Monthly Archives: July 2009

Naperville Olive Mill a Flavorful Experience both In Store and Beyond

Olive Mill_1Last month, during our family vacation to in South Haven Michigan, we drove up to Saugatuck for day to visit the art galleries and shops.  Shortly after lunch, we stumbled upon a small shop called The Olive Mill.  From the street, we could see customers standing in front of rows of shiny stainless steel containers. 

Curious, we walked in to discover one area of small-batch flavor blended olive oils and on the other side of the store another area of small-batch flavor blended balsamic vinegars .  Given our love for cooking, how could we resist the warm offer to sample as many from tiny paper cups as possible.  Our kids even got into the action, of course with us helping them pour a little from the spout of each stainless steel container.

Now keep in mind, we had just finished a lunch of freshly fried lake perch and were not exactly hungry.  Nonetheless, I first tried the Strawberry Balsamic and my taste buds unexpectedly sprung back to life with delicious excitement.  From small-batch traditionally aged balsamic to others including apple, pear, black currant and champagne balsamic.  As shown in these pictures, we settled for an amazing Tangerine Balsamic.

While I was sampling the balsamic vinegars, my wife was over with the small-batch olive oils.  Flavors included blood orange, walnut, truffle, lime, Meyer lemon (had to try of course), garlic and many more.  We settled on an extremely refreshing basil olive oil.

We were so excited by our find, then suddenly heard from across the store one of the clerks say, “Naperville”.  We walked over to ask if they had other locations, and the clerk mentioned Naperville.  Now I’ll have to admit that in a moment of pride I questioned how could I, the “World of Naperville”, not be aware of this gem of a store in our own backyard.  Then as soon as she mentioned the English Rows, it dawned upon me that in fact we had noticed the store in the English Row shops just off of Rt. 59 a number of times.  I’ll have to confess though, I made no connection between the name “Olive Mill” and the wonderful hands-on consumer experience and products we sampled. 

Thus, last Friday, after having lunch at Tommy Nevins my wife and I walked over to the Naperville Olive Mill store for a closer inspection.  Steve greeted us warmly and we enjoyed our conversation about the company and the many rich flavorful products they offer.  The store format was almost identical to the Saugatuck store.  If you love rich olive oils, balsamic vinegars or any number of related products, I strongly recommend you drop by the Naperville Olive Mill on Rt. 59 at the English Row Shops a short distance south of 95th Street.

Olive Mill_2In the meantime, here’s recipe I would share from our family dinner this evening:

Grilled Basil and Tangerine Portabello Mushrooms

Start with fresh portabellos from the Naperville Farmers Market (each Saturday during the summer at 5th Street Station).  Blend one part basil olive oil with two parts tangerine balsamic vinegar from the Olive Mill.  Next, add a couple of fresh bruised basil leaves (ours from a basil plant purchased at Trader Joes in Gartner Plaza) along with some fresh crushed garlic, salt, pepper and a little bit of all seasoning.  Marinade the portabello mushrooms in plastic bags for 30 -60 minutes and toss onto a beyond hot grill to sear in the juices. 

With so many combinations to consider, the possibility of new flavor experiences from the Olive Mill is seemingly limitless.  What are you waiting for?  Head over to the Olive Mill to support this wonderful and relatively new Naperville business.  This is one place I’m really excited about.  SM

Pint-Size City Comes Alive During My Son’s Week at Safety Town Camp in Naperville

Safety Town 2We’ve driven past the peculiar miniature city of colorful buildings and tiny road signs many times before.  We’ve even been trick-o-treating there, but my youngest son would never have remembered as his “street legal” vehicle that Halloween was a stroller.

But 2009 was his big year to take to the scaled down streets in his environmentally green vehicle to learn all about being street safe.  That’s right, last week my little guy spent his days with volunteers from the Naperville Junior Woman’s Club and local student volunteers to learn road safety and, of course, have a little imaginary fun along the way.

For those of you who haven’t driven past the city limits of Safety Town on Aurora Ave. over by the Naperville Police Department, this particular town is a scaled down depiction of a variety of Naperville streets, including a Main Street, a familiar cul-de-sac and even a covered wooden bridge leading to the rail station.  A myriad of street signs, road signs and signals adjoin the sidewalks through safety town which serve as learning aids for the kids. 

Safety Town_PradelAfter a busy week, I was fortunate enough to have recovered enough from my London jet lag to attend the Safety Town graduation ceremony on Friday.  When I arrived, the campers were assembling in the building as Mayor Pradel’s animated energy circulated around the seated crowd with him offering up enthusiastic high fives to the older kids in attendance who had attended Safety Town in previous years.   Yes, Officer Friendly himself was one of the earliest proponents of the Safety Town Facility.

It’s too late this summer, but if you children are headed in Kindergarten in Fall 2010, be sure to sign them up for the Naperville Junior Woman’s Club Safety Town Camp next summer. 

Now if only I can find away to keep my little guy to stay pint-sized for awhile and not grow so fast.  We must all embrace these magical days.  SM

Big News from Stuart Meyer in the World of Naperville

London_ParliamentTo my regular readers, you may have noticed that it’s been nearly a month since my last post to the World of Naperville.  Atop the 4th of July holiday, a week-long vacation and quick business trip to London there has been much change brewing in this Naperville household. 

As many of you may recall, part of my original reason for launching the World of Naperville back in 2006 was to become a virtual activist of sorts, participating in our community despite the fact my job carried me 35 miles away each day.  For a long time, I’ve dreamed of not only living, but also working in Naperville being able to stay connected to our community on a daily basis.  Today, I’m pleased to say that I’ve made the leap of faith.

SF Logo_6-09As of July 2nd, I launched my own social media and association management consulting practice, Social Frequency Media Communications and Association 2020 Consulting right here in Naperville.  It has been natural next step for me and I’m humbly excited to be embarking upon this new venture which moves me further down the path of my life’s purpose. 

ImprevuAdditionally, this move also positions me to focus more time and energy on my current documentary film project, Imprévu – The Kenneth von Heidecke Story , which will be finishing principal photography by early 2010 and immediately heading into post-production.

As for the World of Naperville, my new path will provide me more time to focus on my labor of love… this blog.  With that said, upcoming postings this week will focus on Safety Town and a film shoot with legendary opera stage director, John Copley, in London.  SM