The Spice and Tea Exchange was founded in 2006 by Amy Freeman. Finding herself homeless at 16, Freeman learned to not only take care of herself, but she discovered that she could do anything if she put her mind to the task. While on vacation in St. Augustine, Florida, Freeman found a small tea and spice store and immediately fell in love with it.
Starting the business in 2008, at the height of the financial recession, many people told Freeman that the business would not work, but she had faith that, in this digital world, others would view the company as she did; a place to relax and enjoy the scents and tastes of teas, herbs, and spices from around the world.
Freeman immediately began franchising her business. Soon, the idea took off. Even if people could no longer afford to eat out, they could afford a box of tea and enjoy the scents of other spices inside the locations.
Today, the company has more than 50 franchised locations, with plans in 2018 to open 15 locations in Arizona alone. Freeman believes the reason for her success is not only about her vision of the company, but because it is different from other coffee houses or even tea houses. They offer herbs and herb blends for cooking, in addition to coffee and tea, as well as spices not typically found in American grocery stores, including sugar and salt.
At this time, company headquarters remain in Palm Harbor, Florida.