New Uptown shop owner pushes olive oil's versatility
Rosa Marchi is out to change the notion that olive oil and vinegar is reserved just for salads.
The longtime Westerville resident has opened A Twist on Olives at 20 S. State St., in Uptown's "brick lane" shops.
"I want people to think, 'There's something more we can do than vinaigrettes or marinades,' " Marchi said.
"You can cook with it; you can bake with it," she said. "I don't want people to think, 'It's oil and vinegar; it's for a salad.' "
The shop features stainless-steel vessels, called fusti, filled with more than 20 olive oils and 18 balsamic vinegars.
Customers are encouraged to taste the products, which vary in style and are infused with a variety of flavors, and select their favorites. Bottles in a variety of sizes can be filled for purchase.
"We want you to taste before you buy, so you don't go home with an inferior product that sounds good," as you may from a grocery store, Marchi said.
"Once you find an oil you like, we bottle it fresh."
Marchi was introduced to the concept after her niece took her to a similar store in Cleveland.
"(That experience) kind of drew me to this," Marchi said. "I wanted to bring it to Westerville."
Marchi's oils and vinegars are supplied by a California distributor, who imports olive oils from throughout the world.
The origin of the oils changes with the seasons.
Right now, her shop is filled with oils from Portugal, Greece, Spain, Italy, Tunisia and the United States. But in the winter, when olive oil is out of season in the northern hemisphere, the shop will carry oils from the southern hemisphere.
"My oils are constantly fresh," Marchi said. "The fresher the oil, the healthier the oil."
In addition to oils and vinegars, A Twist on Olives carries sauces and pastas, including gluten-free pastas, made in small batches from Rossi, which is based in Marietta.
There also are martini-inspired gifts and gourmet olives, a nod to Marchi's husband's enthusiasm for martinis.
She's working to create more gift baskets featuring her products and wants to develop spice packets that will pair with her oils and vinegars.
Marchi said she hopes to offer product tastings, including serving appetizers showcasing what can be done with the oils and vinegars.
She has offered similar samples during Uptown's 4th Friday celebrations.