May 24, 2015

Mostly cloudy

Store owner taps into building an oil franchise

Nancy Johnson

Seven years ago, John Petrocelly put together a plan for retirement. Part of that plan was opening The Olive Tap in Medina.

Originally located in Medwick Marketplace on West Reagan Parkway, The Olive Tap moved to Medina’s historic Public Square two months ago.

Petrocelly said the move make good business sense.

“Our product lends itself to walk-in traffic, to people enjoying the square. It’s unique and that’s what the square is about. Since moving here, our sales have increased,” he said.

The Olive Tap stocks over 50 extra virgin and flavored olive oils, all artisan-produced in small batches and sourced from Spain, Tuscany, Greece, Sicily, the USA and other countries.

The store also carries heart-healthy grapeseed and avocado oils as well as oils steeped with savory ingredients such as chipotle peppers, white truffles, porcini mushrooms and more.

Certified Balsamic vinegars of Modena provide what Petrocelly calls the “Wow” factor with flavors ranging from tart to sweet, white to dark and medium to thick.

Awarded top honors by the Italian Association of Balsamic Tasters, The Olive Tap’s dark-barrel-aged “4 Leaf Balsamic Vinegar” is popular with customers, although the store offers many other flavors to season a salad or glaze a pork tenderloin such as pomegranate, lemon, fig and black cherry.

“What sets us apart is the in-store experience,” Petrocelly said.

The oils and vinegars are dispensed directly from sealed serving tanks, giving each customer the opportunity to taste and evaluate a product before purchasing it.

“Once you choose an oil or vinegar,” Petrocelly said. “We bottle it up right in front of you, so you know you’re getting exactly what you tasted.”

Although oils and vinegars are at the core of his business, Petrocelly sources locally made products to round out The Olive Tap’s offerings such as Berea’s Red Cedar Coffee and JMD Apiary Honey as well as baked goods from Medina’s Dough Street Bakery.

Founded in 2006, the first Olive Tap was opened by John’s brother Rick Petrocelly in Long Grove, Ill.

“I saw my brother get out of the corporate world and decided to do the same. So I opened the Medwick location.” Said Petrocelly, a
Medina resident since 1986, who was an executive in the tool and die industry before leaving to open The Olive Tap.

Now with five family-owned locations in Chicago, Florida and Colorado, the Petrocelly brothers are set to roll out franchise opportunities.

“We didn’t start out thinking we would franchise, but that’s how it evolved,” Petrocelly said.

In addition to running the Medina location, Petrocelly takes the show on the road often, selling Olive Tap products at farmers markets, the Cleveland Food Show, the Country Living Show in Columbus and various wine festivals. He conducts educational tastings at garden clubs and libraries.

And about that retirement? Petrocelly shrugs with a smile, “The Olive Tap is my retirement job.”

The Olive Tap is at 30 Public Square in Medina. Phone: 330-721-6500. For more information visit

Contact reporter Nancy Johnson at (330) 721-4065 or