Perfect blend: Downtown welcomes The Spice & Tea Exchange

Jan Loveland, Contributing Writer

Photo by Dave Lein

Bill and Kristen Arim recently opened The Spice & Tea Exchange, at 113 N. Bridge St., downtown Bellaire.


BELLAIRE – With autumn just around the corner, it’s comforting to think about a change in habits. When the air has a bite, most hardy souls choose warm drinks and spicy foods to compensate. Fortunately, The Spice & Tea Exchange has opened in downtown Bellaire and those needs have been anticipated.

Owners Bill and Kristen Arim are ready not only with teas and spices, but with a mission to help customers translate the couple’s seasonings and brews into their new favorite things. In their minds, a fragrant cup of tea or bowl of soup sounds like a winning formula for the coming fall and holiday seasons.

Kristen Arim grew up in the area as part of the Redfern family, well-known for the marine business that preceded DeWitt Marine in Clam River. She and husband Bill have lived in Florida for many years, where they discovered the first Spice & Tea Exchange franchise.

As they began to use the spices in their home kitchen, Kristen found that “they enhanced everything I was making.” But she already was a practiced cook, starting with an Easy Bake oven and continuing to learn from both her mother and grandmother. Cooking was always her avocation, but eventually it became her passion.

Four years ago, the couple started their own Spice & Tea Exchange store in Dunedin, Florida, learning – by doing – to organize and market the diverse product line.

“We watched the business model for a long period of time,” Kristen said.

With that experience behind them, they decided to bring the store to northern Michigan and made final arrangements in May.

Open now next to Short’s Brewery, the store has a new facade, and is lined with jars of spices, teas and an array of tea accessories. It’s a place that welcomes cooks, with spices being expertly blended from exact recipes on the premises.

“We have something for everyone,” Kristen stated.

Read the full story in our regular edition of The Review. To subscribe to the paper for just $34 a year, which includes access to our full online e-edition, please go to the subscription page on this website at:



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Bellaire, MI 49615
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Bellaire, MI 49615

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