Olive oil is a significant component of the Mediterranean diet due to its health benefits. So, is it important where you purchase high-quality olive oil? According to the two owners of Zionsville Olive Oil (ZOO), the answer is a resounding yes. Angie McCloskey and Julie Wooldridge say the store sells a variety of high-quality, cold-pressed, single-variety crushed products along with multiple infused extra virgin olive oils, all imported directly from the source in Italy.
“Our olive oils go through a rating process,” McCloskey says. “Paul Vossen rates them. “Also, our olive oil has won competitions over the years, from the L.A. International Olive Oil Competition and the New York International Olive Oil Competition.”
The olive oils they sell are stored in a stainless-steel container called a fustis, allowing for preservation. Wooldridge says customers are encouraged to come in and try each oil before they buy it. The store also sells a variety of imported balsamic vinegars, spices, salts, cookbooks, gift sets and imported olives.
The duo loves to cook, and this led to the opening of ZOO in July 2018. They grew up in Veedersburg and were reacquainted when enrolling their children in Traders Point Christian Academy. They’ve spent time traveling together and raising their children.
“We were on a vacation together and we walked into an olive oil store in Wisconsin,” McCloskey says. “We both thought Zionsville needed a store like this, but neither one of us wanted to do it alone. We decided to do it together.”
They recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of ZOO. The friends feel they have a good grasp on their business and what their customers want and need. They’ve recently started offering lunch events, partnering with Zionsville Bake Shop.
“We will do a series of lunches there, where they’ll offer everything on their menu using various products,” Wooldridge says. “Then we’ll have staff on hand to educate on the health benefits of consuming high-quality, fresh olive oils and balsamic vinegars.”
The business partners say they weathered the COVID storm during the shutdown by offering free local delivery. The store is considered a specialty grocery store, so they could stay open. Everything they sell in-store is available for shipping, and during their tenure they’ve shipped products to all 50 states.
“We’ve been successful thanks to the loyalty of the Zionsville community,” McCloskey says. “That’s been incredible for us. Then we’ve just grown organically from there. We know the holiday season will be upon us before we know it. We try to pair all our gifts in the store with a recipe. Someone might not know what to do with their gift, so we pair it with a recipe for them to try.”
Wooldridge says customers don’t realize everything they can do with olive oil and balsamic vinegar in their everyday lives. She says the staff at ZOO love educating their customers and sharing their firsthand knowledge.
Zionsville Olive Oil is located at 31 East Pine Street in Zionsville. For more information, call 317-973-5583 or visit zionsvilleoliveoil.com.