Gateway: Business

Love of quality food inspires vision for new spice store

Windy Payne had no idea her new business on Harborview Drive had a water view; the windows were covered in paper when she moved in.

When the paper was off the windows and the store opened up April 1, it was a surreal experience. Payne had been a Gig Harbor Farmers’ Market vendor since 2010, but now she had a permanent home.

“To be able to stand there, in my shop... it’s an amazing feeling to have that,” she said.

Payne has been selling her unique blends for the past five years at the farmer’s market, both at the Peninsula Gardens location and formerly at the downtown location. This is her first go at a brick-and-mortar store. She’s been looking for about two-and-a-half years for a downtown location.

Her shop, For the Love of Spice, is located in the former home of Kit Kuhn’s jewelry shop.

She wanted to open in Gig Harbor, close to her home. She’s involved around town, teaching at Bella Kitchen and Home and hosting demonstrations at the Food and Wine Festival. She also is an active volunteer.

“Community is really important for our family and for our son,” Payne said.

Her 19-year-old autistic son is one of the inspirations for her business. He works in an office in the store and he is able to help out. Payne created her spice business as a way to have enough time to help with her son and also pursue her love of quality food.

Payne discovered many different diets designed for people on the autism spectrum. From there, she branched out to other specialized diets. That’s why her store has a wide selection of gluten-free foods.

“I make an effort to educate myself on all diets,” she said.

While discovering different food restrictions, Payne saw a need for people to have a bit of zing in their food. With special diets, sometimes the spice is lost.

“I feel like spices add flavor back into people’s lives,” Payne said.

For the Love of Spice is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sundays. It is located in downtown Gig Harbor at 3104 Harborview Drive.