Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Spice Merchant, Wichita, KS

I went here yesterday to buy some tea . . . . I ended up picking up a few more items, including a blueberry-filled chocolate bar from Germany. Yum!

This old Spanish-style building was built in 1909 to house the Mentholatum Company's headquarters and factory. (Mentholatum was invented in Wichita in 1894.) Sometime later, after the company left Wichita, Louise Brooks, a former silent film star, ran a dance studio here.

Now it is home to The Spice Merchant, a gourmet coffee roaster --- even though I don't like drinking coffee, I always love the aromas when they are roasting! And it's a great place to find unique tea blends, spices, and cooking stuff.


  1. Oh my, that looks wonderful! We just bought a batch of fresh spices from Planters Seed in the City Market, smells heavenly!

  2. I could have sketched a better angle if I had parked across the street. Maybe next time . . . . LOVE that old building!

  3. Next time! It looks worthy of a lot of visits...

  4. Getting the right sightline, finding the right parking place--important issues that come into play even before the drawing tools come out of the bag! I’ve driven around the block (wasting precious daylight) settling on a place to light.

    I like Cathy’s solution: return to places multiple times.

    I like this spread--especially the bags of spices. They speak of home, the joy of choosing special ingredients, and the creativity of cooking. I’m looking forward to intertwining our art on this blog, Vicky.

  5. Nice sketch, nice history! Looks like a place I need to visit the next time we're in town. Wilma won't drink coffee, either, but I make up for that.

  6. The selection of tea blends and cooking items is well worth a visit! And a small gourmet chocolate counter. Also, in a tiny upper room in the back, there are lots of PBS items for sale, much of what is offered during pledge breaks.

  7. Are there any urban sketchers in Wichita, Haysville, or Derby, Kansas? I live in Haysville.

    1. Diane, unfortunately there are no urban sketching groups in the area. I lived in El Dorado at the time this was sketched --- I was always hoping to find someone in the area to sketch with but ended up driving to the Kansas City area to sketch with Cathy Johnson's group. I moved to Texas in early 2014.

      You might check with John Lokke if he is still teaching drawing classes at City Arts. Maybe he would know of someone interested in forming a group?


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