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Branford Biz Spotlight: Old Quarry Olive Oil Company

The new gourmet shop on Main Street in Branford offers ultra premium extra virgin olive oil, as well as top quality balsamic vinegars and other related items.

Bill Dywer, co-owner of Old Quarry Olive Oil Company in Branford, pours out a sample of ultra-premium oil for a tasting. Credit: Julie Weisberg
Bill Dywer, co-owner of Old Quarry Olive Oil Company in Branford, pours out a sample of ultra-premium oil for a tasting. Credit: Julie Weisberg
All olive oils are not created equal. And one visit to Branford's first speciality ultra premium olive oil shop will delightfully demonstrate that to any palate ready for the EVOO (that's extra virgin olive oil) journey.

The Old Quarry Olive Oil Company, at 887 West Main Street, is locally owned and operated by Bill Dywer and his son, Shawn. The Guilford residents opened their doors here in August.

Highest Quality

And since then the two — along with store manager Allison Casey — have been wowing local foodies with their wide variety of ultra premium EVOO: the freshest and highest quality olive oil in the world

"All our oils are from olives grown in small groves, collected in small batches, selected from the first pick and then cold pressed within six hours at a temperature below 65 degrees," Bill said.

He added that unlike the oils found in grocery stores — which have been exposed to all kinds of conditions, like heat and light, that deteriorate their flavor and health benefits during the two year or three journey it takes for them to finally make it to the shelf — Old Quarry's oils are not only much fresher, but have a "chain of custody that would challenge any police department."

"From the time the olive is picked to the time it is delivered here, it is carefully tracked," Bill said, adding that each batch of oil is also carefully taste tested and profiled as well. 

"It's down to a science," he said.

Tasting the Difference

And what a delicious science it is. Recently, East Haven Patch was lucky enough to stop in for a tasting session at the shop.

Once Bill reviewed the basics of how to properly taste olive oil (see the video that is included with this post), he walked through several highlights of some two dozen or so oils the store carries.

And all it takes is just one taste — and a cough or two afterwards from the burst of spicy, almost peppery notes that dance upon your palate — to know that this is something far, far more special than any oil you can purchase in a grocery store.

"That robust flavor is not for everybody," Bill said of their boldest ultra premium EVOO offering. "But that's fine, because everything is not for everybody."

The shop, however, features other more mild oils — there really is something to please every palate at Old Quarry.

Fused & Infused Oils

In fact, many of the products Old Quarry offers its customers are infused and fused oils

"Infused" or flavored olive oils are flavors are added after the olive oil is pressed. 

"Fused" extra virgin olive oil refers to the process of actually pressing the olives and fruit together simultaneously.

"We carry everything," Bill said.

Balsamic Vinegars

But Old Quarry is more than just EVOO. The shop also offers high quality balsamic vinegars — many of which, like the oils, are expertly and deliciously flavored.

And running through tasting highlights of the white and red balsamics is just as much fun as exploring the oils.

"People just love coming here and tasting the oils and the vinegars," Bill said. "Many of our customers, once they come here — they don't go back to grocery store oils again."

Old Quarry at 'Home'

And Old Quarry isn't just a hit with its growing base of private, individual customers.

The shop's oils can now be found on the tables at Home, the popular Branford restaurant on Main Street — which is known for its strong and continued focus on using locally sourced products and ingredients in its kitchen

"We are really excited and honored," Bill said.

More Info

Want to learn more about Old Quarry's ultra-premium olive oils, vinegars and other products?

Well, your best bet would be to visit the West Main Street store — Bill, Shawn and Allison are always happy to help guide customers through a tasting. 

In addition, Old Quarry's online home can be found here, and you can also "like" and follow them on Facebook, too
Linda Zonana January 08, 2014 at 03:03 PM
I love the Old Quarry Olive Oil. There is a huge selection and you can taste everything. They bottle your choice for you, sealing it securely with a fascinating device, and presenting it in an attractive bag. In addition to a great addition to your home kitchen, it makes a really nice and unique gift.
Angela Velardi-Wade January 08, 2014 at 04:08 PM
Got a gift box of olive oils and balsamic vinegars for Christmas. WOW! Really great - what a difference from grocery store oils. I plan on doing mail order business with this company from now on. (P.S. I live in Florida)

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