At The Pedaler we are fortunate to work in partnership with some amazing local businesses that offer fantastic, unique products to the city of Victoria. Since we love to eat, drink and pedal to these different vendors, we want to share their stories with you!
Victoria is an incredibly fun place to shop since it seems like we have a specialty store for just about everything! Hudson Public Market is a great place to observe this phenomenon, where the space is dedicated to hosting local artisans, farmers, and the like! Olive the Senses, a specialty olive oil and balsamic vinegar store, opened in the market in September of 2012.
The inspiration behind this fabulous locally owned shop happened when Stephen and Emily Lycopolous, the owners, visited Fano, Italy to see family. During the visit they tasted fresh olive oil for the first time. When they returned to Victoria they realized they really couldn’t find anything like it. They wanted to educate people about what real olive oil should be like. At Olive the Senses you will find oils made with seasonal olives from around the world (who knew olive oil had seasons!). Olives from countries in the northern hemisphere, like Italy, Spain and Portugal, can be found in oils from January to June or July. Olives from southern hemisphere producers, like Australia, Chile and Peru, can be found the rest of the year.
Olive the Senses has an amazing selection of both olive oil and balsamic vinegar with the opportunity to taste everything before you buy it. They fill the bottles of your desired product right in front of you – and those bottles are refillable! Bring them back for a fifty-cent discount on your next purchase.
One of our favourite things about Olive the Senses (besides the opportunity to taste all the amazing different oils and vinegars!) is their incredibly well-educated staff. I had a chance to chat with employee Elizabeth Allbury, who had some great tips about olive oil! First, when storing olive oil, make sure you keep it in a dark cupboard and not by the stove. Also, real olive oil has an expiry date and is only good for one year so make sure yours is still fresh and tasty!
If you’re overwhelmed by all the different flavours, check out the recipe recommendations posted around the store and online. Elizabeth’s personal favourite is the grapefruit white balsamic – adding it to drinks, salads or seafood makes for a tasty treat. Another simple treat that we love is the buttery tasting olive oil for our popcorn! For more inspiration, check out their beautifully written and photographed recipe book!