Queen Creek is a small city on the southeast edge of the Phoenix Metro area. A lot of families will move out to Queen Creek for the affordability of large nice housing, and then commute for work, and even culture. But there is one spot I’ve been hearing about for years that is in Queen Creek, and draws a lot of people to commute out there: The Queen Creek Olive Mill.
The Queen Creek Olive Mill is a local olive grove where olives are locally harvested and sold in jars of stuffed olives, flavored olive oils and vinegars, tapenades. They also have a restaurant and coffee bar.
I’ve been wanting to visit this place for years, and on seeing that a new friend of mine frequented here, I found the perfect opportunity to finally visit this place and grow a new friendship with Kaeli.
We met inside at the coffee bar. When you first walk in you pass through the grocery part of the store and the spot to order at the restaurant on the right, and then the coffee bar is on the left.
It’s been hot here in Arizona so we both got iced coffees. I got a caramel iced latte and really liked that they used Ghirardelli sauce. Their espresso was smooth and light, with an enjoyable hint of acidity. We sat at a large community table with stools and talked for hours of who we were and where we had come from. It was a depth to our new friendship.
We continued in realizing we have similar life situations that others don’t often understand us for, as we drove to the Queen Creek Nursery to photograph and look at plants.
I don’t remember the last time I have been to a nursery, but I had been craving it, especially with the recent trend of portraits of people and succulents in nurseries. Definitely loved photographing here.
We returned back to the Olive Mill where I bought a sandwhich for lunch.
I then browsed through the store while I waited for them to make it. Everything in the store is gift worthy since it is all local, packaged well, and unique. By unique, I mean there is wide selection to buy something you can’t get anywhere else. The selection of tapenades, for example, ranged from Sweet Red Pepper Olive Tapenade, Caramelized Onion and Fig Tapenade, Artichoke and Roasted Garlic Tapenade, to Green Olive Pate, and more. Everything can be sampled. The Carmelized Onion and Fig was definitely my favorite as it was a bit on the sweeter side.
The jarred olives also had plenty of variety being stuffed with jalapenos and cheeses and citrus. I came the week before Father’s Day and had been thinking for weeks what to get my dad, and while browing through, I found the perfect gift of jarred olives.
I only waited a few minutes before I was buzzed to pick up my sandwhich. I ordered the Kalamata which is Olive Mill Kalamata salami, Genoa salami, capicola, herb roasted tomatoes, seasonal greens, provolone, red onion with White Balsammic & Herb Cream on grilled baguette. The ingredients were very straight forward, but the overall flavors were rich, much like the food I found in Italy made with quality ingredients. They had plenty of things to try on their menu, so I would like to return and try their other sandwhiches and bruschetta, and try their breakfast menu which uses the tapenades and sauces that they sell in their store.
I feel like this is such a great place to support local economy. Apparently in the winter they are packed with business from tourism and those who migrate to Arizona for the winter. I think that as a local, it’s nice to be a tourist in your own back yard. To find what can only be found here, and then enjoy that. The Queen Creek Olive Mill is definitely one of those places.