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Pastas, and Oils, and Cheeses, Oh My!

Olive Nation, an importing business on Terminal Street, brings the gourmet tastes of Italy to the neighborhood -- and beyond.

Since the day they moved to Boston in 1983, Amit Mitra and his wife, Chiara Lucia, have been on the hunt for savory and appetizing food throughout the city.

But they never imagined that they would be the purveyors of some of the freshest flavors and wholesome ingredients around the country.

Originally from India and Italy, the two have never been strangers to exotic food. After traveling to 45 different states in the U.S. and 35 countries around the world, they have developed very sophisticated palettes. Their friends and family refer to them as “gourmands,” which literally means that they are excessively fond of tasting good food.

In 2008, they decided to share this passion for good food with the rest of the country, creating Olive Nation. They say that the title itself encompasses their business philosophy: olives, which represent the heart and soul of the Mediterranean palette, and nation, which represents a group of people bound by their love for food.

Mitra and Lucia handle all of the orders from their office at 50 Terminal St. They buy products from different vendors in Europe, and then sell the items on their website to people all over the country.

In less than three years, Olive Nation has brought in more than $1 million dollars in sales. Massachusetts is the highest grossing state, followed by New York and California.

Nation building

Inspired by the fresh and unique tastes found in cities throughout Europe, the owners buy products straight from Italy and France, some of which come from farms owned by their own families.

The Olive Nation website includes a wide array of ingredients and foods, such as pastas, cured meats, culinary oils, cheese, spices, mushrooms, and more. The most popular items among regular customers include the fragrant vanilla beans and porcini mushrooms — two items that can make a world of difference in any meal, according to Mitra. Their signature extra virgin olive oil is hand-made in Marche, Italy, in a delicate process that can be seen here.

Their goal has always been to sell pure, wholesome foods, distinguishing their business from others by staying away from preservatives and other harmful additives.

Besides its obvious culinary appeal, Olive Nation also caters to people who have food allergies or dietary restrictions. They offer gluten-free pizzas, pastas, and tiramisus, as well as other specialized items for vegans. They offer more than 100 Italian recipes for meat, meat-free, and vegan dishes on their website here.

Joining the nation

Most people would automatically assume that good food comes with a hefty price tag. However, the prices at Olive Nation are very reasonable. Their homemade olive oils from Italy range from $15 to $20, while cured meats start at only $6.99.

As Amit and Chiara say, “Olive Nation satisfies both your taste buds and your budget.”

Ordering is as easy as calling the local office at (781) 989- 2033, or adding your favorite foods to your shopping cart on their website. If orders are placed locally before noon, they arrive the very same day.

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