It’s no secret that the winters can be brutal here in Minnesota, but a nice cup of tea is guaranteed to warm you up and keep you cozy through these harsh winter months.
That’s why this month, we decided to chat with Terri and Alana Emmerich, a mother-daughter duo who own and operate Spice of Life Tea Shop and are experts in crafting that perfect cup of tea.
The Emmerich’s story doesn’t actually start with tea - instead, it starts with a small hobby farm in rural Avon, Minnesota, where the whole family has been growing vegetables, fruits, and herbs for farmer’s markets and local co-ops for over 20 years.
Tea was a natural progression when Terri discovered a love for herb gardening after seeing a lemon verbena plant at a local greenhouse.
“I fell in love with the idea of growing fragrant and flavorful herbs,” said Terri. “I found that experimenting with different combinations of dried herbs for tea blends was a product I could offer at winter farmers markets.”
A Family Affair
Ten years ago, Terri and Alana noticed a new tea shop in St. Cloud and soon began selling their herbs to the original owner, who was delighted with their blends.
When the tea shop was for sale just 2 years later, Terri and Alana knew they had to jump on the opportunity to continue their passion for herbs and tea through the business. Thus, Spice of Life was born, and Terri and Alana have been a mother-daughter team ever since.
“We each bring our own expertise to the shop,” says Terri. “It’s been really gratifying to work so closely with Alana, who really embraced the family business.”
What makes Spice of Life so special is not just that it’s a family affair, but also the variety of tea that it offers, and the care that Terri and Alana put into producing and making each blend. With over 170 different teas as well as tea accessories, bulk herbs, and more, it’s no question that Spice of Life is a tea-lovers paradise.
Building a Healthier Community
The local community of St. Cloud remains ever-important to the Emmerichs, where they offer their wholesome products to the community while also supporting other local businesses by coming up with special tea blends for different restaurants and groups in the community.
“We believe strongly in offering our customers healthy beverage alternatives,” said Terri. “We’re proud that we use natural, whole, and mostly organic ingredients for all our various products.”
And for Spice of Life, support goes both ways.
“The COVID pandemic was hard for a lot of small businesses, but we found that our community really stepped up in helping us out during that difficult time,” said the Emmerichs. “We will always be grateful for the support of the St. Cloud community for that.”
As for the future, Terri and Alana are looking for a larger space so that even more tea lovers can get a taste of the Spice of Life.
Learn More About Spice of Life or Shop:
To find out more, visit Spice of Life Tea Shop's Facebook page or their website.
Spice of Life’s HeartWarming Tea is featured in our Blue Ox Box.
Photos by: Erin Emmerich