The O&V Tasting Room
Imagine exploring the streets of New York with a Tom Collins and a tote bag over your shoulder…or… exploring the streets of New York with a sleepy baby in a stroller!
The second picture is how Natasa of the O and V Tasting Room researched retail ideas to bring home to Hespeler Village. Should it be salt and chocolate shop? What about bitters? A road trip to California helped seal the deal – she and her husband toured Olive Oil farms and sampled award winners.
Stainless steel vats line a corner of the Tasting Room – filled with premium Olive Oils and Vinegars from around the world – it’s the perfect place for the seasoned traveller to renew fond memories or for people looking to get out of their taste bud comfort zone.
Think about wineries in the Niagara Region of Ontario. Beautiful spaces with history and a casual approach to sampling wines. That’s similar to what the O&V Tasting Room is.
I’ve always said – it’s like a wine tasting but you can drive home afterward!
I’m totally against drunk driving. Don’t we all like walking and talking with our Uber Drivers?
Natasa encourages her guests to take their time sampling the Oils and Vinegars and to “come hungry“. The vats have descriptive signage and indicate how to incorporate the product. It’s fun to watch your Oil or Vinegar go from vat to bottle through the spigot!
Often, it’s the people who have a passion for something that in turn ignites your senses and introduces you to new ideas. Natasa’s love of eating – and good food – was given to her in childhood by her parents and continues with an appreciation of knowing where her food comes from and cooking from scratch with simple ingredients.
Apparently, Gordon Ramsay called Jamie Oliver a cook – whereas he is a chef. Okay. Well. I am definitely a cook. As Sonny says, I am really good at choosing recipes and following them! Adding a little something special to the meal or plate such as a fancy Vinegar or an Olive Oil elevates the meal of a cook while at the same time pleasing a chef.
One way to use the Vinegar seen below is to drizzle it over vanilla ice cream – nice for summer, right?
Everyone needs someone who has connections. Jay-Z has Beyoncé. The O and V Tasting Room has connections to Olive Oil and Vinegar producers from all over the world – sending samples to consider. They also have travelled to Australia and Chile to further their knowledge. This is reminding me of the Buyer of Vintage Moroccan Rugs! Amongst other connections – they also scour craft and food shows. It is easy to see that Natasa is energized and focused on the future when talking about connecting with local producers of small to medium batch products – both food and housewares.
Frequenting your downtown core, getting to know the merchants at the center of the action – creates a connection for us. Natasa and Cory are keen on fostering a vibrant downtown – the O&V tasting Room is your place to begin building connections.
Natasa’s design plan for the store – which dates from the 1800’s – began with the lofty ceiling which had been a drop ceiling. Upon removing it – the original tin ceiling was discovered! After the chipped paint was removed with a stiff wire brush – fresh white paint was applied, enhancing the palate cleansing feeling of the open space.
Not to be missed is this highlight feature of the shop – the vintage oven was found upstairs when the building was taken over by Natasa and Cory. Now it’s a charming and functional decorating element, displaying some of the shop’s housewares. All items that compliment Olive Oil, Vinegar and other locally made premium foods. Think charcuterie boards and fabric napkins.
Do you see the little honeycomb tea towels? You know bees are the trending motif, right?
Visiting the O&V Tasting Room is visiting a little slice of Hespeler history. Not only is the oven a neighborhood vintage find, the counters that house the Olive Oil and Vinegar bottles were made by Natasa and her dad using the subfloor of The Old Hespeler Hotel. Take a look at the large showcase table below, it’s from the laundry room at Ernie’s. Sustainability for the win!
We love the nuts!
and the cookies too! Natasa believes if you are going to eat cookies (and bread!) eat cookies and bread that are made with real ingredients. I think Oprah would agree. She still eats Potato Chips, you know. And she makes them with – Olive Oil!
Life happens. Sometimes larger scale Design and Decorating projects are put on hold – for whatever reason. That doesn’t mean you can’t infuse your home with Grace Notes while waiting to pick up the hammer again. It’s all about the atmosphere you create.
Olive Wood Utensils…
Scandi Chic Tea Towels!
Buck Nak.ed line of luxury soaps.
Those tops! This one!
Do you see what is happening to me? I’m getting obsessed. With the Buck Na.ked Soap Company. It’s like when I took a pottery class and came home from the first class telling Sonny we needed to add a Pottery Studio and a Kiln to our basement. Or like the first time I heard you know who.
Here – I’ve set up a date for you and your boyfriend. Or girlfriend. Or Wife. Or Husband. If you’re single – I bet I know someone. Ask.
Do something a little out of the ordinary – not your regular dinner and a movie. Have a tasting party for two in store!
Ask Natasa to bottle your favourite!
Then pick up a loaf of fresh bread…
Compliment with local cheese and fizzy drinks…
Add a jar of olives imported from France!
You need a little chocolate too. It’s a romantic date!
Isn’t that a lovely idea!?! You’re welcome.
For anyone who’s date happens to progress to marriage – you can even have OV Tasting Room Wedding Favors – smaller sized bottles! If you’re looking for a private tasting experience – that can be arranged.
Okay. I have another idea. And if I don’t share it with you – I’ll be thinking that I should have and then I wont be able to relax and concentrate on the Dirty Dancing remake tonight. Though, I don’t see how anyone can replace Patrick Swayze as Johnny….. !!!!!!!!!!!!
If you are looking for a Father’s Day Gift – a bucket with BBQ condiments – toss in a few craft beers and no one has to get a polyester tie this year!
Add a BBQ rub as well!
During my exclusive interview and tour I was able to ask Natasa a few fun questions!
- What happens when you mess up a meal? Macdonalds!
- Is there any Olive Oil you don’t like? Cilantro Infused Olive Oil!
- How did you get Design and Decorating Ides for the shop? Pinterest!
- How to you relax when you are basically working 24-7? Chapters!
Shop Owners = Just like Us!
We talked about Chapters and why it’s appealing. Natasa called it an experience. When you think about it – the O&V Tasting Room has the same appeal. A relaxing – stay as long as you like – atmosphere, you can read/eat, learn something new and bring home something special – a new book adventure/new taste adventure!
One of the many things we’ve learned over the years, renovating High Hopes is that kindness matters. When hiring contractors – from our electrician to bricklayer – they have to be nice, friendly people (and please, can we get more female contractors?) because you essentially live with them. Especially when they knock on your door at 7 am and you look like a character from Grey Gardens.
Same goes for retail products – quality products – and nice people behind the counter.
I want to thank Natasa (and Cory!) for having me at the O and V Tasting Room as one of my first favourite places visits on the blog! They couldn’t have been more friendly, enthusiastic and kind.
In closing, in case you are wondering – this was not a paid, sponsored or gifted post. Natasa didn’t even give me extra stamps on my O&V Tasting Card. This place is a genuine favourite, that I have visited since opening. Aesthetically pleasing – with an inventive concept – in our neighborhood we love.
You can ask my Mother – in – Law. She has been here with me.
And loves it too.
Yours in Décor,