The Oil & Vinegar Bar is just what it sounds like. Small cubes of bread in the middle of the store provide customers a chance to taste more than 15 varieties each of vinegar and olive oil gathered from along the West Coast and from Europe. The shop is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on all but Tuesday. After school gets out, it will stay open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. It can be reached at 503-436-4148 or at

What do you do?

“We sell infused olive oils and imported and infused balsamic vinegars. Most of the olive oils are from California. I have a few from Italy, a few from Chile, those kinds of things. But I try to stay in the United States, because California has wonderful olive oils. So we try to promote that. All of the balsamic vinegars are imported from Italy. The infused flavors are infused in California, and then I bottle everything here. There’s about 30 varieties – I think 15 to 18 olive oils and 15 balsamics. It changes. But I also sell stuffed olives and some pantry items. I’ve got garlic-, jalapeno– and blue cheese-stuffed olives.”

How did you get started doing this?

“I shopped for balsamic vinegar. I found a place like this in Tucson, Ariz., and just fell in love with it, and started using it and made friends with the woman who owned the store. I had been a dental assistant for 33 years, and I knew I was getting ready to retire from that and wanted to come back to Oregon. I grew up in Oregon and wanted to be back here again. So (I) spent the 401K, and found the location and started the business. And it’s been a really good decision.”

What is the volume of your business?

“In the summertime, in the peak probably from July 4 until the end of September, the volume I would say is I can sell anywhere between 100 and 200 bottles a day. It can hardly ever sell under 20 or 30 bottles a day, even during the slow times. (I sell) probably more vinegar, but it’s close. I have fans of both, and oftentimes, it’s one of each, because they pair well for salad dressings and so forth.”

How does the economy or the weather affect your business?

“If we have real beautiful days like we had two weeks ago, it’s too nice. People are at the beach. So a little rain is good for our business. If it’s horribly stormy ... that will keep people away too, but a little rain is okay. Too much sunshine is not good. I came into this probably at the beginning of when things were starting to pick back up. I have some things that are $9, but for the most part everything’s under $20. So anybody can afford it. Once they taste it, which is the most popular thing to do here ... they want it. As long as they can taste, I think there will never be a problem, because $20 is affordable.”

— Edward Stratton