Sheffield Spice & Tea Co. could easily get lost in its huge Target-anchored strip-mall location at Eastern and Silverado Ranch. But this spot works. Maybe it’s the five-star rating on Yelp, or word-of-mouth, or foot traffic from the other stores in the complex. Whatever the recipe, this is the little tea shop that could.
Owner Cheryl Sheffield, 59, was a successful accountant for Boyd Gaming. Her husband Rick often traveled for business and brought back spices from other cities because, “There wasn’t anything here in town,” Cheryl says. “You’d have to order online and [there] you don’t know what you’re getting.”
That was the impetus for Sheffield to leave her stable job and open her dream store, stocked with items she didn’t know much about at the time. “The spice part is pretty new to me,” she says. When her husband would bring various spices home, she thought, “Wow, there’s a bigger world than I realize. I wish I had this stuff when I was younger and raising kids and trying to put a meal on the table.”
In the seven months it took Sheffield to go from concept to reality, she added tea, assorted knick-knacks and kitchen supplies to the store’s inventory, and even more specialty products like high-end oils and vinegars. All the spice blends at Sheffield Spice & Tea are mixed in-house, which means regional curries from India, rubs for poultry, Turkish chilies and more. It’s fun listening to Sheffield explain the specialty ingredients. Of the Urfa Biber Turkish chili pepper blend, she says, “It’s like a red pepper. They leave it in the sun all day and then they cover it at night and it kind of sweats and turns purple and has a raisin-y, almost chocolaty flavor.”
Tea choices are just as bountiful as the exotic spices. You’ll find everything from Tahitian Breeze—a green tea with tropical fruits—to real matcha to roasted caramel apple. And if it’s not on the shelves, Sheffield will find it or develop it for you. Target can’t do that.
Sheffield Spice & Tea Co. 9875 S. Eastern Ave. #E-2, 702-877-4237. Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.