Custom olive oil and balsamic vinegar creations dazzle

Custom olive oil and balsamic vinegar creations dazzle at downtown specialty store

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Olive oil and balsamic vinegar are on tap, so customers can make and take home their own creations. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar are on tap, so customers can make and take home their own creations.
"Our philosophy is to bring high-quality ingredients that don't take a lot of preparation to the table to make the most boring food taste yummy and healthy," said Terri Karlsson, owner of The Tree and Vine. "Our philosophy is to bring high-quality ingredients that don't take a lot of preparation to the table to make the most boring food taste yummy and healthy," said Terri Karlsson, owner of The Tree and Vine.
The store also sells high-end cookware, wine carriers and marinara sauce made from their own recipe. The store also sells high-end cookware, wine carriers and marinara sauce made from their own recipe.

By KRISTIN FARLEY
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - A unique shop with its own tasting bar is taking off in downtown Knoxville.

But we're not talking wine tasting. Instead, olive oil and balsamic vinegar are on tap, so customers can make and take home their own creations.

"Our philosophy is to bring high-quality ingredients that don't take a lot of preparation to the table to make the most boring food taste yummy and healthy," said Terri Karlsson, owner of The Tree and Vine.

Karlsson and her husband Paul opened The Tree and Vine on Union Avenue six months ago. Their main staples are estate olive oil and aged balsamic vinegar.

"He is actually in Greece harvesting the olives as we speak," Karlsson said of her husband when we stopped by the shop. "I spoke to his brother on the phone."

She and her husband know exactly where all their products come from. They store the oil in authentic fustes to help retain the quality of their product and they encourage customers to taste and create what suits their individual pallets.

"You want to always start with olive oil, because once you've tasted the balsamic, it sort of, our pallet is done for the day," she said. "It is hard to go backwards."

Best of all, customers are encouraged to make their own creations, meaning everyone can walk away with their own personal bottle or a unique gift.

"We want you to come in when you are a little bit hungry," she said. "Don't come in and say, 'I don't want to taste anything.' That's like, forget it."

Coming to the store is definitely an experience and the owners also have a lot of knowledge to share from their time overseas.

"Unfortunately most of what you buy in the grocery store that says extra virgin oil is not in fact extra oil. It is not regulated by the FDA," she said.

The store also sells high-end cookware, wine carriers and marinara sauce made from their own recipe. 

Karlsson says downtown Knoxville needed a cookware store and they hope to be filling the void.

In fact, for the North Carolina couple, coming to Knoxville was no mistake.

"We were recruited. The developer of this space on Union Avenue approached us. Think they talked to folks at Tupelo Honey and they said go talk to these people," Karlsson said.

And in the end, she said one trip here and she was hooked.

"Knoxville is kicking it. The people in Asheville are very jealous."

The Tree and Vine's other shop is in Biltmore Village in Asheville. They now have homes in both cities.

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