Bella Balsamic and The Pressed Olive

Jeremy and Rebecca Berlin opened the Grand Junction store in September of 2014. If olive oil and balsamic vinegar were considered fine art, Jeremy and Rebecca Berlin would be gallery owners.

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.

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