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For a while, it seemed as if all oil was bad for you. Facial cleansers and cosmetics went “oil-free,” and we were told to avoid eating foods with oil in them. Today, however, we know that some oils can actually be good for you.

As part of a balanced diet, coupled with regular exercise, high-quality olive oil has been shown to help people with arthritis and high blood pressure and to prevent cardiovascular disease, says Maggie Kite, co-owner of Olive and Co.

At Olive and Co., educating customers about good foods is part of what Kite enjoys most in her work.

“It’s been fun and a learning experience,” she says.

Kite and fiancé Rane Peterson opened the Oklahoma City store in 2012 selling gourmet balsamic vinegars, silicone cookware, natural skin care products, gourmet condiments, jams, spices and sauces. But it’s the olive oils that have made the business a standout enterprise.

Selling a range of premium oils sourced from olive growers in Spain, Italy, Portugal and other countries in the Mediterranean region as well as from California, Olive and Co. can vouch for the quality of its products. Not every merchant selling olive oil can do the same in an increasingly complicated market.

“Olive oil is touched by organized crime, and [crime] is putting multigenerational families out of business,” Peterson says. “Some are taking a tiny amount of extra virgin olive oil and adding other [non-olive] oils to it.”

Stocked with a number of varietals, Olive and Co. is serious about making fresh olive oil a staple of every kitchen and home. 7602 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City. www.oliveokc.com

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