If you are looking for unique olive oils and vinegars, Phat Olive in Katonah is the place to go.
Owned by Peekskill residents and millennials Matt DiCairano, 30, and his fiancé, Jill Krumholtz, 29, they say the store is the only one of its kind in northern Westchester.
Phat Olive is stocked with more than 30 varieties of artisan olive oils and vinegars, and also sells honeys, aiolis, jams, and jellies, as well as a variety of other goods.
DiCairano and Krumholtz bought Phat Olive in early July from founder and family friend Tom Schassler. According to DiCairano, “We kept the name Phat Olive because we loved that it had a fun and funky feel to it.”
Owning a business has always been a dream of DiCairano’s. A self-described “foodie,” he worked his way up from bus boy to sous chef in the restaurant world. He also worked in the HVAC business until the Covid-19 pandemic. “After becoming unemployed, I was able to re-spark my creativity in the kitchen,” he says.
DiCairano notes, “We have an abundance of family support, including my mother, Maria [DiCairano], who has a wealth of knowledge in running a business. She helps us to smoothly run the back-end and is an expert at putting together a beautiful gift basket for any occasion.”
Krumholtz, who works full time as a senior graphic designer for commercial real estate, does all the marketing, design, and social media for Phat Olive.
She has a line of products under the name 313 Design Studio that she sells at the store, with items ranging from serving trays and salad bowls to cutting boards and coasters. She also makes and sells wine stoppers and kitchen towels.
“Among our best-selling olive oils are the Tuscan herb, blood orange, basil and lemon flavors,” says DiCairano. “As for vinegars, our black mission fig flavor outsells any other flavors in the store. We also have a cranberry pear and a Sicilian lemon balsamic and white balsamic vinegar that are big hits.”
“With so many offerings, it’s hard to find a use for all of our flavors, so we’re trying to help people out by looking up and creating different recipes to make use of the wide variety of products we offer,” says DiCairano. “We’re excited about giving people new options on how to use our olive oils and vinegars,” he says.
Among the couple’s creative ideas is offering a featured olive oil and vinegar each month along with a signature recipe. For November, the spotlight is on rosemary infused olive oil paired with a maple-flavored balsamic vinegar. Phat Olive’s online recipe uses these products to help create a delicious roasted butternut squash soup with maple bacon.
The store also offers gift baskets as well as taster packages with four or six mini-bottles. “For the holidays, we’re trying to come up with themed baskets,” says DiCairano. “We have an Asian-inspired box, which comes with garlic infused oil and a roasted almond olive oil along with honey ginger white balsamic vinegar and a Serrano honey specialty vinegar.”
According to Krumholtz, the next plan for Phat Olive is to offer party gifts for milestones such as weddings and birthdays.
Laura Joseph Mogil is a freelance writer and publicist residing in Briarcliff Manor.