Leaving St. John but First – St. John Spice

My two days in St. John quickly came to a close and I found myself on Monday, December 19, 2011, preparing to return to St. Thomas to take a plane to St. Croix. After checking out of the Westin St. John, Kenneth Louis, my driver on St. John, picked me up and we headed for the Cruz Bay ferry to take me back over to St. Thomas where I would once again meet Campbell Rey to take me to the airport. The ferry terminal is quite small so it is easy to navigate and you simply need to purchase a ticket back to Red Hook and pay for any luggage you check at $2.50 per bag. I checked my bags and decided to take the little bit of time left on St. John to go explore.

With just a few stores in this area, I was drawn immediately up to St. John Spice. Climb the stairs up to the second level and check out what is inside. I promise you won’t be disappointed! Opened in 1999, they offer a variety of products from food items (including coffee, tea, jellies, jams, vanilla, rum balls, and more including hot sauce — more on that in a second) to books (including cookbooks and calendars) to souvenirs of all kinds (including t-shirts, sweatshirts, photos, and more). The owners, Ruth Ernst and Ron Piccinin, who hail originally from Massachusetts, started the business after spending several years visiting St. John and later deciding to call it home. Although they never anticipated becoming store owners on St. John, you would be remiss to not take the time to visit this great store full of great finds and gifts. If you would like to read more about how they turned their vacation place into a home, go here. If you think this is the life for you, check out their St. John Spice Web Cam to instantly feel jealous!

What attracted me to the store was the possibility of not only spices, but other possible great finds inside. Boy was I ever right! Here you can see the wall of hot sauces behind jars of tea and several masks on the wall. Not only do they have tea, but they have tea pots, infusers, and even herbal “bush teas. Their coffee flavors are to die for including Kiss of the Jumbie, Spiced Butter Rum, and White Chocolate Truffle Coffee among others. Their Kiss of the Jumbie coffee is their bestseller. Which one will be your favorite?

Now onto the hot sauces, which had me drawn in like a magnet. We go through quite a lot of hot sauce in our house and I freely admit that I get a little excited when I see more than Frank’s Red Hot on any wall. I zoomed in immediately on Dave’s Insanity, Melinda’s and others whose name I choose to forget because of the memories of pain they have consistently inflicted on me in the past. Despite the pain and if you’re a hot sauce lover, then you know what I mean when I say I can’t get enough of this stuff. The choices here are more than you’ll see probably anywhere else and that’s for a reason. St. John Spice has the largest collection of hot sauces in the Caribbean!

Before I knew it was time to go and so I grabbed my camera and headed down the stairs to the ferry terminal. If this is your first visit to St. John and you’re worried about missing the ferry, please don’t worry! The store is only a few steps away from terminal as you can see in this picture. I love how the area all around the terminal was decorated for Christmas so despite the lack of snow, it certainly felt like Christmas here! I only waited a few minutes before it was time to board the ferry and head back over to Red Hook to St. Thomas and begin my journey onto to St. Croix.