Neighbors Dar Zook and Gina Seton have been homeowners in Destin for more than 20 years, now they can add business owners to their lists.
The self-described "health-conscience" ladies opened Olive Oil Balsamic Tastings in November of last year.
The ladies told The Log that because they have so much in common, they have always kicked around the idea of opening some kind of a natural, organic type of business together, but it never felt just right.
"I was out walking my dog, and we started talking about it, and we decided right there we were going to open a business together finally," said Zook."
With all of their olive oils and balsamic vinegars being completely organic and natural, there's something for everyone. The flavors include raspberry, strawberry, lemon grass, and chocolate.
The all natural chipotle olive oil is an undeniable product that flies off the shelves, partly because of what can be made with it — brownies. According to the ladies, the chipotle oil offers a nice kick to brownies. They even offer a gift basket with brownie mix and the chipotle olive oil so customers can try it for themselves.
Zook told The Log that there is no one product that is most popular among the consumers, because everyone has their own specific taste and reason for their favorite.
"A lot of people make salad dressing, marinade meat — you can even put some of them in soda water for flavor," said Seton.
Their products typically change every six months, depending on whether they are from the Northern or Southern hemisphere. But, "everything is very fresh; it goes from the tree to the bottle," Seton said.
On each one of the vats containing the oily or vinegary goodness, there's a description of the product, along with the date that each olive was crushed.
Before making it to the Destinite's dinner table, every product is sent to a state-of-the-art lab in Australia where experts test the chemistry and taste of the products — so quality can never be called into question.
The health benefits are one of the reasons the ladies said they believe their business is doing well. Olive oil is said to be a cancer preventative and have mental and cardiovascular benefits as well.
Like all mothers, Zook and Seton pride themselves on taking care of their families, only wanting the best for them. "We've always eaten organically, we stayed pretty aware of where we get our foods from," said Zook.
Olive Oil Balsamic Tastings is located at 34940 Emerald Coast Parkway Suite 187, and you can reach them at 460-2210 or online at oliveoilexcellence.com.
DROP BY, DIP AND TASTE
Olive Oil Balsamic Tastings is going to be featured at the Friends of the Destin Library meeting on Feb. 8 at 3 p.m. Zook and Seton will be offering samples and demonstrations of their more than 40 olive oil and vinegar products at the library. The event is free and open to the public. In addition to bringing samples of their products, the ladies are reportedly bringing samples of their chipotle olive oil brownies.