This funky college town has been popping with new shops and restaurants throughout 2021—and Corinn Crawford and Chris Galeano just knew they had to join in on the fun. Originally from New York City, the couple bounced around the Hudson Valley when the pandemic hit. What was supposed to be a two-week stay turned into a permanent move to the hamlet of Napanoch and the launch of their business, The Ridge Tea & Spice Shop.
When Crawford came across a cute little storefront for sale on North Chestnut Street, she knew it would be perfect for their venture. To them, a tea and spice business was a no-brainer—they’re extremely passionate about tea and bringing awareness to its health benefits. “There needs to be more options for tea drinkers,” says Galeano. “They need to feel welcome. It’s the second most consumed beverage in the world.” And welcomed they are.
You’ll find The Ridge very inviting and vibrating with music. The first thing you see when you walk in is an impressively long string of pearls succulent (it’s the shop’s unofficial mascot). The store is flooded with light, thanks to its east-facing windows. Teas and spices in minimalistic glass jars are lined up on custom pine shelves; the owners want you to get up close and personal with the selections. On the left, there are over 70 spices— including classics like Indian curry powder and Brazilian pink pepper—and blends such as everything bagel and Chinese five-spice powder. For those who enjoy getting creative in the kitchen, Galeano recommends the Thai seasoning, a combo of 16 different spices and herbs.
On the right are over 65 loose-leaf teas. We recommend Purple Dream, made with butterfly pea flower, as well as the spicy hibiscus. The shop also sells tea-inspired and seasonal drinks. Customer favorites include sparkling Arnold Palmers and a wide variety of tea lattes. (Don’t worry coffee folks, The Ridge serves java too, brewed with beans from Farfetched in Rosendale.) There’s no regular menu, except for weekly specials posted on the shop’s Instagram (@theridgeteaandspice)—and that’s the whole point. “I want people to have the freedom to create their own drinks, and to have a community to guide them toward what they want,” Galeano says.
The community the couple is striving to create is one that focuses on sustainability and wellness. Customers are encouraged to bring their own tea and spice containers and there are reusable tins of varying sizes for sale. If you stop by on Sundays, you’ll find free produce from the New Paltz Open Air Market (and sometimes veggies from the couple’s home garden). The duo also started The Ridge Run Club which meets at the shop every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday; the route often includes trails near the store’s namesake, the Shawangunk Ridge. Future plans include finding a space to make their own blends and traveling (once it’s safe) to personally source their teas.