Have you been to the Annapolis Town Center lately? Seen Sur La Table, Brooks Brothers, Lulu Lemon, Anthropologie to name a few? Most retail stores are chains, except the Maryland Spa Phenom, About Faces Day Spa run by Helga Surratt and the Brennan family, and Bin 201 Wine Shop (sister to Bin 604 in Harbor East), located next to Whole Foods.
Wow, did I find a newly opened gem in CLEO's Fine Oils & Vinegars, which brings some of the world's best olive oils and distinctive infused vinegars to the Annapolis area. The store is flanked by vats of premium extra virgin olive oils, nut & seed oils, wine vinegars & balsamic vinegars and also has about twenty flavored sea salts. I was instantly transformed into a boutique in Europe or maybe Fifth Avenue NYC or Rodeo Drive or Napa Valley. With the tagline: SIP~SAVOR~BOTTLE~SEAL, we were thrilled at the new shop just opened a few days prior!
Whether by personal connections with individual macadamia nut growers in Hawaii to trendsetting makers of Washington State grape seed oil to connections with award-winning olive oil producers in California, the owners have blended all into a fabulous boutique for food lovers of all types. It is a family affair by sisters Saleta and Linda Cameron CLEO's Fine Oils & Vinegars' owners are determined to meld their love of great food, good health and excellent ingredients.
Entering the shop we were greeted by Linda Cameron, a doctor and self-professed foodie, who turns out to be the shop founder, Saleta Cameron (who was not in that day), sister. Linda asked, had we ever been in a store like this. We both exclaimed, no. So she gladly gave us a tasting tour of the inventory which consists of elaborate olive oils, vinegars and sea salts. This store is what Linda calls, "a labor of love." She goes on to explain that her 80-something mother paintings of herbs, fruits and veggies adorns the walls of the shop.
I sampled many many new flavors, each with a distinctive flavor all of its own. Guest can enjoy flavors of oils like bail, roasted sesame, chipoltle EVO, garlic EVO, Cleo's house EVO, jalapeno, Tuscan Herb, Agrumento Lemon, Antica Caroli and truffle.
Some Balsamic Vinegars sampled : Divine Pomegrante, champagne pear, white balsamic 25 Star Aged, Cleo's,
The point is to sample and then take home in a variety of sizes, some of your favorites. I chose to bring home the four-pack sampler. My personal choices to be bottled were: Basil infused Olive Oil, two balsamics, one 25 Star aged-I was told should be perfect poured atop strawberries, another spectacular 'every-day' balsamic and the signature Italian olive oil. Linda filled, labeled and sealed the bottles for me to take home
I couldn't exit without my true love, white truffle sea salt. Mmmmm! What wine goes with that?
Saleta has created a gem. I will be back and highly hope you find them soon-it is sure to be a hit. If only OPRAH was still on! Well, at least you have CITYPEEK Patti!FYI-website is under construction. I suggest bottle of the month club mailings worldwide!
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