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Greenville Business Magazine

Palmetto Olive Oil Co.: Brings Splash of Flavor to Augusta Street

Oct 03, 2022 11:14AM ● By Brigit Preuss

When thinking of starting a business in Greenville, South Carolina, Sandy Burn and her husband Michael Burn decided to think outside the bottle. 

Although Sandy Burn was hesitant about the idea of an olive oil store, thinking that people were not going to go out of their way to buy the product, she has now run her business for almost 12 years and currently owns three locations in the Upstate. 

“The one good thing about olive oil is that it gets no negative press,” Burn says.

In 2011, the Burns and a few business partners got together to open Palmetto Olive Oil Co. Since buying out their partners, they have been able to expand and currently own stores in downtown Spartanburg and Landrum, in addition to their Greenville location.

Sandy Burn said the downtown Spartanburg shop has become just as popular as the Greenville one. The Greenville store has maintained its popularity, due to its location on Augusta Street, a place where many like to spend the day shopping.  

One of the keys to success of Burn’s business is that “It is a very customer-oriented business, which is almost unheard of these days,” Burn says. She describes the feeling of entering one of her stores as “not your typical shopping experience”. 

“It is a small business; we treat it like a small business.” Her goal is to create this experience for the clients. She loves knowing many of her customers and having a personal connection with her stores, which is why they do not have plans to expand beyond three locations. 

Most of the employees working at the Palmetto Olive Oil Co. were once customers who simply enjoyed the idea of a small olive oil business and wanted to get involved and help out. Many of the employees love sharing their favorite recipes with the customers. 

Anyone who walks through the doors is welcome to taste any of their products and most customers who do, describe it like “a party in your mouth,” Burn said.

Along with its flavor, olive oil has several health benefits. As Burn puts it, “There is just such a big difference between our product and grocery store olive oil.” With up to 1,000 antioxidants in her company’s olive oil, Burn says that grocery store olive oil, which contains 15-30 antioxidants, can’t compare.

“It’s a really good thing to be addicted to; if you are going to have an addiction, it’s a good one to have,” she said.

Along with their star product, Palmetto Olive Oil Co. also offers an assortment of balsamic vinegars, which are full of probiotics and can be bought in several flavors. A true balsamic vinegar is well-aged and comes from the Modena region of Italy. Because of its sweetness and syrupy texture, it can be eaten with ice cream and even added to sparkling water as a natural flavoring. 

Every six months, Palmetto Olive Oil Co. changes their olive oil suppliers between the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, always keeping the product fresh and in season. This includes olive oils from a wide variety of regions, including Tunisia, Chile, Australia, and Spain. 

Burn buys the product in bulk, bottles it, and labels each individual bottle. Their olive oil prices range from $6 to $30 a bottle and are available in a variety of flavors, from truffle to basil and even blood orange.  

Most other products sold at Palmetto Olive Oil Co. are produced locally in Greenville. They sell products such as embroidered kitchen towels or dishes with Greenville landmarks on them. A local business supporting local businesses.