Arizona Olive Oil Company / Blue Skye Mercantile

Photo by Lisa Phillips - Blue Skye Farm - Mankato, MN - Example of a CSA share
Photo by Lisa Phillips – Blue Skye Farm – Mankato, MN – Example of a CSA share

In July of 2018, the Phillips purchased Arizona Olive Oil Company from Matt and Leah Grams. Shortly thereafter, they moved the shop from Old Town to Belgrade Avenue.

One of the many projects in the works is the rebranding of the shop. “The plan is to be so much more than just an olive oil store,” Phillips said. “We knew we needed a brand for the farm. One day Marty and I and the two girls who were home threw names in a hat. We looked at them all, talked about them, threw some out, and looked at them again. We came up with Blue Skye Farm because Blue Sky was already taken by someone in Minneapolis.”

“We’re working on making Blue Skye our brand. When you see it you’ll know it’s Martin and Lisa Phillips. We’re working towards branding the shop Blue Skye Mercantile.”

Like all their other ventures, Phillips has big plans for the shop. “I would like to add a small version of the Commercial Kitchen, so we could have cooking classes right here with oils and products from the store. The first weekend of November we did a lefsa demonstration. We had our guest at a table in the back and people loved it! They came and watched and then bought lefsa! I’d like to have things like that all the time.”

“I’m also a fan girl of this store in Stillwater called Crooks of Crocus Hill. It’s stuffed full of everything kitchen — there are just little pathways left to walk through — food items, unique food things. They liked me on Instagram and I was like, ‘Ahhhh!’ I took a snapshot and sent it to everybody! I’d like our shop to be like that.”

Giving Back

The Phillips count themselves blessed and are purposeful about sharing that blessing. Last year they were able to donate over 2,000 pounds of sweet corn to the Echo Food Shelf. The kitchen has been made available at no cost to non-profits. Pumpkin Junction gives away as many pumpkins as they sell.

Even the shop is included in the giving. Every month, a group or organization is chosen to receive a portion of the sales of specific items. “December’s recipient is SS Boutique,” Phillips said. SS Boutique works to provide gently used clothes and household items to those who need them most.

“When an organization comes in to arrange for their month, we let them choose the oil,” Phillips said. “SS Boutique chose chipotle olive oil and garlic cilantro balsamic vinegar. Those bottles will be tagged. There will be signs up all over the store. We provide a dollar from every large bottle and 50 cents from every small bottle. The donations from our free coffee and hot chocolate bar also go to our designated group. It feels really good.”

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