`California's 'We Olive' Opens in Brooklyn - Olive Oil Times

California's 'We Olive' Opens in Brooklyn

Jan. 5, 2015
Isabel Putinja

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California-based olive oil retailer We Olive has opened its first East Coast fran­chise in the Brooklyn, New York neigh­bor­hood of Boerum Hill.

The new store own­ers, Angelo and Patricia Incorvaia, grew up in the neigh­bor­hood. On offer are forty extra vir­gin olive oils pro­duced in California and cer­ti­fied by the California Olive Oil Council that guests can sam­ple and pur­chase in bot­tles or in bulk.

Staff are on hand to pro­vide cus­tomers with infor­ma­tion about each vari­ety of olive oil, share facts about how the olives are grown, har­vested and processed, and offer sug­ges­tions.

We Olive already has olive oil bars in California, Nevada, and Texas — all of which pro­mote and sell pre­dom­i­nantly California olive oils. The Brooklyn out­let also houses a wine bar serv­ing arti­san wines from California and local beers, and a selec­tion of gourmet foods like tape­nades, mus­tards, pestos, and bal­samic vine­gars.

Frank Mercurio, We Olive owner and man­ag­ing part­ner, described the We Olive & Wine Bar con­cept as a fun, healthy and deli­cious culi­nary expe­ri­ence where fam­ily, friends and neigh­bors gather to enjoy great food and wine.”

All our extra vir­gin olive oils are avail­able for com­ple­men­tary tast­ing every day,” explained Mercurio. Guests are encour­aged to enjoy the olive oil expe­ri­ence’ as they’re wel­comed into the store. It can be a for­mal tast­ing at our olive oil tast­ing bar or, if they pre­fer, guests can wan­der through the store and taste on their own.”

There are also fla­vored olive oils infused with rose­mary, gar­lic, basil and blood orange.

We Olive Brooklyn

We Olive aims to edu­cate cus­tomers not only about about olive oil but also its health ben­e­fits. We pro­vide in-house and con­sul­tant-led train­ing on how to incor­po­rate extra vir­gin olive oil into one’s diet,” said Mercurio. We have three for­mally trained chefs on our cor­po­rate staff and our store own­ers and staff are trained on the var­i­ous health ben­e­fits of extra vir­gin olive oil.”

A We Olive & Wine Bar fran­chise costs $30,000, Mercurio said, and offers mul­ti­ple streams of rev­enue: the retail com­po­nent, the wine bar and a small plates menu.

Olive oil tast­ing bars are among the fastest-grow­ing retail trends in the U.S. and abroad with hun­dreds of stores open­ing in recent years.

Many of the olive oil spe­cialty shops are sup­plied by California dis­trib­u­tor Veronica Foods, which sources olive oils through­out the world, includ­ing from the NYIOOC award-win­ning pro­duc­ers Cobram Estate, Melgarejo, Oliperu and Oro Bailen.

Last month, a Midwestern (U.S.) olive oil mer­chant with seven loca­tions, pitched his busi­ness on the pop­u­lar American tele­vi­sion show Shark Tank with the aim of expand­ing his fran­chise.

In the United Kingdom last sum­mer, a ban of such fill-your-own” shops was announced, when the Rural Payments Agency updated its Olive oil reg­u­la­tions and inspec­tions” after Article 2 of Commission Regulation 29/2012, as inter­preted by a 2006 deci­sion by the European Court of Justice, dis­al­lowed the sale of all un fla­vored olive oils on tap, the agency said.

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