While we are not a franchise, A Thyme For All Seasonings is part of an elite network of stores that distribute premium extra virgin olive oils and balsamics and are supplied by a premium, world reknown, reputable supplier whose family has been in this business for over 60 years . We fell privileged to be part of this network. One of our fellow stores sent out this e-mail!
"Lately we have been getting lots of questions from our customers about other oil and vinegar stores that are opening using a similar tasting concept. We thought we let you all know where we stand on this and arm you with the right information to make informed purchases. While "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", unfortunately sometimes the imitations don't measure up.
Tabatha and I truly believe in spreading the great word about high quality oils and vinegars and have even consulted for several new Oil & Vinegar stores with the "Taste before you buy" concept as they got started across the country. These stores are not franchises, but are people that believe like we do in finding the highest quality oils and vinegars in the world and helping to educate customers about them.
Recently, we have heard of a few new stores that have been popping up that have taken the idea of olive oil and vinegar sampling using bulk containers much like what we do at Con' Olio but selling a much lower grade of product. We wanted to let our customers know our thoughts on these type of stores. These "copycat" stores are unfortunately taking the lower grade products and using the bulk containers and sampling bar idea to sell inferior oils and vinegars.
So, I am sure you are thinking, how do we know the difference?
Here are a few things to look for as a consumer to distinguish the difference between these stores and to help you in the buying process:
- The most important factor when it comes to taste quality of Extra Virgin Olive Oil is FRESHNESS! A quality store will display the "Harvest" or "Crush" date of the oil and it should be less than one year old. Copycats will hide this date and try to confuse you by using the 'best buy' or 'expiration date' which are completely worthless. Extra Virgin Olive Oil ages over time, so if you don't know when it was picked and crushed how can you determine how fresh it is?
- The specific varietal of olive and region should always be displayed on the EVOO.
- There should be chemical test results displayed on the containers, to ensure both high quality and authenticity of your EVOO.
- The highest quality Balsamic Vinegars are produced using the "Traditional" process from Modena, Italy. This is an All Natural product so there should be no added preservatives, chemicals, sugars, or thickeners.
- Taste the products yourself before you buy them! You should be the final judge of what tastes best so don't just dip a finger in, take a big sip to really tell the difference.