by Stuart Meyer
While the concept of gourmet free sample olive oil and balsamic vinegar shops is no longer novel, there is one such place tucked away in Downtown Naperville where they have turned the concept into community through equal ingredients of passion for food, a love for people and a true understanding of the ways in which food connects us.
I first discovered the The Twisted Olive , which is tucked away down the quaint alley off of South Washington Street between Jefferson Ave. and Chicago Ave., shortly after they opened their doors I believe a couple of years ago. The owner approached my wife and I that day with that fresh and enthusiastic smile you expect in the opening days of a new business.
With the smell of fresh baguettes in the air, I listened to the owner’s vision for the store which stretched far beyond their gourmet oils and vinegars into classes and events. From day one, The Twisted Olive aspired to become a community space designed to bring people together using one-of-a-kind foods as the ingredient. The space itself includes an area with plush chairs designed for planned gatherings, events or a simple reprieve while shopping. As for their products, the weight of our bag as we exited out to the alley was a testament to the quality. We’ve returned a number of times since our first visit and our kitchen is regularly stocked with Twisted Olive Oils and Vinegars. More recently, they’ve also added select wines and craft beers to their experience.
My personal favorites… OLIVE OIL – Fior Fiore EVOO and Truffle; VINEGARS: 25 Year Aged Traditional Balsamic and Lemon White Balsamic.
To those unfamiliar with The Twisted Olive, you are free to sample all of their oils and vinegars to your hearts content, which is always an experience in itself.
Congratulations to the owners and team at The Twisted Olive for your continued growth in popularity and thanks for being part of the World of Naperville!
The Twisted Olive is located at 232 S. Washington Street, Suite 6. To visit their website, CLICK HERE
Who’s ready to polish their golf game? Or, if you’re like me, poised to scrub some of the rust off after years of neglect? Spring is here and I’m very blessed to have been given the opportunity to work with another family business with a multi-generational legacy in sharing their unique story.
Zigfield Troy Golf is located just down the road on 75th Street in Woodridge (1535 W. 75th Street). Back in the 1930s, Zigfield Troy Golf was born of the vision of a Chicago South-Sider by the name of Zigfield Troy. He opened his first driving range in his teens and spent his whole life making the game of golf affordable and accessible to all. In Zigfield’s own words, he wanted to create a “Poor Man’s Country Club”. Over the years, Zigfield Troy and his family became familiar names in the PGA as both members and professionals. Today, the legacy continues year-round at Zigfield Troy Golf where you’ll find an outdoor and covered/heated driving range, a 9-hole precision Par 3 course, a staff of PGA Member Professionals for individual/group lessons, a full service Pro Shop, professional club assessment/fitting/repair, a Jr. Golf Program for kids during the Summer, the Annual Zigfield Troy Open Tournament (last weekend in June), putting/chipping practice greens and more. In other words, most everything you would expect to find at a private country club, but far less expensive and open to the general public year-round.
In a nutshell, there’s something for golfers of all levels and families where you can enjoy the game of golf without spending an entire day playing 18 holes. Green fees range from $7 – $12, they have family buckets of range balls and will even provide you with some clubs to hit if you don’t have them.
There is also a vacation-style miniature golf course by the name of Lost Mountain Adventure Golf as part of the facility. So, the whole family can come along and have an memorable time.
If you’re interested in getting involved in the Zigfield Troy Golf legacy and would like to interact, get golf tips from their PGA Professionals, exclusive offers, golf trivia/history, free giveaway challenges, connect with other area golfers, updates, see Zigfield Troy Golf videos and more, you should consider becoming part of our Zigfield Troy Golf Facebook Family by CLICKING HERE.
At the end of the day, what excites me about working with Zigfield Troy Golf and will capture your heart as well is the story told in the video below about Zigfield Troy, which was featured on the Golf Channel’s “PGA Today” show.
We are indeed very lucky to live in an area where inspiring and extraordinary family stories are so commonplace. SM
Posted in Life Purpose, Naperville Businesses, Random Thoughts
Tagged Aurora, Bolingbrook, Chicago, Chicagoland, chipping green, club fitting, club repairs, Darien, Dennis Troy, Downers Grove, driving range, golf, golf for kids, Golf Lessons, Golf Pro, golf tournament, Hinsdale, Junior Golf, Ladies Golf Lessons, launch monitor, Lisle, Lombard, Mike Troy, miniature golf, Mizuno, Naperville, natural tees, Oak Brook, par 3 golf course, PGA Member Professionals, Ping, pro shop, public, putting green, Romeoville, Tim Troy, Titlest, Western Suburbs, Westmont, Woodridge, year-round, Zigfield Troy Golf
To say the least, when we all reflect upon the Great Blizzard of 2011, our memories will be full of eye-popping snow drifts, jubilant kids and plenty of sweat equity invested in the ongoing removal of the crushing 18-20 inches of snow from our driveways, walkways, sidewalks and all the extra “plowed” in egresses to our residential streets.
