About us

Imagine your next meal as the beginning of a life-long journey through a myriad of tastes and smells guided by your imagination and creativity. Gold Leaf Spice & Teas is dedicated to assisting you with creating your culinary world.

Or how about a beverage that can be great tasting, not loaded with calories, no crash from too much sugar & caffeine, beneficial to your health and can assist in your weight loss plans? Yes, those beverages are here!

Tom and Terri Madrid are entering their 7th year as Gold Leaf Spice & Teas located 8 1/2 West Gabilan Street in the heart of Old Town Salinas, Ca. It was about nine years ago now that we became aware of the world of spices and teas. Although we have been avid tea drinkers our entire lives, we never really dove into the world of spices. We began to experiment with tastes and found a whole new world of flavors, scents and textures.

It all started when Terri, after being in the Produce Industry for over 19 years, was faced with a lay off due to downsizing of her most recent position as a Credit Director. I can sincerely empathize with everyone who has lost their jobs due to the economy! I was laid off in November of 2008. Tom is a California State Employee with over 25 year’s seniority.

I can honestly say that anger and depression tried to weigh me down. Because of my Faith, I was not going to let that overcome me. One restless night I was awaken from a dream of a relaxing tea lounge where I shared my heart with others in conversation over a revitalizing cup of hot tea. That restored faith and hope in my future. I awakened my husband in the middle of the night and told him of my dream. From that moment on we agreed to pursue this dream and build a Tea Bar. Yes a BAR without Alcohol!

Making this dream a reality was time consuming but not impossible. It took Tom and me about a year searching for the best spices, the best teas. We then added what we personally consider to be the best flavored olive oils in California and Balsamic Vinegars from Italy. Our first purchase was an antique Tea Bar for our lounge which has become our exclusive signature décor and was purchased from an avid tea drinker from Carmel Highlands.

The search for the ideal location required daily drives to Salinas, Monterey and Carmel. Our hearts kept coming to Old Town Salinas but no specific place in mind until we spotted the Old 1907 Glikbarg building on Gabilan Street. I called the Owners of the building, Frank and Kelli Saunders and told them of my dream and if they should have any future vacancies, I would like for them to consider us as tenants. Two weeks later Kelli called me with the news of a vacancy coming up. Little did we know that Frank and Kelli were also avid tea drinkers?

Our Children, Avrie Calabro and Lea Madrid designed and decorated the interior of 8 1/2 West Gabilan Street in Old Town Salinas, the now home of Gold Leaf Spice & Teas. Our Son Tommy and his wife Stacey did all the research on prices and marketing. Terri’s Mother, Thelma Brown, jumped in and volunteered for a couple of years to keep track of our growing inventory.

Tom and I got tired of throwing away old unused spices stuck in our cabinets for years. Most people only need a teaspoon or tablespoon for a recipe. We will sell you the exact amount you will need so there is no waste. What makes Gold Leaf Spice & Teas unique is our Spices and teas all have small sniffer jars for our customers to see, smell and taste before they purchase. We encourage people to create custom blends as many of you have done just that! If we don’t have what you need, we will try to find it for you at a fair price. Let us be your spice and tea pantry!

Olive Oil tasting, Balsamic vinegar tasting and tea tasting at our tea bar is a welcoming experience for all our visitors. We love to see the looks of surprise when our guests taste the uninhibited bursts of fresh flavors infused in our products.

A few people questioned our timing for opening the tea lounge. I always tell people that this is the perfect timing to open a small Mom & Pop shop! The quoted “bad economy” can be at our advantage as small business owners. There are many vacancies to select from. Negotiable leases. Low costs for supplies. But do your research on products to sell. You must have a plan in writing. Consult with marketers and business consultants that you can trust. The best place to start is with BNI in Salinas, a huge referral organization.

Gold Leaf also makes custom gift baskets, wedding favors, special party refreshments, gift cards and private parties.

We encourage our customers to create their own custom blends. We will keep your recipe under lock and key, in other words, your recipe is not sold to anyone else. Many well known Chef’s utilize our store for their blends. To read more about How Gold Leaf Spice & Teas began with a Dream, please g0 to the Blog page at the top of the Website.