I love locally-owned businesses that have the guts to set up shop right next to national big-box stores. Mrs. Large and I were strolling through the beautiful Shoppes at Farmington Valley, and saw a store that we hadn't heard of. O'Live a Little is located right in the heart of the complex.

You're met with big vats of olive oils and vinegar. Most of them are infused, but there are quite a few straight up versions. Little delectable delights line the shelves and countertops throughout the store. Home made pastas, sauces, dip mixes, wheels of insanely tasty cheese, nuts, and all sorts of condiments and crackers are strategically placed around the space.

Photo by Large "White truffle infused" Dave
Photo by Large "White truffle infused" Dave

O'Live a Little is owned by CT residents Matthew and Jennifer Ostrowski. In addition to the store in Canton, there is also a second location in South Windsor in the Promenade Shops at Evergreen Walk.

I sampled quite a few olive oils and vinegar blends as we chatted with the very personable employees. They really took the time to explain each product, and made us feel comfortable. Excellent customer service.

I bought a mixed nut mix that is probably the most delicious that I've ever tried in my life. The special ingredient? Dried olives. What an explosion of flavor. They were gone within minutes of getting home.

O'Live a Little packages up their products into nice little gift samplers right in the store. I'm a salt freak, so I picked up a few samples to coat my next steak with. I'm very impressed with the business model that the Ostrowski's have going, their impeccable taste in all things taste is top notch. It's a great place to shop if you're a serious foodie.

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