The Blue Turtle Tea & Spice Co., soon to open at 2 S. State St., will bring international spices and teas to Uptown Westerville.

The Blue Turtle Tea & Spice Co., soon to open at 2 S. State St., will bring international spices and teas to Uptown Westerville.

"We're carrying loose teas, a huge variety of loose teas from all over, and spices from all over the world anything that kind of teases the palate," said shop owner and Westerville resident Amanda McGuffin-Noll. "People who like to cook, this is the place for them."

The shop has a grand opening scheduled for Oct. 16. In addition to selling spices and teas, the shop will sell healthy snacks and different varieties of dried mushrooms, salts and sugars, as well as teacups, pots, travel mugs and kitchen items such as mortars and pestles.

Wherever possible, McGuffin-Noll said, the shop will carry items that are free trade and organic.

"We're really firm believers in organic products, not just in terms of health, but flavor as well," McGuffin-Noll said.

The Blue Turtle will have a hot tea bar where customers can purchase brewed tea by the cup, made from the store's loose-leaf teas.

Many of the teas, as well as the spices, are blends McGuffin-Noll created as a result of her extensive research and her background.

"I've had to put research into it. I also come from a family of chefs," she said.

McGuffin-Noll said she was inspired to open the shop as a way to marry her experiences in the corporate retail food industry and her love of quality, organic foods.

"I wanted to do something more where I had direct contact with the customer," she said. "I've been eating organic food for several years now and really have a passion for it."

McGuffin-Noll's family also has put its stamp on the shop, with the name The Blue Turtle being inspired by her 10-year-old son, who has said he wanted to open a toy store of the same name since he was 2 years old.

Uptown Westerville was a natural fit for the store, she said, because of the small-town feel, active foot traffic and the support entrepreneurs receive from local business groups.

"The town is so awesome. It's so great," McGuffin-Noll said. "Everybody really works together to support the businesses."

McGuffin-Noll said The Blue Turtle also will bring something new to Westerville shoppers.

"I think the people who come to Westerville are looking for different things," she said.

For more information about The Blue Turtle, visit the shop's Web site at www.blueturtleteaandspice.com.

jnesbitt@thisweeknews.com