Olive Vitality in Grass Valley bolsters growing “foodie” culture

Olive Vitality, with a mighty gourmet olive oil and balsamic vinegar bar, opened this weekend in downtown Grass Valley.

The new store is the latest example of the boom in fresh, healthy food stores — in our region and elsewhere. It will compliment the “foodie” culture that is growing in downtown Grass Valley, with the three-floor Tess’ Kitchen Store and cooking school, Bear River Pasta Co. (for fresh pasta, sauces and speciality foods), Lazy Dog Chocolateria, Dorado Chocolates and others.

“Our focus is on extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar,” said Jeanette Angell, though the store also offers loose-leaf teas, artisanal pasta and spices and salts in a handsome-looking store. Jeanette and her husband, Matt, reported brisk business their first weekend.

Olive Vitality is an affordable theme too. The store features a store full of extra-virgin olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar bar, where customers choose their favorite blends and purchase them in an attractive bottle.

It also offers tastings that pair the gourmet olive oils and vinegars. Food education also will be one of its strengths, according to the Angells.

Olive Vitality has more than 40 Italian-made fustis lined along the walls of its colorful store to keep the product fresh. There are fused and infused blends.

Examples include world-renowned Oro Bailen from Spain, extra-virgin olive oil flavored with fruits such as blood orange, walnuts, truffles and more.

Some of the balsamic vinegar is aged up to 18 years. We found one called “cranberry-pear” appealing.

The artisan pasta includes Papperdelle mushroom but also chocolate, used for gourmet desserts.

The quality of the olive oil is guaranteed through supplier Veronica Foods. It supplies more than 200 stand-alone olive oil and vinegar stores in the U.S. and operates its own stores. Its team travels the world to find and import the finest, freshest extra-virgin olive oils.

The store is at 126 Mill Street, next to the Grass Valley Wine Co. Its website OliveVitality.com will open later in the week.

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