The Pour

A Homecoming For Gustare Oil And Vinegar; Shop To Move To 400 Main St.

by Elizabeth Van Wye
Originally published in The Cape Cod Chronicle, Feb 16, 2024

On March 1, Chatham-based Gustare Oils and Vinegars will move to the east end of Main Street. The new location at 400 Main St. is “almost a homecoming,” according to Dave Ferraresi and his wife Catherine, the company’s co-owners.

“We are very excited to go back to our roots and celebrate our 15th anniversary,” Dave said. Gustare, established in 2009 at 425 Main St., has been providing select olive oils and vinegars from around the world, along with gourmet pantry items, to many thousands of residents and visitors alike for 15 years. And thanks to online retail, guests who may have never stepped into the shop are enjoying the products as well, said Catherine.

After seven years at 461 Main St., they began a hunt for a new location when they were unable to obtain an additional two-year renewal of their lease. A shop at 400 Main St., that formerly housed Chatham Thread Works, became available and it was a great fit. Dave is especially excited about the availability of nearby parking, including a rear parking lot and the new, soon to be opened Eldredge Garage parking lot across the street.

Fifteen years ago Dave had taken an early retirement after a career of 30 years in international sales and marketing. He and Catherine had lived in Europe for more than a decade where they were intrigued by a broad range of olive oils and balsamic vinegars available in local shops, offered for tasting prior to buying.

“We knew the taste and takeaway model used by these markets,” Catherine said.

They moved to Chatham in 2005 and started to think about setting up a shop which they hoped would “cover their travel and health insurance,” Dave said with a laugh. “We were confident because we knew the products.”

When the shop opened in 2009, Dave recalled people wondering about the concept. “How do you expect to make money selling olive oil?” was a question he often heard. “But we knew Europe and we knew that this model was taking off in California and moving east.” When Gustare was established, the closest similar shop was in Red Bank, N.J.

The word “Gustare” in Italian means “to taste, to savor, to enjoy,” and that became their brand. They were profitable in the first year, Dave recalled, and since then they have donated 10 percent of their profits each of the past 15 years to different non-profit health and human service related organizations, including the Family Table Collaborative, Cape Abilities, Monomoy Community services and many more.

Within three years of opening, Gustare had opened two additional stores, one in Mashpee Commons and another in Wellesley. “Our guests wanted us closer to their kitchens,” Dave said, and over time “we have built a strong reputation for premium products.”

Over the last 15 years the business has evolved. Initially the people who understood the health and nutritional values of olive oil, balsamic vinegar and the Mediterranean diet were people who had traveled in Europe. Over time, more people understood the health benefits of the products.

Gustare gradually introduced new products and provided information about the nutritional and antioxidant benefits of their oils and vinegars. And Catherine’s creative expertise as a chef inspired the Gustare Test Kitchen, where she developed new healthy recipes and ways of using the various oils and vinegars. Recipes are included with each product and available to all online.

Dave and Catherine travel to Europe each year to “follow the crush of the olives,” Catherine said. Going to Spain, Italy and Portugal, “we know where the olives are and we walk the fields with the owner of that operation,” Dave said. They follow the products from the ground to the table so “it’s easy for us to recommend other varietals,” he added.

Gustare sources olive oils fresh every six months. Northern hemisphere countries like Italy and Spain crush olives in November and December and Southern Hemisphere countries like Peru and Chile crush in May and June. The extra virgin olive oil sold in the shops is bottled fresh daily and meets key international testing standards. Tuscan Herb olive oil is one of the most popular oils, Catherine added, with “full flavor…it is great with bread, veggies and more.”

White and dark balsamic vinegars, aged up to 18 years in barrels, are certified to come from Modena, Italy and contain only natural ingredients with no artificial flavorings or chemical enhancements. Some of the most popular products at Gustare, these vinegars have naturally low acids and are particularly appreciated for that, Dave said. White balsamic vinegar, made without grape skins, goes through the same cooking process as dark but is aged in stainless steel barrels. White balsamic can add flavor to a recipe without changing the look.

A white cucumber melon balsamic is new this year Dave said.

“We consider half a dozen new flavors each year,” he added. “If we retire one we will take on another. Sometimes we will have a seasonal, like watermelon for example, which will be available online but not in the shop after the summer.”

While their initial business plan only went for 10 years, Gustare has grown beyond that initial vision. Dave and Catherine are grateful to their Team Gustare co-workers, local retailers and community partners, as well as their customers, who have become like a “second family,” she said. They are excited about the move and look forward to many more years “to taste, to savor and to enjoy.”

A ribbon cutting is expected to take place on Friday March 1. For more information go to

Other Posts You May Enjoy

error: Copyright© Gustare Oils & Vinegars