A PINCH OF HAPPINESS SPICE SHOP

OSWEGO DOWNTOWN BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: A PINCH OF HAPPINESS

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Business: A Pinch Of Happiness Spice Shop
Established: 2016
Current Downtown Location:  74 W. Washington Street
Business Hours: Monday- Closed; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 10am-4pm;
Wednesday 12pm-6pm; Saturday and Sunday 11am-3pm

Phone Number: 630-806-4990
Website Link: https://www.pinchofhappiness.com/

Many surrounding communities do not have the luxury of having their very own spice store…..Oswego is fortunate to feature A Pinch Of Happiness Spice Shop as one of their own Downtown gems. Found on the main thoroughfare through town on Washington Street, this hometown store welcomes you in with a pleasant aroma reminiscent of grocers and stores found in childhood memories. The first impression a guest receives upon entering is the quaint glass jars filled with both specialty spice blends and old favorites that line the surrounding shelves.

There are many finds amongst the inventory that would be ideal for a cook with more experience looking for specific items not regularly found in supermarket spice sections, such as crystallized ginger or varying types of vanilla beans. However, the novice (or busy!) cook is also obliged through offerings of special time-saving spice blends for soups, chilis, or even Instant-Pot and take-and-bake meals. For those interested in venturing into new culinary territory, A Pinch Of Happiness offers periodic cooking classes to the public with Chef Ray focusing on an array of subjects ranging from traditional foods, seasonal items, and even specific dietary needs (such as vegan/vegetarian meals). A full list of classes may be found on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/APinchofHappinessSpice/.

Visitors will find over 300 products to choose from the shop’s inventory. A Pinch of Happiness boasts a large loose-leaf tea selection with various tea infusers to fit anyone’s preference. Another section contains multiple types of dried mushrooms sold by the ounce. Great choices of various vinegars are also available. If someone is searching for a gift for that special person, the shop can create gift boxes, baskets and seasonal mixes for any occasion. Even your furry friends are thought of—there are mixes to help with baking your own dog treats at home!

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A Pinch Of Happiness is also a spice shop with a heart and for helping others in our community. The shop is owned and operated by Celebrate Differences, an Oswego-based non-profit organization that supports programs to help infants, children, and adults with disabilities.  Founder and shop director Rebecca Christiansen was inspired by her own family to embark on this venture, as her son Ryan was born with Downs Syndrome. Rebecca helps facilitate the 100% volunteer-run operation by providing training, job skills, and employment for adults that may not otherwise be accommodated through other existing programs.

A Pinch of Happiness also takes steps to ensure even their merchandise supports their cause-- sources for most of the store products are from organizations and companies who support adults with disabilities.  Many of the store’s volunteers started out as customers and, through their interaction with both the store products and the salespeople, decided to become volunteer mentors and be a part of the store’s mission. Over time as the store has grown, Rebecca and A Pinch of Happiness have worked to extend their outreach further in multiple ways, such as creating/managing a kiosk at the local high school and into facilitating events such as the annual Chocolate Walk for Charity.

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Rebecca loves having A Pinch of Happiness as part of Downtown Oswego because of the community and support received by the local Oswego residents who frequent the store to support its mission. Through its operation, many adults with special needs have benefited through its job-training programs, sense of responsibility and purpose, as well as the customers who visit and enjoy the exceptional products and classes. A Pinch Of Happiness is truly a store in the business of making the world a better place, one spice at a time!

Photography: Wendy Greenslade from Locked In Photography
Article content: 
Karen Kulzer and Autumn Ramsey

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