Interview with Joyce Renoff from Olivin- an oil and vinegar taproom:
Alongside our monthly blog articles Buy Extension will be introducing you to our partners in the Boise area. These articles will provide you with more information about our partners, their operations, and shine some light on how they became passion about their business.
For this post we will be interviewing Joyce Renoff, the owner of Olivin- an oil and vinegar taproom, and today we are going to hear a little more about her story.
Q. Hi Joyce, and thank you for allowing me to interview you today. I would like to begin with you telling us a little about yourself, and what brought you to the Boise area.
A. Well my daughter moved to Boise from San Diego about three years ago, about the same time that I went to work for an Olive Oil and Vinegar store in downtown Annapolis, Maryland. In January of this year I decide to look into opening my own Olive Oil and Vinegar store in Boise, and living closer to my daughter.
Q. Ok, so tell us a little more about Olivin. What is Olivin?
A. Olivin is an olive oil and vinegar taproom, which means people come in and taste the different balsamic and my infused, fused, and ultra-premium olive oils.
Q. Fantastic, so what is Olivin’s vision and mission?
A. Olivin educates people on how good a high quality olive oil can be for you. Also how good balsamic can be for your health, and the difference in taste between a good high-quality vinegar that is all natural with no preservatives, than what you buy in other stores.
Q. Ok, wonderful. How long have you been in the area, and why is it called Olivin?
A. I moved to the area in May, and opened the store in June. It is named Olivin because of a combination of Olive Oil and Vinegar.
Q. How did you come up with that name?
A. My daughter and I came up with the name. We played around with a bunch of names and that was the one we kept coming back to.
Q. Very cool. So to get a little more in to it, what does Olivin offer to the Boise area?
A. I think it is nice to have boutique stores like this in downtown Boise. Boise is up and coming, and there are a lot of new things going on here. It is a nice place to have an olive oil store, and I like to have people be able to taste before they buy. I want them to like the product, and I think it is a good thing for the Boise area.
Q. Correct me if I am wrong, but I think Olivin is the only place in the downtown area where people can come and sample oils and vinegar before buying them?
A. It is the only place in downtown Boise where you can do that, yes.
Q. How did you get into the Olive Oil and Balsamic business?
A. About three years ago I retired from real estate and started taking social security, but I wanted a part time job. So in downtown Annapolis an olive oil and balsamic vinegar store was opening up and I thought, oh that looks like it might be fun. So I applied and got the job. I walked into the store and fell in love with the whole concept. It sort of became a passion for me. Something that I never had before, it was like we were meant to be together. I actually felt like the Martha Stewart of olive oil and vinegar. I didn’t even know that I knew these things, but I learned more as I went and it just became something that I really enjoyed.
Q. So what is fueling that passion? What is the connection there?
A. I have no idea, to be honest. I just don’t know. I never knew I had it, but many years ago my daughter went into a shop like that in San Diego and I thought she was crazy. Now here I am four years later getting a job in a shop and falling in love. It just came out.
Q. So is it the flavor profiles, or the diversity of flavors that you can get?
A. I think it is that I learned that it is really good, how healthy it was for you, the differences in taste, and I just got more educated, and the more I learned about it the more passionate I became. Just something that was there for me.
Q. Ok, very interesting. How long have you been in the Olivin business?
A. Since June. I opened up my store in June. This is the first time that I’ve ever owned a business. I never had any aspirations to own a business. Like I said it just came over me in January to see if this was feasible, and in May I was driving across country.
Q. Ok, so you have been here since June, but overall how long have you been working with olive oil and balsamic vinegars?
A. It will be about three years now since I went to work at the store in Annapolis.
Q. Ok, so what makes your business different from others in the area?
A. The fact that you can actually walk into my store and taste something before you buy it. So many stores you walk in and you look at the things and you buy them because they look good, or sound good. At my store you are actually able to try the olive oil and vinegar before you buy them. For example, you might think that the peach white balsamic vinegar sounds good, but until you try it you are not so sure. I want you to take it home and use it. Not take it home, open it and decide that you actually don’t like it. So I think that makes my store more unique.
Q. Can you talk a little more about what makes you passionate about olive oil and vinegar? I know you mentioned health benefits, among other things. I think a lot of people may not be aware of some of the other benefits.
A. There are a lot of health benefits to buying really good extra virgin olive oil. What makes it extra virgin is the green olive. So much of what you buy has black olives and God knows what else in it. But there is such a high nutrient value to extra virgin olive oil. It can be good for cancer; good for your bone density, there are just so many good health benefits to using a really good olive oil versus an olive oil you buy somewhere else.
Q. Along those same lines, what about balsamic vinegar?
A. In balsamic vinegar there are only natural ingredients, and the grape and aging process helps provide high levels of antioxidants.
Q. Ok, fantastic. So where is your business located?
A. It is located at 218 North 9th Street, between Bannock and Idaho.
Q. Are you on social media? And do you have a website?
A. Yes, my Facebook page is Olivin Boise, and I have a website: www.olivinboise.com
Q. Great, can you tell us a little bit about some upcoming events.
A. Yeah, I am going to be doing a presentation at the library on State and Collister on Nov. 19, between 7-8:30pm. Seating is limited to 20 people so you will need to make reservations.
Q. Are you part of the Downtown Boise Association (DBA)?
A. Yes, I am part of the DBA, I participate every month with the First Thursdays, and I am a member of the Boise Chamber of Commerce as well. Also in November Williamson Winery will be doing tastings at my store too.
Q. Fantastic, well is there anything else that you would like to offer, or to tell anyone?
A. Just come on in and do some tastings. Thank you for the interview.
Q. Great, thank you Joyce for your time and telling us more about your store- Olivin, an oil and vinegar taproom in downtown Boise.