King’s Olive Oil of Gadsden on Friday was named Alabama Small Business of the Year in the 1-10 employee category during the annual Business Council of Alabama and Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama meeting in Birmingham.
King’s, located at 618 Broad St,, was chosen for the honor over 10 other nominees: The Art Room Gifts & Framery, Monroeville; Bryant Bank, Trussville; Willie Durham State Farm Agency, Montgomery; Furniture City, Robertsdale; Holt Insurance Agency, Bessemer; Mark’s Mart, Selma; Karen C. Simmons, P.C., Mobile; Superior Pecans, Eufaula; Swell Fundraising, Birmingham; and, WWIC-AM 1050, Scottsboro.
The business opened in October 2013, after co-owner Tina King became aware of the benefits of olive oil when her mother had a liver transplant.
“There were only about five foods she could eat” that didn’t make her sick, King told writer Melanie Jones for a Gadsden Style profile in 2015.
She and her husband, T.C. Morgan, happened to visit an olive oil and vinegar store and made some purchases. “I learned right away that I could cook with it and she could eat it,” she said.
King and her husband decided Gadsden needed a similar store, and their decision has paid off.
“Once we opened our doors and they could taste it, they could see why opening the store made sense,” King said, describing what the store’s website calls “the old European tradition” of tasting oils and vinegars before purchasing them.
The website says shoppers can “treat your taste buds to an incredible array of flavors from around the world, including Italy, Spain, Greece, Tunisia, Chile and Australia … .”
The offerings range from Single Varietal Extra Virgin Olive Oils to fused/infused flavored oils and specialty oils, and aged and flavor-fused balsamic vinegars from Italy.
Online shoppers from across the country have made purchases, and the store has expanded to include a wine and cheese bar in the back.
The Small Business of the Year winner in the 11-50 employee category is Good People Brewing Co. of Birmingham, and the winner in the 51-100 employee category is the Montgomery law firm of Capell & Howard.
Etowah County had nominees in each of those categories: The Factory in 11-50 and Exchange Bank of Alabama in 51-100.
Spicer’s Music LLC of Auburn was named the Emerging Small Business of the Year (less than 5 years in operation). Little Bridge Marina of Rainbow City was among the nominees.