The Olive Tap, located in the heart of the Medina Public Square and neighbored by Circles on the Square and The Medina Visitors Bureau, is more than your average culinary boutique. It can be best described as a tasting emporium, offering a "try before you buy" experience.
The Olive Tap was founded in 2006 in Chicago, Ill. by Rick Petrocelly and is a family-owned franchise with seven stores across the United States as well as several additional satellite locations. The Medina location is especially unique because new owner Christina Douglas is a longtime friend of The Olive Tap family, but is the first "non-family" franchise owner in Ohio.
"It's so special to be the owner of The Olive Tap in Medina," says Christina. "Not only as a very close friend of the family, but as a woman in business."
Christina met the original Medina location owner in 2016 and began working at the store and studying under him in 2018. When he decided around a year later that he was ready to retire, he recommended Christina should become the new owner and she officially took ownership in January 2020.
"It was crazy to become a first-time business owner and deal with a pandemic all at once," says Christina. "But I am so thankful for our customers. Thanks to them, we have done a lot of curbside pickup orders. I am not shy to say that our customers are the best in the world."
Now that the storefront has reopened, The Olive Tap still offers its classic tasting experience but in a more controlled setting. Christina explains: "Instead of having the oils and vinegars out for people to self-serve, I hand out samples. We didn't want to take away that tasting experience, so we made it safer for customers to try products they are interested in."
As the name suggests, The Olive Tap offers a wide selection of olive oils and vinegars. But what many people don't know is that they also offer nut and seed oils, gourmet gift baskets, seasonings, specialty foods such as jams and jellies, tapenades and marinades, as well as a variety of other gourmet gifts.
One thing that makes the Medina store special from the other locations is their larger offering of special balsamic vinegar riservas. The riservas are different from classic balsamic vinegars because they offer a richer flavor profile and are typically best enjoyed as a topping, condiment or glaze. They are commonly drizzled over fresh fruits and ice cream, but can also be enjoyed with meat and vegetables.
With the holidays approaching, Christina says that The Olive Tap will have some limited edition oils and vinegars in stock in addition to their core offerings. For more information about The Olive Tap, visit TheOliveTap.com or check them out in person at 30 Public Square, Medina, OH 44256.