Ready for the season of gift-giving? For some, it’s not just buying gifts for loved ones, friends and coworkers. At Olive Morada, it’s not uncommon to bring home some goods for yourself. 

Olive Morada was established in 2013, and in August 2018, White and a friend decided to purchase the business from the original owners. In January 2020, White bought the business from her friend and became the sole proprietor of the kitchen boutique shop.

Keys Weekly recently sat down with Jen White, the owner of Olive Morada to discuss all things olive oil, gifts, inspiration, and her second location in Key Largo, MM 95, bayside.

Some of my most popular items are pre-made gift baskets. Customers love the ease of grab-and-go, especially for a hostess gift during the holidays. I also work with real estate agents, banks, financial advisors and any size company that needs gifts for their clients. It’s unique, and everyone loves them. Most of them retail between $35-150, and I can customize them as well.

My passion for curating the products and vibe of the boutique is what inspires me. The special touches such as a display gift card, the packaging and merchandising the items together to make a pretty statement make it fun to come to work every day.

Some of the gift items I regularly carry are Fairtrade hand-painted ceramics from Guatemala and unique one-of-a-kind olive wood kitchen items and cutting boards. Also, Mangiacotti is an incredible line of lotions and other self-care products in beautiful packaging and fabulous scents.

There are a lot of coastal artisan-inspired items, as we are in the Keys, but not everything is coastal. I get new deliveries weekly. Since my customer base is 50% local and 50% tourist, I always make an effort to keep the assortment fresh. Plus, I love bringing in new products and trying new items.

The top 3 Olive Oil flavors are Tuscan Herb, Garlic, and Persian Lime. I carry 42 flavors between the olive oils and balsamic — changing out the extra virgin olive oils every two months with a fresh harvest. Some of the countries we import from are Italy, Greece, Chile, Spain and Australia. It is essential to me that our customers have the freshest product.

What makes the experience of using fresh olive oil so unique is the pairing. A top choice and easy way to start is combining the Persian Lime and the Coconut for a fish, chicken marinade or on a salad.

What’s my favorite flavor? I would have to say Persian Lime with the Red Apple Balsamic on chicken salad. And also, the Persian Lime on it’s on with guacamole. So good.

In addition to being grateful for my loyal customers and the new customers that find the store, I feel I have gotten to know them over the years. Even people who are on my newsletter list email me, and it makes my day. I am also grateful for my husband, Kevin, who believes in me but is also handy and helps me with the overall store design, painting, and ambiance. 

Our monthly newsletter often includes recipes from Chef Jenn Martello, which are delicious and easy. In addition, if you sign up on our website www.olivemorada.com you will receive a helpful free recipe eBook. I also share the recipes on Instagram.

Olive Morada offers in-store only deals for loyalty club members. Islamorada store hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Key Largo store hours are Tuesdays from 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. (orders can be picked up by appointment.) Follow Olive Morada on Facebook and Instagram. Call 305-735-4375 for more information.

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Melinda Van Fleet is a Confidence & Peak Performance coach, bestselling author of Confidence Mastery for Couples and Life & Love Lessons, and speaker, who works with businesswomen who desire to develop the confidence to believe in themselves, take action, and get results. Melinda is the host of two podcasts, The Good Karma Success Coach and Creating Confident Content. You can connect with her on FB, LI or IG melinda_vanfleet.