CHESHIRE – In this new era of food sustainability and wellness, a local couple has decided to turn the movement into profit with a brand-new business.
After working successfully for years in the information technology and pharmaceutical industries, husband-and-wife team Caroline and Chris Dircks decided to leave those professions behind after they began to notice a change in the dietary needs of the people around them.
“My husband is a vegetarian and my children and friends are either gluten-free, vegan, or vegetarian.” said Caroline Dircks.
The couple plans to open Olive & Henry, a fine-foods grocer, in the lower level of the Watch Factory Shoppes, next door to Ana Parzych Cakes. Olive & Henry will offer specialty foods — including vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free — options. A March opening is planned, with renovations expected to start in the coming weeks.
“Our mission is to not only be residents’ one-stop shop for fine cheeses and meats, but (to also) provide answers, guidance, and help in putting together the perfect dinner party, cocktail party, or just a nice night of entertaining,” said Chris Dircks.
On Olive & Henry’s Instagram page, the couple has already begun posting some examples of different charcuterie boards that will be available.
The market will also sell a variety of artisanal jams, jellies and breads along with ready-to-eat meals and specialty beverages, like coffee and tea.
Their location, the Watch Factory Shoppes, has been in serious need of economic growth in recent years, according to Caroline, and now, with new businesses opening up such as Olive & Henry, along with K.I.S.S Cafe that will be located upstairs from their store, the once-relatively abandoned space will, she hopes, return to its prosperous beginnings.
“It’s a really great, under-appreciated area,” Caroline Dircks said of the Watch Factory Shoppes, 136 Elm St. “We hope to generate business, and hopefully add to the great businesses that are already here.”
Olive & Henry plans on offering “fun and instructional” events, partnering with culinary spots around town to help build the town’s food scene. The Dircks are excited to sell locally-made goods
“We really want to highlight all the local talent that Cheshire and the surrounding towns have to offer,” Chris Dircks said. “There are so many amazing local farms that we can use for cheeses and meats, and even local bakers.”