I Love We Olive
This part here in italic? I did not write this part. Full disclosure, people.Thanks to American Express for sponsoring my writing today about small businesses. American Express is presenting Small Business Saturday, a way to honor the local merchants who are the backbone of the economy, this Saturday, November 27. They’re offering statement credits to people who shop at small businesses, advertising for small-business owners, and donations to Girls Inc. for “Likes” of the Small Business Saturday page on Facebook. Join the celebration by clicking the “Like” button and then visiting the Facebook page to learn more about the program and read the terms and conditions that apply.
We Olive in Ventura, California
American Express said I could write about any small business I wanted for this post. I immediately thought of We Olive because I love them so much.
This is the story of a happy man, a story about the power of a wish.
Steve Tobey was a general contractor when he visited the We Olive store in Paso Robles, California. He liked the store so much that he said “I’d love to have the guy behind the counter’s job.”
Fast-forward to a year later. He opened his own We Olive store on Main Street in downtown Ventura! Now he IS the guy behind the counter, enthusiastically handing out samples of his products and educating people about olive oil.
I think there’s a power to saying what you want out loud, and Steve is proof of that. Doesn’t he LOOK like he’s having a good time?
We Olive is a small franchise that has 8 stores in California. They are wonderlands full of gourmet foods, olive oils, beauty and gift products – and the best part is that you can taste dozens and dozens of their products on any given day.
This isn’t one of those places where you go and feel like the staff is hoping you’ll just buy something and leave. This is an interactive experience – the staff greets you, suggests things to try, answers your questions and provides a culinary education in quick, digestible bites.
They have samples of almost everything available to taste, from their dozens of California olive oils and flavored vinegars to mustards, dips, marinades and dessert sauces. I highly recommend the strawberry champagne sauce. I like it on a spoon. It doesn’t really need anything else.
Sometimes they even have olive oil ice cream. You should put “taste olive oil ice cream” on your bucket list. It’s that good.
They also sell bulk oils in bottles you purchase from them or bring in yourself.
The day I was there, they had an amazing Manzanilla “Olio Nuevo” that was pressed just two weeks ago and was zingy with the leafy green flavor of freshness. This is NOT your grocery store olive oil.
Steve says his biggest seller, outside of various olive oils, is his bulk balsamic vinegar. It is very, very good, as is his bulk blood orange olive oil. What do you use blood orange olive oil for? Pretty much everything except breakfast cereal – and I’m not even going to rule that out.
All of his oils are certified extra-virgin – none of them are some weird funky mix of adulterated oils like we have been hearing about in the news lately.
Whenever anyone visits Ventura, I tell them they have to go into We Olive because I know they’ll have a good time. They also ship.
We Olive in Ventura is participating in Small Business Saturday by having a 15% off sale storewide. Here’s a link to their Facebook page. In addition, if AmEx members register their cards online, they can get $25 back on their $25 or more purchase. That, my friends, is an awesome deal. Free food!
Please join us in supporting Small Business Saturday by visiting the Facebook page and “liking” them!