27 Jun

Long Grove business flows best of the press by the pint

Article by LONG HWA-shu,
Photo by Marina Samovsky,

olive oil bulkA Long Grove store sells olive oil on tap to the delight of a growing number of oil lovers.

Not just several kinds, but as many as 22 from specialty producers in Spain, Italy, Greece, Australia, Chile, Argentina and also California.

The Olive Tap of Long Grove, which specializes in unique and flavorful extra virgin olive oils, is one of the vendors at the Grayslake farmers market.

What does extra virgin olive oil mean?

According to Olive Tap owner Rick Petrocelly, “virgin” refers to the first cold-pressing of olives.

“Extra” denotes the acidity that gives the oil its rich aroma and flavor.

Olive Tap in downtown Long Grove was started by Rick Petrocelly and his wife, Katie, a year ago.

“I was interested in starting the business a long time ago,” said Petrocelly of Mundelein, a former sales and marketing executive for a dental instrument company in Chicago.

His father owned an Italian restaurant in Pittsburgh where he grew up.

“We used to go shopping for stuff for the restaurant. We would go to a store that sold olive oil on tap,” he said. “The idea came from that store, which still exists.”

They were looking for a location when a spot in downtown Long Grove became available. With olive oil already touted as a healthy choice by nutritionists and health professionals, the 1,400-square-foot store quickly became a success. Extra-virgin varieties as well as balsamic vinegars are sold on tap and bottled right there from one pint and up. The store also sells pesto, tapenades, bread toppers, sea salts, whole peppercorns and related kitchen accessories.

So successful is the business that he and his brother, John, have opened an Olive Tap in Medina, Ohio. He also licensed a store in Downers Grove, which opened Wednesday. Olive Tap also does business at several area farmers markets. The Petrocellys are looking to open another store on the North Shore.

To run the business, they have incorporated Mia Lisa Fine Foods Inc. in Mundelein as the parent company. Mia Lisa is the name of their 15-year-old daughter, who will be a freshman this fall at Carmel Catholic High School.

The couple also has two sons, Eric, 21, who is in ROTC at Western Illinois University, and John, 19, who studies business at Winona University.

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