Sherry and Joe Morgan loved cooking with olive oil and vinegar so much that they decided to open up a store selling those products sourced from around the world. Four locations -- including Red Wing Olive Oils and Vinegars -- and many years later, the husband and wife duo still enjoy going to work every day.
“We love what we do and not only do we use the product we sell, but we also believe in what we are doing,” Sherry said.
The Morgans moved from Mississippi to Minnesota during the 2010s after Joe left the Air Force. Sherry started working in the mortgage industry and Joe in engineering, but both were looking for a career that they loved.
After so many years of cooking with olive oils and balsamic vinegar, they realized the potential business market for selling these products was huge.
Taking a leap of faith, they opened their first store called Northfield Olive Oils and Vinegars in 2013 and introduced their location in Pass Christian, Miss., shortly after.
“The MS location was in part established to help bring business back to a community that had been devastated by Hurricane Katrina,” Shelly said.
Within a year, both locations were a success and the Morgans’ efforts were noticed by a few members of a downtown Red Wing development group.
“They were looking for new businesses to help revitalize downtown Red Wing,” Shelly said. “We visited Red Wing and the Red Wing chamber gave us a tour of the downtown and introduced us to all the building owners who had space available. We found a great space to rent in the Indigo Building.”
In October 2014, Red Wing Olive Oils and Vinegars was established and the community loved it. With numerous positive reviews, the store has a five star rating on Google and TripAdvisor.
The Morgans opened their fourth and last location in Ocean Springs, Miss., in 2015.
With every store the Morgans open, they strive to provide the freshest extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars from small growers around the world.
“Our oils come from different places depending on the growing season,” Shelly said. “We get Northern Hemisphere products from places like Spain, Italy, Greece and California in the fall. In the summer our products come from Australia, Chile and Peru. Our balsamic vinegars are from Modena, Italy.”
When customers utilize these products in their recipes, they are not only using the finest ingredients, but are receiving added health benefits.
“Olive oils contain polyphenols. Polyphenols benefit health, in part, because they combat oxidative stress -- a type of stress within the body that damages lipids, proteins and DNA in a way that contributes to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and dementia,” Shelly said. “Two abundant polyphenols present in olive oil are hydroxytyrosol and oleocanthal, which have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, cancer-fighting, neuroprotective and antimicrobial properties.”
Balsamic vinegar contains antimicrobial compounds, acetic acid and antioxidants, which can regulate blood sugar, aid digestion, block toxic cells in the body and lower cholesterol, according to Shelly.
Since the olive oil and vinegar industry is ever changing with new flavors and studies, the staff at the Red Wing store are always available to answer any customer's questions.
As the Morgans gear up for a fall of Northern Hemisphere oils, they are happy to serve the community high quality products.