Saratoga Olive Oil Company

Saratoga Olive Oil Exterior.jpg

The Capital Region's first olive oil tasting gallery.

So imagine you're a kid who's been let loose in a candy factory to invent your own flavors. You can put together any flavors you can think of to create something deliciously your own. How fun would that be -- right?

Now, fast forward 20 years or so. Sure, the candy idea is still fun, but your tastes are much more refined. Still, the idea of mixing and matching, playing with food and inventing your own flavors is really cool.

The Saratoga Olive Oil Company is where your inner seven year old meets your refined grown-up.

The Saratoga Olive Oil Company has been open for a couple of weeks now at 484 Broadway in Saratoga. The place has a very relaxed feel, with a coffee table, fine art on the walls and a comfy couch that invites you to hang out for a while. The perimeter of the store is rimmed with vats olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

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They start at the left with the varietal olive oils from different countries, and, like a wine tasting bar, they're lined up from the lightest to the boldest oils. Mid-shop they switch to the flavors -- like cinnamon, blood orange, wild mushroom and sage, chipotle, Persian lime and roasted walnut.

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At the back, and off to the right, are the balsamic vinegars in flavors like strawberry, dark chocolate, Tahitian vanilla and coconut.

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Once you have the lay of the land, it's time to play. You can create all kinds of flavors by mixing the oils and balsamics in tiny plastic cups. Sample by sipping or dipping some Rock Hill bread or Saratoga Crackers from the bowls on the counter.

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There are more than 60 flavors of oil and balsamic vinegar to be mixed and matched. And yes, you can taste the flavors in the oils and vinegars. The Persian Lime olive oil tastes like lime, and the wild mushroom and sage olive oil tastes like stuffing. The chocolate balsamic has the essence of chocolate, but the black cherry tastes like cherry candy without the sticky-sweet of candy. And the espresso balsamic had an unmistakable coffee flavor. There are recommended pairings, but you're encouraged to make up your own dressings, sauces and marinades.

And in the center of the store you can customize your creations even further with flavored sea salts like habanero, Hawaiian Black Lava and Himalayan Pink.

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Most bottles are $12.95 for 200 ml, $16.95 for 300ml. Specialty oils like white truffle will set you back about $34.50 for a 300 ml bottle, almond oil is $21.50. Some of the white balsamics go as low as $10.95.

All the products come though one distributor in California, Veronica Foods. A chef is working with the shop owners to develop recipes. And one of their employees has been trying out different flavor combinations in his kitchen and is happy to make suggestions.

Saratoga Olive Oil is owned by Chad Braidwood (pictured below), and Clint and Barabara Braidwood (Clint and Barbara are married, Chad is Clint's brother). They left jobs in clinical research in the pharmaceutical industry to start their new venture.

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Before this, they were fans of dipping olive oil, but they had no idea the breadth of flavors that existed. Chad has a background in chemistry and loves playing with the different flavors. "Everyday I come in and concoct some new flavors. Today I took a walnut olive oil, and mixed it with a blueberry balsamic. I'd like to try mixing that with a little maple syrup on pancakes or something like that."

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There are some olive oil/balsmic shops like this elsewhere in the country (the idea for this one came from a shop Clint and Barbara visited in Maine).

But can a place that sells only oils, vinegars and salts survive here in the Capital Region? Well, a hot sauce shop has been in Saratoga for years on Phila Street, and now on Broadway. And Chad says he thinks they may have arrived on the olive oil scene at the beginning of a new food trend.

"I think this may be what happened a while back with micro-brews. This may be the beginning of a wave."

Find It

Saratoga Olive Oil Company
484 Broadway
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Comments

This is the second store I've found out about this week that I can't believe I didn't know about before. (I've gone WAY out of my way on some California trips to visit St. Helena Olive Oil, where they make the best oil I've ever tasted.) Can't wait to check them out, though I don't get to Saratoga much.

The other is Broadway Bicycles, which suddenly opened in Albany this week with hardly any notice. Can't wait to check them out, either.

I will certainly have to check this place out. Sounds like they have solid products.

And their floor looks super shiny and, dare I say, oily!

I have been to a store just like this on the Cape and it was a really fun experience. I'm looking forward to being able to taste olive oil/vinegar closer to home!

Stopped by last weekend and was impressed. This is the perfect store to pick up a host/ hostess gift. I hope they make a go it!

What a great looking store!! I love olive oils and balsamic vinegar, and can't wait to visit Saratoga Olive Oil Co.

Great idea for a store! Love a good olive oil and balsamic for bread, can't wait to hit up that tasting room. I hope the website is as elegant as the store.

That's niche. As an olive oil lover, I hope they can pull it off.

After driving by the store over the last several weeks as it got off the ground and anticipating just another gourmet food store in Saratoga, I finally dropped in on Saturday afternoon with some family visiting from out of town. I was surprised as anyone that I could have spent at least an hour or two mixing up different concoctions. Try the butter infused olive oil with the pear-cinnamon balsamic. It's so good that I want to drizzle it on some ice cream! Best of luck to them.

I just got back from a trip to Salt Lake City, Utah and while out there stopped into an olive oil and vinegar shop. I thought what a great idea! A store like this might go over well in the Saratoga area. Two days later, I saw the article in the Schenectady Gazette, featuring the new store, Saratoga Olive Co.!!! I couldn't believe it but I was pleasantly surprised and will definitely be checking it out to try out some new flavors! Good luck!!

Love Love Love this store. Purchased the Chipotle X-tra virgin, the Olive oil & garlic and the & the Mushroom sage. Yummie!!! Can not wait to return & try another flavor and some of the vinegars. I wish them the best. I think it's a winner.

My daughter and I stopped by the Saratoga Olive Oil Co. this weekend while on vacation and were blown away by the delicious varieties of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. What a beautifully done store. Very elegant and family oriented. We purchased several different bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I cant wait till the web site is up so I can order online and have items shipped directly to my house. We met Chad and he was so helpful and welcoming. Thanks! :)

We stumbled across the Saratoga Olive Oil Company on vacation last week. The experience of tasting all the fabulous vinegar and oil was sensational and FUN! I couldn't resist buying the red apple vinegar, fig vinegar, and basil olive oil. They are great! We loved them so much we already used up both vinegars. We had a big dinner party and used the vinegar for salad. Our guests were raving about the amazing taste. I can't wait for the website to be up and running so I can buy more. This place is a real hit. We are from NY and if you had one of these stores in NYC the produce would fly out. Thanks for such a great idea.

Hi my friend Chef Chris Neary was visiting Saratoga and happened upon your shop. He raved about the different flavors and the prices.
Is there a catalog or order form?
Patti Sarka
58 Saint Marks Avenue
Freeport, NY
11520-5408
516 623-5159
Thank you for your service.
hugs
Patti

This is always on my list for places to hit up, along with the brand new Olivio in CP!

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