If you’re like me, you gave plenty of pep talks to your grossly under-sized and under-equipped little snow blower as you forcibly choked their way through creating nicely squared ice mazes.
We also spent plenty of time helping our neighbors, some of which had no snow blower and were forced to face the icy white depths with only a shovel and empty expressions of overwhelmed bewilderment.
Personally, my last round of snow removal ended across the street helping my neighbor plow the end of his driveway from the icy mounded barriers created each time the city plows would come through. I asked much of my “little snow blower that could” and while it died many times within the strangulating snow it never gave out until the very end. Finally, after completing this last round the belt snapped and those tiny paddle blades ceased to move.
I needed convenience and a quick fix. Truthfully, I wasn’t crazy about taking the time to load “little red” into the mini-van only to take it somewhere that may have taken a couple of days to get fixed. Even more, I had no idea when the next snow would hit. Thus, I recall once upon a time hearing about a local service that is a repair shop on wheels and sure enough, after a quick internet search found Vostry’s Mobile Repair and Tune-Up.
I gave them a call and expecting a long waiting list, I actually ended up getting on the schedule that afternoon. Even more, expecting to pay a big premium for the home service I was very pleasantly surprised to find the cost wasn’t anywhere near what I expected.
After Mr. Vostry finished up, I was so excited by how easy and painless the repair had been that I asked if it would be okay to take a couple of pictures as I told him about the World of Naperville blog. He was more than happy to indulge and I told him I would continue spreading the word about his outstanding service. My personal thanks to Vostry’s Mobile Tune-Up for the passion and commitment they put into making these types of services so convenient here in Naperville.
Now as we head into lawn mowing season, I’ll be giving them another call to drop back by for my lawn mower maintenance as well. SM
Not Downtown Naperville, but the City Center of Trento, Italy
The sun was shining today despite the swirling winter winds. It was great to finally reconnect with Downtown Naperville today after having been in Europe for the majority of 2010 thus far. A long overdue homecoming indeed.
The joy of starting your own business is you move from working most of the time to most days working all the time. With the pressures of start-up comes the loss of those fleeting moments you thought you would have with all the new found elusive “flexibility” in your life. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t change a thing!
Today I took Downtown Naperville “by storm”, meeting my wife for lunch at the newly opened Tasso’s Greek Cuisine. My wife loves Mediterranean food and I thought it would be a “slam dunk”, however, I realized as our meal progressed that March Madness is still weeks away. Truthfully, I wanted to love Tasso’s as did my wife, but our experience was rather average in terms of food and service. We will give them another chance and I do hope they succeed.
After lunch, we headed down to the Naperville Running Company to appropriately buy some new running shoes, perhaps subconsciously believing that we could manifest an early Spring in doing so. As for the Naperville Running Company, you don’t need me to tell you how great they are as their well-known reputation speaks for itself. What a tremendous approach to small business, passion and service. If you are a lifelong runner or considering taking up running for the first time… run as fast as you can to Naperville Running Company to get on the right track and make you feel as though you are part of the running community no matter your fitness level.
After buying our running shoes, the only natural next stop was a couple of doors down at Gelati of Naperville for a SMALL cup of gelato. I will admit it was my first visit AND I was consuming gelato in February AND just after spending three-and-a-half weeks in Italy, so I have agreed to return when the warm weather arrives to give them another shot. I will say that Gelati of Naperville is definitely the type of Downtown Naperville business I would love to survive as they are both local and fun Downtown Naperville option.
Finally, with shopping on her mind my wife and I parted ways and I headed for my car. Though, out of the corner of my eye as I began to cross Washington Street was Le Chocolat Bar. Again, I am ashamed to confess that until today I had not stepped foot into their Downtown location since moving from their obscure former location on 5th Street behind Naperville North High School. Though I had just consumed gelato, my memories of European chocolate were fresh enough in my mind to curiously lead me through their front door. Upon walking in, I was floored by what an amazing job they have done in creating the genuine atmosphere of “Chocotopia”. Retail national and international chocolate to the left, chocolate-by-the-piece case to the right and a long bar farther back in the shop for an assortment of indulgent drinks. I browsed around comparing my mental notes of the many chocolate shops I had spent time in Italy, buying gifts of course, and the experience felt very familiar. I had to at least sample something so I approached the chocolate-by-the-piece case and was warmly greeted. After sharing some notes on different types of chocolate, I was offered a complimentary piece of their own dark chocolate, which was quite firm but a decadent balance between sweet and bitter richness. This is yet another Downtown Naperville business we must all support as, again, they are local and provide a memorable experience to anyone visiting Downtown Naperville.
It’s great to be back in Naperville and I look forward to a renewal of my regular visits to Downtown AND my postings to the World of Naperville. SM