Oil. Vinegar. Wine. And More.
Visitors to Broad Street can now experience a whole new level of food shopping courtesy of Olea Olive Oils & Wine. Located at 424 Broad Street, suite 100, Olea offers 40 varieties of olive oil and vinegar, as well as wine and other gourmet food items. According to co-owner Katrina Stavely, Olea is considered “gourmet grocery.”
“We wanted everything to fit a certain profile; we didn’t want anything that’s in here to be able to be found in a grocery store,” she explains. “We wanted to bring an elevated experience to those that come here.”
Stavely and her sister-in-law Liz Kieler opened Olea in January with the goal of bringing a variety of hand-selected, high-end products to their customers. All of their oils and vinegars are naturally infused. “Any natural products that are in the actual oil or vinegar itself, such as garlic, are actually really infused into it before it is then strained,”
Stavely says. “There are no preservatives, there are no additives, there are no quote ‘natural’ flavors. It’s a healthy alternative to something that you would find in a grocery store.”
This commitment to natural products grew from both women’s backgrounds in the food and beverage industry. Kieler worked for Chick-fil-a corporate for many years, helping open restaurants and develop recipes, and Stavely was formerly a professional chef. “With my history of being a chef, I don’t want to serve people fake food,” Stavely says.
“I want to serve you the best food that I can, even though I’m not technically cooking it anymore. It’s more of my ability to teach you how to use these ingredients so that way you can infuse them into your food in your house and just elevate your everyday meals.”
Olea sources olive oils from Spain and vinegars from Italy through a company in Pennsylvania that imports these products.
Along with a wide selection of olive oils, vinegars and wines, Olea sells other “gourmet grocery” products such as handmade pastas from an Italian company called Marella, teas from Oliver Pluff, a veteran-owned business in Charleston, South Carolina, and Lizzy’s Cheese Straws, a small company that uses a third-generation recipe to make their flavorful snacks.
“We want to be able to help out small businesses as well because we are a small business,” Stavely says.
One of the things that Stavely loves most about the business is getting to know customers and helping them shop. “You get to know your customers, you get to know their families, and in an intimate sense of it, you actually get to know what type of meals they cook at their house,” she says.
“It’s essentially a way of them almost inviting you into their home because they’re asking you to give them a new experience with their family. In some direct correlation with that, I also pair wines with the olive oils and vinegars and pastas. There was a lady that came in here and said ‘make me an entire meal, and then tell me what I need to buy.’ I wasn’t expecting that, but it was a fun challenge.”
In addition to a gourmet shopping experience, Olea offers a monthly tasting menu for wine tastings. No reservations are required for a tasting; simply walk in and try something new! “We do not to reservations for wine tastings,” Stavely explains. “We do offer special after-hours functions for those that would like the experience just with friends and family.”
Ultimately, Stavely and Kieler’s goal is to give their customers the best experience possible. “At every point during your shopping process at Olea, we walk you through,” Stavely says. “We explain how everything works, and we just want you to feel comfortable and feel like you’re at home here when you come.