Olives & Grace: Or, A Little Glimpse of Heaven on Pembroke


The sign on Tremont alerts passers-by to something special down Pembroke Street. A couple doors down, the windows of the store-front offer tantalizing glimpses of overflowing gift baskets in various states of filling, and all sorts of mouth-watering objects. This is the world of Olives & Grace {A Curtsy to the Makers} ~  a small artisan shop that sells a variety of goods, from the culinary to the pretty, and everything in between. The first thing that catches my eyes is a tall, colorful stack of cooking salts – everything from an elusive Fennel Thyme Salt (for which I’d been searching over the past several months) to an Aleppo Chile Salt. A bottle of Honey Chamomile Bitters is ripe for winter cocktailing, and containers of tea and cocoa stand ready to banish what remains of the frigid season.

Not limited to the savory, there are an equal number of scintillating sweets, including a stack of flavored sugars to rival the stack of salts. Chocolates of all sorts, honey, and several interesting syrups – along with canisters of cocoa – mean that  there is something for every sweet tooth as well.

There are non-edibles that are meant to be worn and seen, such as some intricate metallic jewelry for the ladies or a few softly-hued pocket squares for the gentlemen. Everything is carefully crafted with pristine care, the time and effort apparent in each stitch of fabric, every curve of metal.

The emphasis is on what is local, ensuring a continually rotating stock of specialty items, worthy of frequent stops and regular browsing. While the unique stock alone is worth the stop, it’s the customer service that stands above and beyond any mainstream chain, and Olives & Grace boasts some of the friendliest and most helpful staff in the South End (which is saying something substantial.) I only wanted one of the salt blends (a chicken recipe has been calling for fennel salt for a while now), so the woman helping me looked up the supplier online, and saw that it was available in a fennel version. She wrote the name on a card, in case I wanted to order it on my own. That’s what keeps a business in good standing, and the customers coming back for more.

Olives & Grace is right off Tremont, at 81 Pembroke Street. 

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