Olive Us tempts the taste buds

Ray Morine and Jan Cody are hoping to expand the public’s culinary experences at their store, Olive Us, on 30th Avenue in downtown Vernon. - Tyler Lowey/Morning Star
Ray Morine and Jan Cody are hoping to expand the public’s culinary experences at their store, Olive Us, on 30th Avenue in downtown Vernon.
— image credit: Tyler Lowey/Morning Star

Sometimes it's tough to come up with creative, tasty dishes for dinner during a busy work week.

Olive Us, on 30th Avenue in downtown Vernon, might have the proper ingredients to turn the tables on your dinner table.

Olive Us is an olive oil and vinegar tasting room with hundreds of different oils, special pastas and sea salts.

Ray Morine and Jan Cody opened the doors Dec. 5.

“We first sampled olive oil with a friend a few years ago down in Washington. We found ourselves packing our pantry with olive oil,” said Morine. “We were hooked.”

Olive Us offers an enormous variety of olive oils. They have three different categories for each oil; infused, fused and single varietal.

The infused oils are extra virgin olive oils that are infused with essential oils of herbs or plants.

Fused oils are olives crushed with whole fruit or peppers to make the oil. Also known as the Agrumato Method.

Single varietals are early harvest, first extraction extra virgin olive oil, basically fresh fruit juice.

There is so much more to olive oil than something to dip bread rolls in.

“It’s almost endless the amount of foods you can put the oils on,” said Cody. “We have a butter oil for popcorn, fruit oils you can add to yogurt or water and plenty of herbs and spices for pasta dishes.”

Oils are kept in special containers called fusti. It is essential to keep the oil in the proper lighting and temperature to prolong its lifespan.

The fusti have pouring nozzles for taste-testing. Interaction is encouraged.

Each container has a fusti tag with the nutritional benefits to the oil. Olive Us only sells ultra premium oils.

Olive oils contain monounsaturated fats, those are the good kind. They lower bad cholesterol and help raise good cholesterol.

“We fell in love with the flavour first. When we found out all the health benefits that olive oil brings we took it as a bonus,” said Morine.

“Olive oils are perfect for people with heart conditions and diabetes. It’s even a great idea to cook for your kids with olive oil to get them off to a healthy start in life,” said Cody.

Olive Us also offers gourmet pasta, pappardelle’s pasta, from Colorado. Gluten-free pasta is offered and is said to be very flavourable.

The dinner dish is completed with Olive Us’ selection of sea salts.

The salts are ideal for topping pasta dishes, as a rub for barbecue meats, seasoning in eggs and potatoes or even to sprinkle in espresso.

“All you need to do is pick a oil, cook some of our pasta, add some salt and that’s a flavourful meal in 20 minutes or less. You can add chicken or grilled vegetables if you want to,” said Morine.

It is almost overwhelming to know how to cook with all the different flavours on display. That’s why Morine and Cody have reached out to the public to help educate.

“We offer free tours to any customer. We provide tasting tips and sheets to help match flavours. Interaction is key for educating them,” said Cody.

Groups of 10 or more choose a day to come in after hours and explore. Tours go for an hour or two.

Next month the married couple plan on expanding the tours to include cooking classes once a week.

There is a very warm and welcoming atmosphere at Olive Us.

“We don’t mind just hanging out with customers, getting to know the people,” said Cody.

They even have a kids room in the back that children or adults can escape to and draw with chalk on the walls while others shop around.

There are several options when purchasing olive oil.

The store sells theme packs with either four or six 60-millilitres bottles.

Bottles are available in 200-, 375- and 750-millilitres. The bottles are filled upon purchase to keep the oil in the perfect condition.


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