The Short North Arts District is known for its vivacity, diversity, and new and unique businesses. Niche boutiques and shops thrive in this dynamic environment, making the district home to new business additions throughout the year.  In this series we take you on a more in-depth look at these businesses that have come online this past year, and the entrepreneurs that call the Short North home.

Opening its doors in December 2012, the Green Olive Company boasts a multitude of balsamic vinegars and extra virgin olive oils that line the Short North shop, each in their own stainless steel fusti.  Owner Lisa McCormack designed the shop with purpose: a chance for customers to taste-test the varieties of extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegars before they are bottled and sold. The goal of the Green Olive Company is not only to provide the freshest olive oil available, but also to educate the public on the amazing health benefits of this product.

What’s with the fustis?

“The specialized containers keep everything from oxygen and light so the olive oil doesn’t go bad,” McCormack says, “that’s why we also bottle everything in dark glass.”

McCormack has a deep passion for cooking and a background in health and medicine as a registered dietitian and former physician’s assistant. “The restaurant business was not for me,” McCormack adds, “and I fell in love with the idea of opening a store of my own.”

A native of Cleveland, McCormack made the decision to move and bring her business specifically to the the Short North. “This seemed like more of an intimate atmosphere and supportive feel,” says McCormack. “I like all of the family-owned businesses and how everyone helps each other out. It’s definitely not a chain-business environment.”

Green Olive Company sells its products hailing from all over the world; the balsamic vinegars are shipped from Modena, Italy and the extra virgin olive oils vary depending on which hemisphere is pressing olives throughout the year.  The olive oils in the winter months come from the Northern hemisphere, and beginning around April, the Southern hemisphere makes a lot of the product.

Green Olive Company displays a “crush date” beside each fusti, ensuring that each product is sold within a year of that date. “We display crush dates because after olive oil is a year old, it actually becomes bad for you,” McCormack said. “It is best to consume olive oil fresh.  And the health benefits from fresh olive oil are immense including its ability to lower cholesterol.

Six months in, what’s new with the business?

“We’re bringing in fresh pasta from Ohio City in Cleveland’s West Side Market. We’re hoping to have the pasta ready in-store for the summer. There will be frozen ravioli and other fresh pasta that will be perfect with the mixed herb or roasted red pepper oils.”

Green Olive also makes appearances at the North Market on Saturdays, displaying fun pairings like grapefruit and lemon flavored balsamic vinegars.

With a wide variety of flavored balsamics and fused olive oils, McCormack sells particular flavors based on season. For the summer, customers can taste flavors like mango, grapefruit and coconut balsamics and extra virgin olive oils such as lime and tarragon.

The store’s ongoing special is ‘buy five bottles, get the sixth free’ as well as a bottle recycling program.

Fresh and unique, Green Olive Company is a great new addition to the District. Visit their website for more information on the oil’s health benefits, recipe ideas and more. And be sure to stop in and welcome this health-conscious shop today!