by Madison V. Fisler
Dec. 13, 2013. The popular Blowing Rock shop, Rustic, has been a favorite of the High Country since its beginnings four years ago.
“We fell in love with reclaimed wood furniture four years ago,” said Rustic owner Tammie Jolly. “We started buying furniture and then decided to open up a store front in Blowing rock. Our focus shifted to handmade items and we didn’t just focus on North Carolina. We have pieces from all over the world and I try to find things that are unique. Every piece in here has a story and I know all of them.”
After years of being a top stop for locals and visitors alike, Rustic teamed up with Boone based Art of Oil, an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting room that offers free tastings of these products from around the world everyday.
Art of Oil became famous in the High Country for having more than 45 types on tap, specializing in organic and unfiltered olive oils, flavor infused oils and gourmet vinegars from around the globe. The shop also offered many types of gourmet pastas, cheese, wine and other food products alongside the many oils and vinegars.
“About three years ago, the owner of Art of Oil and I met up and talked about Rustic carrying the Art of Oil line to get some exposure in Blowing Rock,” Jolly said.
“I picked about 5 different oils and vinegars to sell in our shop, and they did very well. The next April, she decided to open up an Art of Oil kiosk in Blowing Rock. When she called me to let me know that she was selling the business, we felt this was a great opportunity for a business crossover, there was a lot of potential to carry more items and provide more gift items, so we bought it.”
Since the deal closed on Nov. 26, Rustic has been moving furniture over to the Boone Art of Oil location and has set up a tasting bar inside Rustic to showcase ten items that the shop is currently carrying.
“Around February we are looking to expand,” Jolly said.
“There is a lot more space in the Boone store, so there is a lot more room that can be opened up. We are trying to blend both stores with each still maintaining its own integrity.”
The stores are geared toward locals and visitors who are coming to the area to build and purchase homes in the mountains.
Now, both stores will carry furniture, oil, vinegar and gifts such as high quality cutting boards, wood products and an expanded gift basket and gift box program.
At Rustic in Blowing Rock, they now feature a selection of the oils and vinegars at the tasting table which is open daily to try each flavor. At Art of Oil, the new ownership is looking forward to serving existing customers and welcoming new ones.
“We are very excited to see where this goes,” said Jolly.
“It is going to be great.”
For more information about Art of Oil, click here.
For more information about Rustic, click here.
Photos by Ken Ketchie