NORTHBOROUGH — Tucked away in a small plaza on West Main Street, The Little Shop of Olive Oils offers a retreat from the hustle and bustle of life.
The store, which is decorated with reclaimed wood and antiques, provides an experience filled with calming music, aromas and product samples. The main products are virgin olive oils, infused oils and balsamic vinegar.
“It really is a relaxing experience. That’s what we’re trying to provide,” said co-owner Tracey Wilkinson. “You can’t get this on Amazon.com. I mean you can buy it, but you can’t come in and relax and experience it. There’s the music, there’s the tasting and the beautiful atmosphere.”
Products also include spices, organic honey, homemade pasta from a cooperative in Italy and items for the kitchen. There is also a limited number of soaps and other beauty products.
Products come from all over the world, including Spain, Portugal, Italy, Chile, Australia and California.
“We have over 50 different varieties,” Wilkinson said. “We try to follow each harvest, so it’s twice a year.”
The products can be used for salad dressing, marinades and gravy bases, among other uses, and are known for their health benefits.
“This stuff is just so good for you,” she said. “It really helps with arthritis pain, it helps with blood pressure, it does a lot of things.”
Wilkinson and her husband Mike of Medway opened their first store in Franklin a little over a year ago. Recently, their landlord suggested their concept would do well in Northborough.
“It was out of the blue,” Wilkinson said of the Northborough store, which opened last month. “Mike came up here and fell in love with this space. It’s big, it’s beautiful, it’s calm.”
Robin McGrath of Boylston came into the store last week looking for a traditional olive oil. She’d been to the store’s Franklin location, which she found online after her son bought her olive oil from a store in Boston as a gift.
“There is no place like it around here,” she said.
Wilkinson decided to open the shop after many of years of commuting into Boston as a project manager for a financial service business.
The inspiration came from a store she visited nearly six years ago, Maine-ly Drizzle in Kennebunkport, Maine.
“I never had another drop of store-bought oil,” she said.
She saw a need locally.
“There are plenty of stores in touristy places where you have to drive an hour or two hours to get there and they have a small selection,” she said.
All the wood on display in the store was milled at their home by her husband. Her brother, John Duffin, and three sons, Mike, Matt and Sean are also involved in the family venture.
Wilkinson never thought she’d be so passionate about olive oil.
“I love the fact that we have a business and I love fact that it is quality product,” she said. “I don’t have to sell it. People love it.”
Jonathan Phelps can be reached at 508-626-4338 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @JPhelps_MW.