Tuesday, May 28, 2024



Just a minute’s walk from an all-honey store, Cambridge is getting a store selling only olive oils, vinegars, salts and spices.

Salt and Olive, due to open Sept. 2 at 1160 Massachusetts Ave., Harvard Square (that’s 240 feet from Follow the Honey, which opened September 2011), makes this sound a bit better, of course. The long version:

We source both Northern and Southern Hemisphere Premium Extra Virgin Olive Oils that have no preservatives, additives or chemicals. That means there is always a fresh harvest in the store.  We have Balsamic and flavored Vinegars for tastings, along with naturally harvested and produced Artisan Salts, and New England sourced Organic Spices.

The folks behind the store are owner Mary Taylor, whose bio notes a certificate as a technical olive oil taster earned from the world’s oldest olive oil tasting group, the Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Olio Di Oliva, and a master certification from The International Olive Oil School; Lee Phenner, an expert in marketing, advertising and communications who will promote the store’s products, events and classes; and store manager Liz Liberatore, who uses her space on the store’s website to pass on a “Perfect Steak Recipe” using salt, spices and olive oil.

Not too far away in Inman Square is Cambridge’s only-pickle store, Grillo’s, helping move Cambridge firmly into the craft economy decried by some as a sign of the hipster apocalypse. But of course this kind of specialization is nothing new, and economists often talk about its benefit in terms of efficiency, as summarized in Adam Davidson’s on-the-nose essay, “Don’t Mock the Artisanal Pickle-Makers.”

At the very least, gourmets needing the best oils, vinegars, salts and spices in more variety or curated excellence than Cardullo’s and Formaggio Kitchen can satisfy will soon have a destination.