Viola Vierk and Uwe Paap have have been active in the international spice trade for a long time and have traveled many countries of origin. On these trips the first pieces were collected for the museum. In most countries the work was still very primitive, mainly by hand and using simple devices. It was clear, however, that it would change very soon, because the spice trade is now just as commercial as many other trading segments. The classic trade, as it was formerly known, no longer exists. Today, the goods arrive in whole container cargoes in the major ports of the world and are usually brought directly to the processing industry. If necessary, it is then cleaned again, screened or mixed and packaged in the commercial packaging, which you know personally from the supermarket. In order to prevent the old forms of trade and processing from being forgotten, Uwe Paap, initially alone, opened a small, very primitive spcie museum in an old company building in the Richardstrasse in Hamburg in 1991. After many efforts, he was able to move to the Speicherstadt together with Viola Vierk in 1993. Here is the optimal location to tell spice history!
About the location Speicherstadt
What does the museum have to do with the port of Hamburg?
Around 1880 the Speicherstadt was still a densely populated quarter with popular residential and commercial quarters. 1888 the Speicherstadt then became a free port through toll connection and over 25,000 humans were expelled or had to be resettled. During the second world war a part of the old Speicherstadt was completely destroyed and with the years this also changed the external appearance of the Speicherstadt. In the past, the spices were delivered either with shafts from the rear of the warehouses via the fleet and then pulled upwards by the outer winch or from the front side (side of the road) and fetched with the outer winch. The goods were transported inside the stores with baggage carts, which you can also look at today. The stores have been designed and built so that when all doors and windows are closed, it does not get colder than 18 ° C in winter.
Who runs the spice museum?
In 2000, Uwe Paap retired as a co-owner for personal reasons, and Spicy’s has been managed by Viola Vierk since then. Viola Vierk (born 1962) has been the owner and managing director of Spicy’s Gewürzmuseum since then. She has been in the international spice trade for over 14 years and has been able to travel to many countries of origin during this period. With the company Spicy’s Gewürzmuseum GmbH, she has created a field of activity with which she would like to open up new ways for the spice business and give impulses. For this project, Hamburg as the third largest spice-handling area in the world with its traditional Speicherstadt is in any case the right place and offers a lot of potential!