This weekend marks the final holiday push for many retailers. Here in Oak Park, we are truly lucky to have small independent businesses who embrace the holidays with a creative spirit for our last minute festive enjoyment.  

This weekend, I was lucky enough to need a last minute gift for a friend that required a quick trip into Olive and Well.

My friend and I had been discussing polenta and its merits when made with butter, possible cream and good Italian cheese. How could we make this dish healthier – even vegan – and still get that same rich taste? We settled on a decision- good olive oil, fresh, that tastes like buttery olives. I couldn’t resist stopping into Olive and Well to get her a small bottle so that she could be sure her holiday menu has polenta at the top.

Yesterday, during the hustle and bustle, height of the shopping day, I headed over. Olive and Well owner, Kay, was in the back room wrapping up some gift baskets for a waiting guest and other team members were talking guests through olive oil, balsamic vinegar, even some gourmet peanut butter decisions. And they were all, customers and the Olive and Well team, having a wonderful time. There were so many smiles and so much laughter – the entire shop was joyful.  

The team was festive in wonderful pepper and spice gourmet aprons and red shirts. I couldn’t resist taking a photo to share. It was a real shopping party. 

Thank you Olive and Well for giving me a great story (and picture) to highlight just how wonderful our local community is! So many of our small businesses have a knack for making all of us feel welcome, helping us find the perfect gift and helping us make a party of last minute holiday shopping. 

Happy Holidays. 

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Sarah Corbin

Sarah, a life long Oak Parker, enjoys supporting local small business as much as possible.  With over 20 years in big box and little box retail, she brings a unique perspective to our local business community. ...