Shop Talk

Oil & Vinegar Opens at Westview

Gourmet food boutique Oil & Vinegar is now open in the Westview Promenade shopping center, next to NUVO Salon (formerly Renaissance). Former interior designer and Oil & Vinegar owner, Sharon Streb, said the differences between the varieties of olive oil and vinegar offered are many, as are the differences between fresh, gourmet oil and that available at supermarkets. “Once you taste fresh olive oil,” Streb said, “you can never go back.”

Streb, a Hagerstown resident, became interested in the rich varieties of olive oil when she moved to Italy following her husband’s death. She was accepted into the prestigious National Organization of Olive Oil Tasters in Rome, where she learned a great deal about olive oil, from the growth and production to the myriad sensory qualities, varieties and flavors. She learned about Oil & Vinegar franchises and decided to share her passion for olive oil in the new store. “I loved the idea of a culinary gift shop with a Mediterranean flair,” Streb said, “and Oil & Vinegar’s service culture is centered on customer service.”

This is Oil & Vinegar’s first Maryland location. Its world headquarters is in the city of Oosterhout, in the Netherlands, and the first U.S. location opened in 2004.

“Our mission is to be the consumer’s first choice when looking for a unique and ‘tasteful’ gift for any occasion,” said Oil & Vinegar CEP, Matt Stermer. More than 400 food and cooking products are available there, including appetizers, salad dressings, sauces, herbs, cookies, candy and jam. Gift baskets are available and can be custom made to the preference of each customer – called “guests” at the shop. Streb said she and he staff are available and willing to give guests as much time and education on the products as they like.

Oil & Vinegar Frederick plans to offer tasting parties and pairing dinners in the near future, along with specials on various products. For more information, visit the company’s website at www.oilandvinegarusa.com, or the Frederick location Facebook page, Oil & Vinegar Frederick.

Big Cork Vineyards

A new vineyard broke ground in Maryland in 2011, and the tasting room will soon be ready for guests. Big Cork Vineyards (BCV) was built on the family farm of company president Randy Thompson, in Pleasant Valley, Md. On 24 acres, west of nearby Middletown, BCV is now the second largest vineyard in Washington County. “BCV wants to inspire and captivate the local wine community by producing standout wines with a palpable joie de vivre,” Thompson said.

After graduating from Shepherd University and spending time with the Marines in Operation Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Thompson returned home to the family business and ran Thompson Gas, winning SmartCEO magazine’s CEO of the Year award in 2011. An entrepreneur at heart, he decided to build the winery. “I envisioned a vineyard with a grand winery filled with guests experiencing unforgettable moments,” Thompson said.

Thompson brought on board Master Winemaker Dave Collins, who has more than 30 years of winemaking experience. Collins holds a degree in horticulture from Virginia Tech and is well known for his work with Breaux Vineyards in Purcellville, Va.

In late fall, BCV will open a new 4,000-square-foot tasting room and the farm winery production facility to visitors. Future events will include wine tastings, pairing workshops, winemaking demonstrations and live entertainment. For more information, visit the website at bigcorkvineyards.com or the Big Cork Vineyards Facebook page.

Shop Notes

In July, students from the The Urbana Dance and Performing Arts Studio travelled to Myrtle Beach, S.C., to compete in the East Coast National Showstoppers Dance Championships. The dance company received several awards, including two crystal, 25 double platinum and eight platinum awards. Fifteen dances placed in the overall top 10.

Burger King is still a rumor at the Cracked Claw property. Right now, the only retailers confirmed for the property at the southwest corner of Fingerboard Road and Worthington Boulevard are a Shell gas station and an Advanced Auto Parts store. Discussions are underway for a Dash-In convenience store, a bank and restaurant, but according to Andy Brown of Stanford Properties, nothing will be certain for at least another month.

Kick’s Karate will soon open another Frederick location in the new section of Westview Promenade, near Plato’s Closet.

Two new restaurants are opening at the Westview Corner shopping center, on President’s Court at Crestview and Corporate Drive. Joining Smoothie King, Columbia Bank and Baltimore Coffee & Tea will be Italian restaurant Manalú Italian Grill and Kittiwat Thai Kitchen. For more information on Manalú call 240.629.1933. Kittiwat Thai Kitchen has more information on its Facebook page.

Coldwater Creek is officially closed at Westview Promenade. According to center management, negotiations are underway, but no final decisions have been made on a replacement store.

Across the street from Westview, Texas Roadhouse is open for business.

The Grand Opening for the Wawa store on Rte. 355, across the street from Frederick, is Friday, Sept. 5 at 10 a.m.

The Tilted Kilt, on Spectrum Drive across from the FSK mall, is a sports bar where the servers will be English, Scottish and Irish and are reported to wear kilts. It is slated to open this month.

In Walkersville, the first Maryland location of Pie Five is opening soon in the Market Square shopping center. Pie Five is renowned for handcrafted personal pan pizzas made quickly from scratch and with a large variety of choices in sauces and toppings. Visit www.piefivepizza.com for more information.

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