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St. Paul Villager

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Bite Of Minnesota: The Olive Grove

Crystal Grobe, WCCO CBS. Updated: 5/25/2010

Picture property by WCCO

 

Tucked away in a cute shopping center in Mendota Heights is The Olive Grove, owned by Chicago transplant, Natalie Jaeger.

 

The Olive Grove opened in October of last year, providing us food lovers with a reason to stock up on vinegars and olive oils.

 

The beautiful colors and stonework are the perfect contrast to the stainless steel casks throughout the shop and set the tone for an enjoyable tasting experience. With almost 20 olive oils, 6 specialty oils and 11 balsamic vinegars ready for sampling, you are bound to take something home.

 

Natalie receives the olive oils fresh from places like Tunisa, Italy, Spain, Australia, among others. The oils are kept in stainless steel casks to preserve freshness and antioxidant qualities. Not only do the casks help to preserve antioxidants, but they also help keep away enemies like air, light and heat which deteriorate the product.

 

The Olive Grove is continually receiving new products. Recently, summer flavors took center stage. Imagine drizzling a little cilantro and onion olive oil over grilled fajitas or serving scoops of vanilla ice cream with sweet peach balsamic over top. (Trust me, fruity balsamic over ice cream is amazing!) Homemade salad dressings are a cinch to make and there are so many possibilities! Try lemon olive oil and strawberry balsamic or walnut oil and red apple balsamic. Check out the amazing recipes here.

Picture property by WCCO

 

If you cannot decide, try one of their sampler packs which includes a variety of 4 ounce bottles which are perfect for gift giving too.

 

My favorite? Drizzling a little black truffle oil over popcorn. Full flavored, buttery oils like this and the Organic Phoenician are hits with those of us watching our fat intake.

 

Stop by The Olive Grove to spice up your kitchen (or someone else's) and discover a world of new flavors.

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November 18th article.

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Live on Fox 9!

 

The Olive Grove a Delicious New Kind of Bar

 

Published: Wed., 11 Nov 2009, 9:26 AM CST
MENDOTA HEIGHTS, Minn. - Welcome to Olive Grove...well, no, not the kind with trees.

 

The Olive Grove is a new store that specializes in extra virgin olive oils, specialty oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world.

 

M.A. Rosko finds out, everything is on tap, and bottled and sealed fresh as purchased.
Store owner Natalie Jaeger, a Chicago transplant, says this is how they do olive oil in Europe. She carries more than 30 varieties of oils and vinegars on tap, plus Italian pastas, gourmet mustards, stuffed olives, sea salts and peppercorns.

 

Oh, and because olive oil makes you beautiful from the outside as well as the inside—olive oil bath and body products.

 

Visit The Olive Grove at 720 Main St., Suite 105, in Mendota Heights, at the corner of Hwy 110 and Dodd Rd. Call 651-686-4710, or visit www.theolivegroveoliveoil.com

Faces: Q&A with Natalie Jaeger,
owner of the Olive Grove in Mendota Heights

Kathie Jenkins, Pioneer Press. Updated: 11/11/2009 03:27:22 PM CST

 

Occupation: Owner of the Olive Grove, 720 Main St. (corner of Minnesota 110 and Dodd Road), Mendota Heights; 651-686-4710; theolivegroveoliveoil.com

 

Age: 30

 

What did you want to be when you grew up? A counselor. I went to grad school for that. I did do some counseling and realized what my parents told me my whole life was true: Counselors do a great job, but they don't make a lot of money. Right after grad school, I moved to downtown Chicago and could not pay my bills, and that was sort of a problem.

 

What was your first job in food? I waited tables all through high school and in college. I've always been into food and cooking and watching food channels.

 

What exactly is the Olive Grove? An olive oil and balsamic vinegar bar. Everything is available for sampling before buying. And it's bottled to order so it's as fresh as it can be. It's a European concept. I have 35 oils and vinegars on tap in stainless-steel containers.

 

How did you come up with the idea for the business? I had been in a store like mine in Appleton, Wis., and I talked to the owner about how well he was being received in the community. I went to Barnes & Noble and bought two books: "Business Plans for Dummies" and "Retail Business for Dummies." After reading both, I worked day and night for six weeks on my business plan. I pitched it to my husband, and he liked it and said I had to pitch it to the bank. Everyone was on board, and here I am!

 

Why should people buy their olive oil at your store rather than the supermarket? My stuff is so fresh, and fresh equals flavor and health benefits. Customers get to sample everything so they know they're going home with something they like at a very comparable price. My extra virgins range from $14.50 to $15.50 for a 12.7-ounce bottle.

 

How did you pick your current location? When I was looking at another retail space in St. Paul, the owner said I should really look at his property in Mendota Heights. So, we looked at it, and it was beautiful and it had a lot of good synergy.

 

If I were to buy only one bottle of olive oil at your store, what would you recommend? A good all-purpose oil, either Castile Extra Virgin from Spain, my all-time favorite, or another all-purpose oil, the Picual Extra Virgin from Spain.

 

What's something few people know about your store? That we exist. We've been open only a few weeks — our grand opening is Saturday. Everyone who comes in says they've never seen a store like this, and that it's soooo cool. Who doesn't like getting to sample everything before buying? And people are amazed they can get an 18-year-old balsamic for $18.

 

What's your favorite restaurant? W.A. Frost, for the atmosphere and because the food is really, really good. The lamb is awesome. Forepaugh's is pretty darned good, too.

 

What's the weirdest food you've ever eaten? What comes to mind is alligator, but is that weird?

 

What's next? I want to have one store that is really successful. I don't want to expand and spread myself thin. People want to come in and talk to the owner. Besides, I don't know if I have the energy to run another store.

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The Olive Grove Olive Oil Company ~ 720 Main Street #105 ~ Mendota Heights, MN 55118 ~ Ph: 651-686-4710. Copyright © 2009.