‘Life is too short to eat bad olive oil,’ local business owner wants folks to know

The Spicy Olive is focused on health benefits of olive oil.

The Spicy Olive, a local business with a unique focus, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year.

Owned by Melanie Cedargren, The Spicy Olive is devoted almost entirely to olive oil and emphasizing the well-known health benefits of the product.

Cedargren, a Lakota High School graduate, traveled to Italy with her family and was blown away by the freshness and flavor of the olive oil there.

“It made me wonder what was in my pantry at home,” Cedargren said, “because it didn’t taste anything like that olive oil in Italy.”

The former pharmaceutical rep went home and started researching olive oil, and found out that fresh olive oil has a plethora of health benefits, including anti-inflammatory agents, squalene (which protects against skin cancer), and oleic acid (which lowers blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels and increases good cholesterol levels). Unfortunately, what is sold in grocery stores is often not particularly fresh, and thus customers lose out on some of the health benefits.

“Life is too short to eat bad olive oil,” Cedargren said.

Believing people deserve access to fresh, authentic olive oil, Cedargren opened The Spicy Olive in West Chester on Sept. 8, 2012. The Spicy Olive, as the name implies, revolves around olive oil products. Twenty-five different flavors of olive oil, including butter, garlic, Tuscan herb and blood orange are sold. Products are made with olive oils from all over the world, from Portugal and Spain to Australia. To make sure they provide the freshest olive oil available, The Spicy Olive changes which hemisphere it harvests from every six months following the patterns of the olive oil harvest.

In October and November, the olive oil comes from the Northern Hemisphere; in April and May the Southern Hemisphere harvests its olives.

In addition to olive oil, The Spicy Olive sells skin and hair care products based in olive oil, including hand creams, body lotion, shampoo, conditioner and facial moisturizer. By incorporating olive oil into the products, Cedargren ensures that the products are full of health-impacting agents and great moisture.

Like many businesses, The Spicy Olive has been impacted by recent supply chain issues and thus was unable to sell the skin and hair care products, but they are back in stock now.

The Spicy Olive has branched out from olive oil products into other ventures, such as 45 flavors of balsamic vinegar. Imported from Modena, Italy, and aged between 12-18 years, all of the flavors are gluten-free with no added sugar, thickening agents, or caramel coloring. The Spicy Olive’s West Chester Twp. location has a wine section with wines from around the world.

The Spicy Olive has since branched out to two more locations, in Montgomery and in Oakwood. At these locations they have hosted cooking classes, and although they were put on hold due to COVID-19, they will be back in 2023. There are plenty of recipes on the website, thespicyolive.com.

The Spicy Olive also hosts wine tastings every Friday from 4-7 p.m. at the West Chester location.

The Spicy Olive’s West Chester store is located at 7671 Cox Lane. The Montgomery store is located at 9901 Montgomery Road and the Oakwood store is located at 2510 Far Hills Drive.

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