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Shop Small Merchant Series – Sticky Situations and Extra Virgin

hop Small continues to be an annual shopping tradition — just one part of the larger Shop Small Movement to support small businesses every day and everywhere. Because a visit to our family-owned Village, shoppes, and restaurants not only supports our local economy but also promotes a thriving community.

Name of your stores:  Sticky Situations & Extra Virgin

Your name/relationship to stores:  Stephen Clemente, Owner/Founder

How long have you been in the Village?  7 years

How did the idea for your businesses come about?  The business was started as an homage to my grandmother, my Nonni, who believed that real food and laughter was the secret to a long life.  She lived to be 104 and she was basically living the Mediterranean diet, long before the Mediterranean diet was coined as a phrase.  As such, I wanted to mimic that ideology and approach by bringing the foods of my childhood (olive oil, vinegar, pasta, and honey) to our community in both an artisanal and all-natural way.

What makes your stores so special?  We make all of our own products, we’re not a franchise store or a reseller of other goods.  We raise our honey bees, we import our own oils and infuse them naturally, and we grow our own mother-based vinegar.

What about your stores are you the most proud of?  Everything in our store is available for sample, we stand behind all our products and have nothing to hide.  We don’t use added salts, sugars, preservatives, chemicals, dyes, food coloring, or extracts in any of our products.  You’re tasting real food, the way food was meant to taste and along with that taste, receiving the health benefits that come from eating clean.

What motivates you every day?  To make a difference in the lives of people who believe that they can’t cook – cooking is very personal, and many people are intimidated in the kitchen.  Our approach is very simple, every recipe has three core components; a fat, an acid, and a sweetener.  In our world, this translates to an oil, a vinegar, and a honey.  Once folks understand that basic principle, you can see them light up and get excited and reinvigorated about being in the kitchen with their family, making wholesome meals that bring people back to eating dinner together daily.

What do you like the most about being in the Village?  The Village is an amazing place, as I’ve been coming here since I was a child. I was one of those kids who loved to come here and feed the ducks.  To me, the Village is home; you get to visit unique stores and visit with the owners of each store daily.  As small business owners, we all live here, shop here, and support each other in a way that harkens back to an older time, a time reminiscent of my childhood.

In what ways does your business give back to the community in and around Mystic?  We are highly active in the community, ranging from leadership positions in the Greater Mystic Chamber of Commerce to Always Home.  Each year we donate over 100 gift baskets and/or boxes to various local charities throughout the region and provide hands-on educational and training session to kids of all ages through multiple local partnerships.

Sticky Situations & Extra Virgin are located in Olde Mistick Village, Building 15d, 27 Coogan Blvd. Mystic, CT 06355

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