O & Co.: Giftable Goodies from the Mediterranean

Store Profile

  • Location: multiple locations and online
  • Specialty: Delectable delicacies for the foodie on your list
  • Price range: ($$) Mid-Range
  • Website: oliviersandco.com

Store History

  • Founded: 1996
  • Founded by: Albert Baussan & Eric Verdier
  • Headquarters: Mane-en-Provence, France

t was in the village of Mane, high in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, that the adventure began with two men united around a common passion, the olive tree. Ten years have passed since the creation of O&CO in 1996; ten years of visiting orchards and meeting with producers throughout Provence and the Mediterranean basin, forging a new image of the olive tree, rooted in tradition but firmly anchored in the modern world. These meetings were not only an opportunity to form friendships, but also the start of a journey of discovery of the incredible diversity of terroirs and flavors. The idea grew that, like grapes and wine, the olive tree deserved to have its exceptional vintages recognized. A completely innovative concept was born, and with it, the conviction that places were needed where this unsuspected source of flavors and aromas, hidden within the humble olive, could be shared.

It's no surprise that people love edible gifts. Well, most edible gifts. These beautifully packaged oils, vinegars, spreads, and accoutrements are sure to be enjoyed.

I popped into the Boston location of O & Co. on a beautiful autumn day, and the afternoon sun was reflecting off of the striking olive oil ceiling fixture at the entrance. I happily browsed the displays for hostess gifts and presents for those hard-to-shop-for folks, and found tiny tins of flavored oils, jars of tapenades, and all sorts of aged vinegars. The staff will offer tastes of any of their vinegars or oils, which are single source, cold pressed extra virgin. The basil oil is fragrant and clean, because they add the basil leaves with the olives as they press. An 8-year aged balsamic is a lovely complement, smooth and sweet. Like a fine wine, O & Co. suggests food pairings with their oils, so you're sure to find something that accents with your Christmas pork or Thanksgiving turkey. And as food gifts go, these will surely not end up re-gifted like a shrink-wrapped fruitcake.

For more about O & Co., visit their store page over at Marketplace.

Images: Tara Bellucci