Lisa McCormack has opened the Green Olive Co., which sells extra-virgin, single-varietal olive oils and top-shelf vinegars from across the globe.
The store is located at 861 N. High St., just south of First Avenue in the Short North.
“I decided on the Short North because I felt the products that I have to offer would be a great complement to the area,” she said.
The independent store offers more than 30 samples, an almost-even split between olive oils and vinegars, daily. Each choice, poured from a stainless-steel dispenser called a fusti, has a description of the origin of the olives, flavor profile and crush date.
“Most people here have never had the opportunity to taste real extra-virgin olive oil,” she said. “It’s definitely an educational process.”
McCormack works with one distributor, who visits each olive grove to ensure quality. The oils then are tested for purity in Australia.
All olives are crushed within four hours of harvesting and bottles are sold within a year of each pressing. Bottles come in 60, 200, 375 and 750 milliliters and cost between $4 and $25. Vinegars are in the same price range.
The store is as much about the flavor of the products as it is about the health benefits of olive oil, which are high in antioxidants and healthful fats, said McCormack, who studied nutrition at the University of Cincinnati and completed her physician’s assistant training at Kettering College in the Dayton area.
Green Olive Co. also sells dried pasta as well as local bread from Dan the Baker in the Hills Market and spices from North Market Spices.
McCormack is not alone in spreading the word about the deliciousness and health benefits of quality olive oil. The Oilerie Columbus, which opened last year on Grandview Avenue, offers extra-virgin olive oils and vinegars from Italy.
Meanwhile, the Olive Orchard, which doesn’t have a permanent retail location, has been in the local market for two years, selling its products at Weiland’s Gourmet Market, Whole Foods Market, Huffman’s Market, Hills Market and Greener Grocer.
Michele Mooney, co-owner of the Olive Orchard, said people are becoming more sophisticated in the nuances of good olive oil.
“I think once people experience the high-quality taste, you can’t just go back to a traditional $4 bottle,” she said.
She likens it to those eager to explore the complexities of wine
“We have people who start out with something light and graduate to something more pungent and robust,” she said.
The Green Olive Co. is open for lunch and early-evening hours Tuesday through Sunday through the holiday season.
For more information, call 614-754-8652.
In other news from the Short North, Xhevair Brakaj and Koli Memushaj are putting the finishing touches on the Arch City Tavern, which will take over the former Havana space at 862 N. High St.
A Feb. 1 opening is planned, said Brakaj, who also owns the Red Door Tavern in the Grandview Heights area.
The two men describe it as a neighborhood tavern with casual fare and two dozen craft beers on tap.
The rustic interior features a mix of wood and brick, and a lengthy bar. Another accent is a lighted arch, similar to those over High Street in the Short North, and a hand-drawn mural depicting the North High Street commercial strip in 1888.
Little Lebanon is planning its debut in the next couple of weeks in the Polaris area. The restaurant, 8495 Sancus Blvd., will focus on Lebanese fare and French desserts. The 1,500-square-foot storefront will seat 30.