By Kelli Robinson | Photography by Gayle Shomer
Posted: Tuesday, Jun. 26, 2012
Can you create a store centered around the concept of olive oils and vinegars? Will people try samples of each at a tasting bar, much in the same way they sip wines at a vineyard?
As the owner of The Enchanted Olive in downtown Mooresville, Shannon Barker certainly hopes so. She says shes off to a good start since opening in March, with a steady stream of customers including both olive oil connoisseurs as well as just curious passersby.
People are in awe when they walk in, Barker says. They dont realize all the different flavors and uses for olive oils and vinegars, which go way beyond salads.
Barker, a 21-year veteran of the food services industry, was impressed when she visited an oil and vinegar store in Bristol, Tenn. Wanting to branch out into a different area of food services that didnt involve travel, she decided to open a similar store in the Lake Norman area. Barker spent months looking for the right location, and downtown Mooresville, with its historical charm and bustling sidewalks, was the perfect fit.
The Enchanted Olives visual appeal is instant. Customers are greeted with high ceilings, airy colors and rows of beautiful stainless steel tanks, which are built specifically to store oils and vinegars and ensure freshness with each pour. When theyre ready to purchase items, customers dont look for prepackaged bottles. Sales assistants pour selections on the spot in small (60 ml) or large (750 ml) bottles, again to ensure freshness.
Barker and her staff are onsite to help customers pick and choose from the stores 46 varieties of oils and vinegars, and will gladly make recommendations based on taste preferences.
Putting together different flavors is fun, says Barker. Its my favorite part of the job. I love to see the smiles on peoples faces when they sample a unique flavor.The Enchanted Olive
Where: 119 North Main St., Mooresville
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.