Established in 2015, Sweets and Spice is a woman-owned small business located in Arlington – but its origins are in a small restaurant in Tajikistan. The products are fresh-made, all natural and affordable – a variety of Central Asian and Eurasian foods, cakes, cookies and chocolate candies, plus a wide range of spice blends. Fresh ingredients and no preservatives are the hallmark of these goodies – no artificial colors or flavors, high fructose corn syrup or partially-hydrogenated oils.
Sweets and Spice owner Shohina Tureava writes:
“Since childhood I have always enjoyed baking and cooking. I would always use my culinary skills to treat my friends and relatives, but never offered my products to others as I thought they would never like it! I have always thought it would be fun to own a bakery, but never planned on doing it until I had my second child. It was then that I just did not want to leave him and return to an office job. I wanted to enjoy my baby, have a flexible schedule and bake, so I left my career and decided to start a small business.
“Starting this business was a great challenge for me. I think I would have not been able to make it to this day without all the prior academic knowledge (budgeting, strategic planning, etc), experience (I helped my dad to open a small restaurant in Tajikistan), and the support from my family. The hardest part was finding a commercial kitchen, but I was able to rent a space from one of the local restaurants in the early mornings.
“The first time I ever offered my products to the public was at CPRO’s Holiday Bazaar in December 2015. And in late February 2016, the Columbia Pike Farmers Market became my first vending location. To this day, I have been there almost every Sunday, offering my freshly baked/cooked products to the customers of the market.”
Sweets and Spice can be found Saturdays at the Old Town Farmers Market in Alexandria, and Sundays at the Columbia Pike Farmers Market.