5 things to know about The Olive Branch—a local gem

the olive branch
Jennifer Montague is the woman behind The Olive Branch. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

Tucked into the bustling streets around Huntsville Hospital, you’ll find a little shop that’s all about olive oil.

The Olive Branch, founded by Jennifer Montague, is a peaceful (and flavorful!) oasis in Huntsville where you can find some of the best olive oil you’ve ever tasted.

We sat down with Jennifer to get the story behind her business, and here’s what we found out.

1. It started with a visit to an olive oil store in Georgia

the olive branch
The oil that started it all. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

In Greensboro, Georgia, there’s a little olive oil store similar to The Olive Branch. That’s also where Jennifer’s son lived when she and her husband discovered the wide world of olive oil.

Jennifer and her husband, Jay, would go visit their son there. On one of their visits, he wanted to show them an olive oil store.

“I didn’t really know what to expect…we went and tried Tuscan Herb, and we were hooked.”

Jennifer Montague, owner of The Olive Branch

From that day on, Jennifer and Jay would visit that olive oil store every time they went to Greensboro. When their son traveled to Huntsville, they’d always ask him to bring the Tuscan Herb olive oil, infused with oregano, garlic, rosemary and marjoram.

But she didn’t stop at Tuscan Herb—though it’s still her favorite variety to this day. She tried more and more olive oils. She found that she loved cooking with them—they were simple to use, yet infused so much flavor into any dish.

On their way home from Greensboro one day (with Tuscan Herb in tow, for sure), Jay mentioned to Jennifer that, “We don’t have anything like that in Huntsville.”

And, you know what happens next.

2. Jennifer brought the concept to Huntsville, a city she loves

the olive branch
Olive oil for days. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

After they had the idea of opening an olive oil store in Huntsville, things moved fast.

The next month, in January 2021, they signed a lease to open The Olive Branch.

But why Huntsville? We’re glad you asked. Jennifer moved here in 1987, when her father retired from the military. She’s lived in both Huntsville and Madison, working as a regional manager for Blockbuster, then a stay-at-home mom, then the executive assistant to the CEO at the YMCA.

In her time in Huntsville, she said, “It’s been fun to watch the city grow.” She loves being a part of that growth, bringing a unique concept to the area.

3. It’s more than just olive oil

the olive branch
More than just olive oil. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

Naturally, the spotlight is on olive oil at The Olive Branch. But that’s not all you can find there.

Jennifer sells lots of different balsamic vinegars, as well as whole olives, gifts, herbs and spices, baking mixes and more.

Another facet of The Olive Branch is gift baskets. Jennifer puts together unique gifts that are as pretty as they are tasty. As a matter of fact, gift wrapping and “making a gift special for someone” is her favorite part of running The Olive Branch!

4. She hosts tastings, and you’re going to want to be there

the olive branch
Can I have the whole jar to myself? (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

In the middle of the little store is an island with a beautiful wooden top, where Jennifer hosts olive oil tastings.

She gave me a sample of what those tastings are like, ripping off a piece of bread for me and pouring a bit of olive oil (Tuscan Herb, of course) in a cup. After tasting it, I promptly grabbed a whole bottle to take home.

Keep an eye out on her Facebook page to know when she’s hosting tastings—you don’t want to miss it.

Plus, if you stop in the store, you might even be able to snag a bite of one of Jennifer’s olive oil creations. The day I was there, she had out on the counter a platter of miniature brownies. They were box-mix brownies, but they were prepared with blood orange olive oil—genius and delicious.

Jennifer has plenty more ideas for how to use olive oil in creative ways—just stop by the store and ask her!

5. You can find The Olive Branch in the middle of Huntsville

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Tucked right in the middle of the city. (Sarah Gronberg / Hville Blast)

Want to try the olive oil for yourself? Here’s where you can find The Olive Branch.

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Sarah Gronberg
Sarah Gronberg
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