This post is one of a series of profiles of the AllSpice staff. We’re so proud of our talented and eclectic crew!
Name: Piper Wood
When did you start working at AllSpice? I started at Allspice in August of 2015.
How did you come to be at AllSpice? Before working at AllSpice, I was a frequent customer. I really loved the store, and the people who worked there. One day, I went to AllSpice right at closing time with my mom. We left and were walking back to our car when AllSpicer Eva ran down the block after us, waving an application. With an invitation like that, I thought that I would be silly to not apply!
What do you do at AllSpice? I typically work the front register, and take care of restocking bags, refilling olive oil and balsamic bottles, and talking all things food with our customers.
What is your favorite ingredient at the store? While I can’t pin down one ingredient that I like better than the rest, I think my favorite blend would have to be the Berbere Spice Blend. It has a warm complex flavor, with a hint of cinnamon. It’s my go-to whenever I’m roasting veggies, which is basically all the time.
What is your favorite thing to cook, or what is your specialty? I watch a lot of Chopped, so I really enjoy the real-life challenge of combining random ingredients together to create a dish. The best part? It gets rid of leftovers!
What is the most difficult dish you have ever prepared? Would you make it again? I am not a super great “recipe follower,” but I did bake a black forest cake from scratch once, from start to finish; I grew the cherries, picked them, pitted them, made a cherry filling, and made a chocolate cake from scratch. It was a lot of work for one cake, but everyone really enjoyed it, so I think I would probably make it again!
When someone else is doing the cooking, what is your favorite dish? It might sound really strange, but my mom makes corn pudding every Thanksgiving. It’s a savory custard, and it is one of my favorite dishes. I can only have it once a year, so it’s definitely a treat. I remember crying one Thanksgiving when my mom didn’t make it- it’s just that good!
Do you have a food that is your guilty pleasure, and if so, what is it? I like to occasionally indulge in cinnamon rolls… Having Scenic Route Bakery down the block makes this occasion happen fairly often…
What is your favorite thing to do at the store? Personally, I love to connect with customers. Before I worked here, I always liked coming to AllSpice as a customer because of the experience. I try to bring knowledge and creativity to every question I encounter. I feel I’m never done learning, and I find I can learn so much just by engaging in conversation with someone new.
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 try to be very patient, and I love to take my time to help others, whether they have strict dietary restrictions, can’t remember the name of their favorite spice blend, or are looking for gift suggestions. I feel I give time to each of our customers, and work with them to find something that makes their visit worthwhile.
What is your favorite thing or things to do when you are not at AllSpice? I really love to be outside, and enjoy camping, hiking and biking. I am also involved in music, rugby, spoken word poetry and manage a community garden.