Morning Poll: Oil and Vinegar Store in Shirlington

by ARLnow.com May 23, 2011 at 8:00 am 5,479 22 Comments

Shirlington Village Blog reports that a new store called Ah Love Oil & Vinegar hopes to open in Shirlington in two weeks.

According to its Facebook page, the store will offer “over 35 olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars… bottled on the premises for you.” The oils will be imported from around the world and dispensed from air-tight tanks, which will “[ensure] the best flavor intensity.” Each purchase will include recipes and mixing ideas.

The store will also offer olive oil-based soaps, skin and hair care products and a limited selection of foods to accompany the oils and vinegars.

We thought the store’s concept sounded interesting, but wondered about the business potential for a store built around two products that many people consider a twice-a-year purchase at the grocery store. Would you go out of your way to purchase olive oil or balsamic vinegar from a dedicated store?

  • Tabby

    You left the soaps and haircare products off the poll.

    I’d probably buy those.

  • Kat

    a twice-a-year purchase? Not in my house. My husband would be in heaven in a store like that.

  • PhilL

    This is like those “all candy” stores. Sure you can buy a candy bar from any drug store cash register line. But when you want just that particular confection you can find it in the specialty store. But then you get something that’s been sitting around for who knows how long, vs a nice individually factory wrapped Crunch Bar. Each has it’s own place.

    I hope they have some Australian olive oils.

  • Ren

    If the prices weren’t a ton higher and I could return the bottle (for them to re-wash like in the old days) I would be all over the concept.

  • Josh

    I’ve been to one of these places in Charlotteville and can say that in the 20 minutes I was in the store there were over 15 people who came in and out of the store (and not just to look around). Flavored/infused Olive Oil is simply incredible… its almost good enough to drink.

  • Clarendon Resident

    I’m a +1 on infused oils. The company that made my favorite cilantro-infused olive oil went out of business several years ago, and ever since I’ve had a difficult time locating a replacement product. So if this new store carries it, I’d definitely make a special trip to obtain some.

    • Key words here: out of business. I give the place 6 months.

  • Rebecca Krafft

    I’ll be first in line. I once heard that God created yuppies simply to create an American market for balsamic vinegar. The rest is history, as written by Dean & DeLuca.

  • Lacey Forest

    If someone seriously thinks this store concept is viable, it’s a sure sign that the Great Recession is over.

    • doodly

      Or that taxes are just too low.

  • Boom! Roasted

    This is the bubble, people.

  • Clarendude

    I assume a store like this will have samples ? That would make me a fan. I try new olive oils and vinegars all the time and sometimes they’re great and sometimes dissapointing but have the chance to try them first would be a good benefit.

  • Lucy

    There’s a store like this in Portland and it’s so much fun to go there when I visit! I would definitely shop here a lot!

    • Set the Controls

      Portland, Maine? I got a bottle of apple-infused balsamic at that store (the one by the waterfront) last summer. It was packed with flavor.

  • There is also a store like this in Frederick, MD that appears to do well. I bought some delicious Peach White Balsamic there. Specialty food stores have their place and Shirlington is likely a great market for one.

  • Breckinridge

    I’ve been in these stores before and it was an introduction into a new way of cooking and eating! This person is a genius for opening in shirlington, can’t wait for it to open and load up on goodies

  • carol

    i first visited an ‘oil and vinegar’ store in boston — it was incredible. i can’t wait for this new store to open in shirlington — forget the ‘hostess bottle of wine’, i’ll be bringing the ‘hostess bottle of olive oil’ to all my friends

  • I can’t wait either. As for the variety, a recent Facebook entry says they will carry Greek Olive Oil; also Spanish, Italian, Moroccan, Californian and Tunisian…” Cheeseitque will be across the street, so the stores should complement one another. Who knows — a wine store may be ……

  • Shirlyyoujest

    Oil, vinegar…sure, whatever. Can we just get rid of Bistro Bistro (crappy food and service) and Extra Virgin (tax delinquent) and put in an Ace Hardware?????

  • DB

    I use 8-10 bottles of olive oil a year but i never go out of my way to buy infused oils. They are to easy to make yourself. I can see thie store doing well until the novelty wears off.

  • Pingback: Ah Love Oil (We Get it) Opens; Vote for Your Favorite NoVa Farmers Market()

  • Hawski

    Hate to break the news to you all…. Been in this store on several occassions and its been packed with people tasting both its infused Oils and refined Balsamic Vinegars.

    I’m sure after the crave has gone down they might have some issues, but its a new thing for the Shirlington area.


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