The Natural State Olive Oil & Spice Company, located at 1018 Oak Street in downtown Conway, offers the community “a tasting experience that will inspire your inner chef.”
The store is filled with tables showcasing the variety of products the oil company manufactures and distributes, allowing customers to explore and sample as they please.
The shop is organized neatly into inviting sections, focusing mainly on their oils and spices. Another key product Natural State prides themselves on is their balsamics, which come from Modena, Italy.
The oil and spice company offer an open, quiet atmosphere, with pleasant and welcoming staff that start your tasting experience with a warm welcome.
“We opened in August 2015, and I’ve worked here whole time,” UCA alumna Logan Meyers said. “The owner, Nicole Cypert, opened it because her sister has a similar shop in Lake Tahoe, California.”
Products sold at the store vary in eccentricity and flavor. You can buy things from coconut white balsamic, to roasted walnut oil, to southwestern desert garden honey.
According to pamphlets handed out in store, “the spices, honeys, jams, mustards, pastas, and other gourmet foods in our store come from sources who have a commitment to using all natural and fresh ingredients.”
Both the founder of the store as well as two employees are all alumni of or are currently attending UCA.
“We do cooking classes and wine tastings, usually on the first Friday of every month,” said Meyers. “The next one is scheduled for Nov 4th.”
At these classes, the oil company brings in a chef and he makes dinner while simultaneously showing everyone in the audience how to use products sold in store. Classes are $37 and wine tastings are $15, Meyers said.
Oil and balsamic prices range from a 200 mL bottle at $11.95 to a 750 mL bottle at $26.95.