Diagnosed with weight-related diabetes, Scott McPeak, 57, had to make some crucial changes in his diet if he wanted to keep living. Turning to salads and vast amounts of veggies, he lost 80 pounds in four months. “I never had to do insulin, which was amazing,” he said.
Wanting to dress his salads with something healthy, he visited an olive oil store in Bisbee. “That’s what got the wheels turning,” he said. “I’ve heard of the value of balsamic vinegars and olive oils, so I did research and discovered the nutritional benefits.”
Prior to living in Flagstaff, the McPeaks owned an H&R Block business in Nebraska. “We really wanted to move out West. When we heard that Olive the Best was for sale, we swooped in and bought it,” said McPeak.
“Owning a tax office was a way to provide for our families, but owning Olive the Best is stress-free and revolves around what we’re passionate about. People are blown away when they first come into the store. We are so excited to be in Flagstaff and involved with the city and community,” said Scotty McPeak, Jr. “We love the outdoors.”
The McPeaks purchased the store in August 2018, and sell only ultra premium (UP) certified olive oils. “This is a fairly new category of olive oil that distinguishes the highest quality olive oil,” explained McPeak, Jr. “It is intended to reward farmers for producing high quality olive oil.”
“I was not a fan of olive oil before I started working at Olive the Best,” said Elizabeth Wallace, a retail associate at the store. “I never knew olive oil was supposed to taste so deliciously rich with flavor. Some customers say the same thing.”
Wallace now uses it with bread, veggies, meat marinades and straight up for health benefits.
“One of my favorite recipes is Persian Lime Infused Olive Oil with an equal part of Cranberry Pear While Balsamic Vinegar,” said McPeak. “I mix and pour over plain Greek yogurt. It has an amazing flavor and is wonderfully sweet, yet it’s low-carb and keto-friendly.”
Flavored, fused or infused olive oils are available at Olive the Best. “Fused oils are whole fruits added at the time of crushing and infused are items added after,” said McPeak.
“I received a bottle of lemon-infused oil from Olive the Best as a gift and it was very tasty,” said Susan Mendez, administrative assistant and self-proclaimed foodie. “I really liked it on my salads.”
Along with olive oil, Olive the Best also sells green olives from Spain, gluten-free pastas from Italy, local honey, and more than 30 flavors of aged balsamic vinegars from Modena, Italy. “We might add a few more items, but for the most part, we want to continue to focus on our plant-based, fused olive oils and balsamic vinegars,” said McPeak, Jr.
All of the olive oils and balsamic vinegars at Olive the Best contain no preservatives, additives or anything artificial.
“Our products are sugar-free and are high in antioxidants,” he added. “We received perfect 5.0 ratings on Trip Advisor, Yelp and Google reviews.”
Where do you like to travel?
“My wife, Marge, and I don’t travel a lot, but we go back to Nebraska, or visit our kids in Papua New Guinea where they serve as missionaries,” said Scott McPeak, Sr.
“I love to travel to ski resorts to snowboard. I’m also in love with the Hawaiian islands,” said Scotty McPeak, Jr.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
“Probably skiing,” they agreed.
What does the best day away from work look like?
“Spending time with the grandchildren,” said McPeak, Sr.
“Hiking or swimming with my wife and two little girls,” said McPeak, Jr.
What hobby or interest do you hope to develop?
“Water skiing or hiking,” said McPeak, Sr. “I’d like to eventually get into flying or para-motoring,” said McPeak, Jr.
What advice would you give someone going into business?
“The most important thing is you will have to really be dedicated to customer service, you need to treat everyone the same or better. Work hard until you get to the point where you have to hire help,” said McPeak, Sr.
“Run it lean and mean. If you go into it thinking you will run it absentee or semi-absentee to begin with, you probably won’t be in business long,” said McPeak, Jr. FBN
By V. Ronnie Tierney, FBN
Offering free tastings, the store is located at 18 East Birch and can be contacted at 928-773-9900.