COTTONWOOD - Mike Kilpatrick and Dawn Waltman fell in love with Cottonwood’s Old Town four years ago, even though at the time many of the businesses were shutting down.
Loving it for its funky bygone charm they made a point of patronizing those businesses that chose to tough it out.
And as businesses crept back onto Main Street, the two eventually got the notion they, too, would like to be part of all that was happening, even though neither one had experience in the retail business.
Their only questions was, what sort of business would complement all the things going on in Old Town, such as coffee houses, nightlife, a good book store, a great bakery and two wine tasting rooms.
What they hit on is by no means a typical American enterprise -- in spite of what may be going on in California -- the retail marketing of olive oil and balsamic vinegars from around the planet.
Nevertheless Verde Valley Olive Oil Traders has been a huge success since opening just over a month ago.
The couple markets olive oils, straight up or fused with a variety of flavors -- flavors such as blood orange, cilantro and roasted onion and all-natural butter flavor. The vinegars come in blackberry-ginger, dark chocolate and lavender, to name just a few.
A romp along the rows of fustis (stainless steel, airtight dispensers) is a tasting experience, best described as incomparable. And who would ever think of drizzling blueberry vinegar over vanilla ice cream?
“It’s definitely unique, at least for America. But for many Mediterranean cultures that commonly use olive oils and vinegars, it is normal. To an Italian, olive oils and vinegars are like wine, you wouldn’t want to take it home until you have had a chance to taste it,” Kilpatrick says.
Verde Valley Olive Oil Traders offers 18 different olive oils from such far-flung places as Spain, Chile Australia and California. The balsamic vinegars, like most balsamic vinegars, come from Modena, Italy. The oils are no more than 6 months old --the vinegars as old as 18 years.
“Olive oils and balsamic vinegars are fun. They are fun to taste. They excite the palate. They are healthy. And once you begin experimenting with them and adding them to your diet, you won’t want to go back salad dressings, butter and more common oils.
“I believe that is the reason they are becoming increasingly more popular in the United States,” Kilpatrick says.
Verde Valley Olive Oil Traders is located at 1014 N. Main St. in Cottonwood’s Old Town. They are open Thursday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Article comment by:
Jeffrey B Haskell
Wonderful place and hosts...Mike and Dawn. We were there August 8, 2010 and had a fantastic time both tasting and learning about the exotic Oils and Balsamic Vinegars. Highly recommend this culinary delight to anyone who appreciates 'the finer things in life'.
Posted: Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Article comment by:
We tried it and the Dark Chocolate balsamic vinegar works wonders on bread pudding and a dab of blood orange oil for cooking salmon . Yep there is a difference