Jeremy and Rebecca Berlin own two stores, their first one in Punta Gorda,FL opened in 2011 and their latest store in Grand Junction CO opened in 2014.
Write up on the Florida store- November 2011
If olive oil and balsamic vinegar were considered fine art, Jeremy and Rebecca Berlin would be gallery owners. That’s the best way I can describe their business, Bella Balsamic & The Pressed Olive, inside Fishermen’s Village, 1200 W. Retta Esplanade, Punta Gorda.
No fruit seems off limits for the vinegar’s, from black cherry to coconut, pomegranate to peach, not to mention flavors such as chocolate, espresso, lavender, maple vanilla and serrano pepper. Black truffle, blood orange, Persian lime and sesame are just some of the accompanying olive oils. All told, they offer more than 50 varieties.
All of Bella Balsamic’s oils are extra virgin cold-pressed, and go through a third-party lab analysis to verify the chemistry. They offer traceability- the ability to trace the olive oil’s they sell to the farmer, the farm and the date it was picked. That’s important because olive oil has only a two-year shelf-life from the time it’s pressed. ‘We ‘chase the crush,'” Mr. Berlin said “Everything you see here, six months ago was on a tree. It’s that fresh. We go for freshness over location. In other words, we’re more interested in the freshness than whether it came from Spain or Italy.”
Because the industry is not FDA-regulated, he said, store-bought olive oil marked “extra virgin” is usually heavily mixed with canola and soy oils. Only the extra virgin grade offers the fruit’s health benefits, as later extractions (of the oil from the olives) are performed with heat and chemicals that kill the nutrients.
Adding to the oils and vinegar’s are specialty cheeses from around the country and the world that, Ms. Berlin said, you’re not likely to find in other stores. Many are from artisan creameries that feature organic dairy products from hormone-and steroid-free pasture raised cattle. These can be paired with the store’s artisan breads.
The Berlins give seminars on olive oil and are planning ahead, considering the addition of craft beers and small-vineyard wines to Bella Balsamic’s offerings.
To view a current write up about the Colorado store click link: