The new olive-oil boutique includes a demo kitchen that will host expanded cooking-class offerings.
By Chantal Rice, Photos courtesy of Con’ Olio
Austin’s first premium-olive-oil tasting bar is expanding its empire. Woman-owned Con’ Olio Oils & Vinegars, which has been refining Austinites’ palates and educating locals about high-grade olive oils and vinegars since 2009, has expanded, opening a new flagship boutique at the Gateway to Falconhead development in Bee Cave, Texas.
The new Con’ Olio location, which boasts 1,650 square feet and a demo kitchen, opened in early April and will host a grand opening party April 13, featuring in-store specials and giveaways, as well as small bites and wine for guests.
Owner and Co-founder Tabatha Conarko notes in addition to offering shoppers a curated selection of extra-virgin olive oils and premium vinegars from throughout the world, the new Con’ Olio boutique, located at 3500 FM 620 S., suite F-400, features a covered outdoor patio, bar seating and a new selection of biodynamic wines. But it’s the boutique’s demo kitchen that has her most excited, as the space will enable Conarko to expand the company’s cooking-class offerings, including its recently launched plant-based Mediterranean Cooking Class series. Additional classes include Con’ Olio’s Olive Oil 101 courses, classes hosted by local chefs and kids’ culinary camp sessions, which launch in June.
“Austin is such a foodie town,” Conarko says. “People really want to learn about the food they are consuming, and that is exactly what Con’ Olio does best: education.”
As part of its grand-opening celebration, Con’ Olio will donate a portion of proceeds from the event to The Settlement Home for Children, a nonprofit organization focused on providing care for children who have suffered from abuse and neglect.
Conarko and her late husband, Jeff Conarko, created Con’ Olio after being inspired by the food culture in Europe, and dedicated themselves to sharing their vast knowledge of the premium-olive-oil industry with Austinites—a mission that remains key for the Con’ Olio as locals celebrate the company’s 10th anniversary.
Tabatha Conarko, certified as an expert olive-oil sensory evaluator by the Organizzazione Nazionale Assaggiatori Olio di Oliva, makes it a goal to help educate shoppers about the spectrum of olive oils, and offers complimentary tastes of the extra-virgin olive oils and aged traditional balsamic vinegars she’s curated from throughout the world.
In addition to opening the new location and offering more cooking classes, Tabatha Conarko continues to expand Con’ Olio’s product lines, seek out new producers and gain more knowledge through consistent travel to some of the world’s most distinguished olive-oil regions.