AllSpicer Eva: Staff Profile

AllSpicer_EvaThis post is one of a series of profiles of the AllSpice staff. We’re proud of our talented and eclectic crew.

Name: Eva Lewin

When did you start working at AllSpice?
I’ve been here the longest of anyone – I started working at AllSpice back in 2010!

How did you come to be at AllSpice?
I heard that a spice store was opening down in the East Village and I thought “Hey it’d be fun to work in a spice store,” so I came and talked to the owner and was welcomed right away.

What do you do at AllSpice?
I manage the dry product: it’s my responsibility to make sure we have enough cinnamon and paprika and cumin in stock to keep the shelves stocked and looking pretty. I also help with jarring throughout the week. And of course I love to be out front, helping customers find tasty blends to spice up their cooking.

Eva, organizing lots and lots of spice blends.

What is your favorite ingredient at the store?
I cook just about everything in the garlic olive oil, and I usually add some granulated garlic to whatever I’m cooking as well. I’m a garlic girl. And the spicy Ammazza Suocera is my favorite go-to seasoning for just about everything.

What is your favorite thing to cook or what is your specialty?
I cook a lot of veggie soups. I’ve got one spiced chickpea stew with bell peppers and onions that I make, that has a cinnamon stick and a whole tablespoon of our Baharat blend in it. This stew is my go-to dish for when I have people over for dinner.

I also love baking shortbread. It’s super simple, and you can switch it up by putting lavender flowers in the dough, or chocolate chips and toffee bits for something a little more decadent.

Eva channeling her inner Snow White, with Red Apple Balsamic, lol.

When someone else is doing the cooking, what is your favorite dish?
I don’t cook any meat at home, so it’s always a fun treat to be at someone else’s house and have them cook burgers, or meatballs, or white chili.

Do you have a food that is your guilty pleasure, and if so, what is it?
Anything fried and/or salty! And I’ve never met an ice cream I didn’t like. I don’t really feel guilty for eating anything though. It’s good to enjoy delicious things!

What is your favorite thing to do at the store?
I love jarring our Taco Seasoning, and any of our sugars. They smell so good, they make me want to cook (and eat).

Everyone has their own little niche that they bring with them to the store, what thing would you say is the most beneficial to our customers?
I have lots of experience cooking both vegetarian and vegan dishes, so I’m always happy to help customers with ideas on making those veggie dishes extra tasty, or suggesting gift ideas for those pesky vegans on their list.

Eva-the-photographerWhat is your favorite thing or things to do when you are not at AllSpice?
I love to play music and go to my friends’ shows, whether that is a concert or an art opening. I enjoy trying new restaurants, and generally just try to stay up to date on everything that’s happening in our lovely city of Des Moines!

Do you have another job or do you go to school?
Yes, and yes! I am a portrait photographer ( when I’m not selling spices, and I go to DMACC very part-time. I specialize in senior pictures, family portraits, and of course, engagements and weddings. Changing seasons and mother nature are my biggest inspirations for my work.