Leslieville strikes oil: Montreal-based Olive and Olives to open up shop this spring
Leslieville’s recent boom in new gourmet food stores—including Foodist Market, Hooked and Sausage Partners—shows no signs of abating. The latest addition? Olive and Olives, the first Toronto location of the Montreal-based purveyor of high-quality olive oils. Danièle Beauchamp and Claudia Pharand, who run five shops and a thriving mail order business in Quebec, have partnered with Torontonian Mia Sturup to open up the Leslieville location.
The trio will be taking over a Queen East storefront that has been sitting idle for quite some time, sandwiched between Bergstrom Originals and Elbers Antiques and Refinishing. Set to open by the end of May, the shop will sell a collection of pantry staples—tapanades, stuffed olives, balsamic vinegars, hard-to-find piquillo peppers—and a few olive oil–related kitchen gadgets. But the main event will be the carefully chosen selection of small-grove, estate-bottled olive oils. Most are from Spain, the world’s largest producer, and almost all are exclusive to Olive and Olives. Pharand, who enjoys a long love affair with Spain’s olive oils, will be dropping in to offer workshops and tastings, conducted very much like wine tastings.
“Fine olive oils really are very similar to wine,” Sturup says. “When you taste the oils you can taste the variety of the fruit, how it was made, the terroir. We want to educate people about how to get the most enjoyment from the oils, how to use them in cooking, what foods the different oils go best with.” We’re told the tasting counter will be stocked with one open bottle of each for the curious to have a try.
Olive and Olives, 779 Queen St. E., www.oliveolives.com