kill him,” she jokes.
  2. Apricot Ginger Tea – “This black tea snuck up on our best seller list,” Brown says. It did OK in the early days of the store, but it now takes top honors among the 50 loose-leaf teas on the shelves. Its fruity flavor paired with the anti-inflammation benefits of ginger make it a go-to tea for morning.
  3. Earl Grey Creme – Coffee converts love the notes of vanilla and creme that pump up the traditional British tea. As a black, it also offers caffeine, and a little-known benefit of tea: Although a lower level of caffeine than coffee, it sustains longer than coffee, which spikes and quickly flatlines.
  4. Blood Orange Smoothie – Although this is the top seller in the entire franchise, it ranks No. 3 in Sioux Falls. This and all other herbals are caffeine-free. Maybe we need caffeine to get through our winters? The smooth, creamy citrus flavor reminds many of the Orange Dreamsicles they consumed in childhood.
  5. Garden Mirepoix – This salt blend includes dried carrots, celery and onion. It’s perfect for intensifying the flavor of fresh-cut vegetables.
  6. Black Truffle – The scent of this can overwhelm, but its taste mellows on meat, potatoes/fries or even popcorn.
  7. Salted Caramel Sugar – Great sprinkled on frosted cookies, cupcakes or muffins, this naturally infused sugar takes on a surprising role mixed in sour cream as a fruit dip.
  8. Wild Blueberry Sugar – This one sells itself on first taste. The store’s sugars and salts are becoming a draw for local bartenders concocting signature cocktails.

The above make up a small fraction of the tasty products on the shelves, so you’re bound to find something suited for those difficult ones on your holiday list.

Shopping this Thanksgiving weekend? Specials will include $10 grinder bottle products, plus spend $100 or more and you’ll receive a $10 gift card for your next visit.

The Spice & Tea Exchange of Sioux Falls also offers many gourmet accessories, including hard-to-find tea steep ware. Whether it’s the in-store experience or online videos and recipes demonstrating how to use the products, the satisfaction is demonstrated in the lack of returned products.

“Because guests can experience the products by smelling and tasting, they know the quality of what they’re getting before they purchase,” Brown says. “But we’re also here to help walk you through the products and ensure you select something everyone on your holiday list will love.”

The store is open at 328 S. Phillips Ave. from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

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Top 10 gift ideas for nearly anyone on your list

Whether those on your holiday list are easy or impossible to please, we promise these sweet and savory options are going to go over well.

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