Open for Business: Bloomington store spicing up community

Local News

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) – Every day, Ruben Granados is surrounded by racks and racks of spices. His love for cooking has always been front and center. 

“I remember watching like Food Network when they didn’t have enough programming to go through the whole day. So that was like back when Emeril was the big thing, you know. So it’s like you’d watch everything that played last night. And then they loop,” Granados said.

“Over the years, even from my first job, like I just kind of had this feeling like, ‘Man, I really think I have to end up working for myself.'”

ruben granados

Now, Granados and his partner, Don, are helping customers create their own concoctions in the kitchen while at their store, Bloomington Spice Works. 

He said, “I think that’s it’s just one of those common bonds that everybody shares. So you can’t argue with the fact that everybody’s got to eat.”

The two opened up shop in April of 2019 as a way to fill a void in central Illinois. 

“Even within like a 100, almost 200 miles before you find something close to this,” said Granados. “This was the idea though that when we asked several people that were close to us, ‘What would you think of a specialty spice shop here?’ And most people—their immediate reaction was like, ‘That’d be fantastic.'”

Bloomington Spice Works just recently reopened after the holiday season and a uncertain 2020. The store was shut down from March to May because of the coronavirus. The community has fully backed Ruben, even during the pandemic. Granados said the demand continues to grow. 

“COVID kind of benefitted us, which is just strange. It’s still strange to say. But it’s just so many people who are cooking. Or some people are not used to cooking forced to cook at home now,” he stated.

Bloomington Spice Works is located at 507 N. Center St and can be found online here.

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