Tampa Bay foodies will soon have a new place to go for oils, sauces and
spices when Kalamazoo Olive Company opens on June 25 at 449 Central Ave.
in downtown St. Petersburg's Arcade Building.
James Ryan says the concept for his business is really simple: Taste
before you buy. "Everything should be tasted," says Ryan. "Sometimes
folks are afraid to try something new or they think it's too expensive.
is an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting store. We have
seven different tasting stations where customers can really explore what
they are getting before they spend any money."
says that in addition to traditional and flavored specialty oils, the
store offers sauces, spices and specialty foods, some of which are
supplied from Tampa Bay area businesses such as Delicaé
in Tarpon Springs. The store offers a syrup from Ryan's own
home state, Michigan. If you know your geography, you can pretty much
figure out where the store's name came from. "If you know Kalamazoo, if
you've been there, we have a lot to talk about," says Ryan. "If you
don't, then it's just a really fun name."
former Raymond James employee fell in love with St. Petersburg,
affectionately called "the 'Burg,'' while on business. "It's big city
with a small town feel," he says. You feel that right away. It's why I'm
here. And St. Pete is ready for this. They're really growing."
Ryan asked RayJay for a transfer a couple years
ago, and worked on his dream. "I've always been a foodie," he says. "And
I love to entertain. I do a lot of entertaining on the fly, so
customers coming in to the shop will find lots of simple, quick ideas
for putting together a nice last-minute party."
Source: James Ryan, Kalamazoo Olive Co.