Town Square Olive Oil provides a change of pace for downtown Covington, affording shoppers the opportunity to spice up their at-home menus with a wide variety of ingredients.
by Michelle Floyd
When you live in Covington all your life, The Square inherently becomes a part of it. Ask Cindy Mask, who opened Town Square Olive Oil with her husband in May 2015.
“I grew up when Harper’s 5 & Dime and the Strand Theater were the go-to places on The Square,” Mask said. “Covington is home, and watching it grow and flourish means so much.”
Mask became part of that history when she retired from a corporate healthcare job and turned her attention toward Town Square Olive Oil. They put down roots in the building Harper’s once called home.
“I wanted to build on the success of the tourism in Covington,” she said, pointing to the booming film industry in town. “I love to cook, especially cooking with olive oil and good quality products.”
“It’s such an exciting addition to The Square. It’s a destination. It’s fun, a form of entertainment, and it’s healthy and creative.”Barbara Morgan
Owning a store helps her expand on her love for cooking and share her finds with the community and beyond, from locals who also have lived in town their entire lives to those visiting from around the world to see locations where shows like “The Dukes of Hazzard,” “In the Heat of the Night” and “The Vampire Diaries” were filmed.
The Masks had visited other olive oil and cooking stores around the country and thought something similar would be a good fit for The Square. It was still growing at the time, piggybacking on the success of television shows and movies that were shot in town and attracted fans from all over the world on a daily basis.
“It’s blown me away, the loyalty from customers, and friendships that we have made over the years. I’ve made some of my best friends recently,” Mask said. “I’m from Covington and it’s my hometown, so I love reconnecting with people who I haven’t seen in many years and also meeting new ones.”
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has limited some of their business, Mask credits faithful customers for the shop’s success, along with visitors who continue to flock to Covington for tours of buildings and houses made famous through their use on screen.
“It’s such an exciting addition to The Square,” longtime customer Barbara Morgan said. “It’s a destination. It’s fun, a form of entertainment, and it’s healthy and creative.” Morgan and fellow customer Sallie Paschal buy combinations of olive oils and vinegars to make salad dressings, as well as other recipes at home. “Cindy has a wonderful assortment of items there,” Paschal said. “It’s wonderful to have something like this so close. It’s a pleasure to shop there.”
The shop boasts more than 65 varieties of infused olive oils and vinegars from around the world. Customers can sample flavors from Spain to Australia.
“It’s great to see the excitement in somebody’s eyes to try them for the first time,” Mask said. “You can make something you never could have imagined. You can create some amazing dishes, and the flavors can’t compare.”
In addition to its namesake, the shop sells a variety of wines, spices, teas and coffees, gourmet foods, meats and cheeses and accessories.
“Cindy and her staff have so many ways to combine items,” Morgan said, “and it’s exciting to add to our menu.”
For more information on Town Square Olive Oil, visit TownSquareOliveOil.com.