Temecula Olive Oil Company
Products sold by Temecula Olive Oil Company include cold-pressed oils and balsamic vinegars.Photo by Charlie Neuman
The view down Cedros Avenue in Solana Beach.
The family-owned Temecula Olive Oil Company has opened its newest retail tasting room in Solana Beach, the latest step in the evolution of the city’s prime shopping district.
“The word’s just getting out that we’re here,” said Catherine Pepe, who co-owns the nine-year-old company along with Nancy Curry.
The olive oil tasting room at 342 S. Cedros Ave. opened just before Thanksgiving. It follows the September opening of Carruth Cellars, one of the region’s few urban wineries, and its tasting room, at 320 S. Cedros.
Cedros Avenue has evolved from its early 1990s incarnation as a home-furnishings hub into an eclectic shopping area with boutiques and art galleries, said Lesa Heebner, deputy mayor of Solana Beach.
“It just speaks to people coming there to get an experience, not just to buy a specific thing,” Heebner said. “(Cedros Avenue) used to be called the design district, and now it’s ‘the avenue with everything.’ I love that phrase.”
Sean MacLeod, a developer who helped establish the original Cedros Design District to boost the city’s sales tax base, said that he welcomes the street’s growing diversity. Cedros lost several of its decor businesses – such as Blackbird Interiors – because of the recession. About 40 percent of the tenants in the area received rent reductions as landlords struggled to keep buildings occupied, he said.
The olive oil tasting room and the winery join a growing array of “lifestyle” businesses and high-end office space, he said. A large advertising company recently signed a lease, he said. “That’s a real coup for us,” he said, “because all of these office users are going to be patronizing the stores, cafes and bistros.”
The coastal enclave of Solana Beach is among the county’s wealthier communities, with scads of baby boomers and a median household income of $119,521, according to the San Diego Association of Governments. During public discussions last year on the expansion of a shopping center on Lomas Santa Fe Drive, residents clamored for a high-end cookware store such as Williams-Sonoma.
Temecula Olive Oil Company produces its olive oil at a ranch 18 miles east of Temecula in an unincorporated area of Riverside County and has tasting rooms in Old Town San Diego.
Its Solana Beach store is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Like its sister locations, it offers complimentary tasting of cold-pressed, extra-virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars. It also sells olives, spreads and rubs; along with soap, cookbooks and artisan gifts made from olive wood.
The other San Diego tasting rooms are at 28653 Old Town Front Street and 2754 Calhoun Street. Visit www.temeculaoliveoil.com for additional company information.