Liquid Gold

Manassas Olive Oil Company is a local gem for global products.

Just a short walk from the main drag of charming Old Town Manassas is a gourmet market with exquisite products and a knowledgeable staff. Alex Thomson and his children opened Manassas Olive Oil Company in 2014. “We’re proud to be Veteran-owned,” says Emily Thomson, Alex’s daughter and store manager. “My dad was in the Navy and my sister was in the Army.”

Manassas Olive Oil Company offers more than 50 types of high-end olive oils and balsamic vinegars, as well as Virginia-made products like cheese, crackers, honey, hot sauce, eggs, spice blends, and other cooking essentials. The family loves educating buyers on the flavor profiles and health benefits of quality oils and vinegars. 

Thomson says that similar to wine, olive oil carries different bouquets of scents and flavors. The shop hosts special events and blind tastings to demonstrate the difference between its products and the grocery store variety. Shoppers may taste before they buy to make sure they love what they’re getting. 

“Your grocery store olive oils claim to be EVOO but a lot of times they’re lower quality and not single-sourced,” says Thomson. “We know exactly where our products come from, and we source from all over the world, depending on the season, to ensure the freshest olive oil. It’s fun to train buyers on what to smell and taste for.”

Thomson says when olive oils start getting stale, they can smell musty and even a little like crayons. Fresh olive oils should carry fruity or herbal notes. Manassas Olive Oil Company is planning a group trip to Italy in the fall for its customers to learn more about the olive oil making process and even bring home their own unique bottle. ManassasOliveOil.com


This article originally appeared in the Best of Virginia 2023 issue.

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