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The Tasteful Olive

Jeanne Mackey heard all the naysayers when she decided to open a specialty shop and sell extra-virgin olive oil and flavored balsamic vinegars in downtown Overland Park. "No one came right out and said, Don't do it — you'll fail. But there were more subtle warnings like, 'Do you really think foodies will come to Overland Park to go to an olive-oil shop?'" Since opening the Tasteful Olive last March, however, Mackey has been busy every day, introducing customers to the wonders of tart, sexy blood-orange olive oil or a newer flavor such as roasted garlic and cilantro. Visitors hold tiny paper cups under the spigots of shiny steel fustis and taste one of 20 fresh oils or 18 aged vinegars (in such unexpected flavors as chocolate, Sicilian lemon, honey ginger, and cinnamon pear). Mackey sells her oils and vinegars in 375- and 750-milliliter bottles (she says a less costly 200-milliliter bottle is on the way) and offers classes in cooking with the products. She also sells specialty foods, herbs, gifts and a new line of olive-oil-based beauty products. All of which proves that sometimes it's good to be oil-dependent.

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