The Norman Transcript


October 7, 2012

Teaoli offers specialty teas, vinegars and olive oils

NORMAN — Larry and Tamara Rhoads have been in the tea business for over a decade.

They operate Inspirations Tea Room in Edmond along with Two Hearts Inn, a bed and breakfast in Edmond.

In 2010 they began searching for another metro location to add another business concept. Space was chosen in Norman’s Brookhaven Village Shopping Center and the store was named Teaoli.

They’re marking their first year of business in Norman this October. Teaoli is a retail outlet for a large variety of high quality loose tea leaves, specialty balsamic vinegars and many different kinds of extra virgin olive oils.

“We chose Brookhaven because it’s an established neighborhood and it seems like the demographics are well suited for this kind of store,” Larry Rhoads said. “Once someone tastes our products I don’t think there’s a limitation to the customer base.”

Part of Teaoli’s sales experience is encouraging customers to taste-test right there in there store. Bread bits and popcorn are used for sopping up balsamic vinegar blended with fig or lemon zest-infused olive oil. Tamara Rhoads is executive chef at their tea room and she experiments with combining the various flavors in her recipes. Think grilled shrimp that was first marinated in blood orange and Persian lime olive oils. “We help people pair-up balsamic vinegars with olive oils for different dishes,” Tamara Rhoads said.

Teaoli is allied with Veronica Foods based in Oakland, Calif. The Veronica folks are descended from Salvatore Esposito’s Italian immigrant family who has been in the olive oil business in America since 1924.

Today their focus is on premium product. The retail prices at Teaoli are higher than found at a typical grocery store. Packaging is upscale and high-end gift sets are available.

They have around 20 different kinds of fused, infused and varietal oils.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Braddy_1. Norman North teen struck by freight train recovering with therapy

    A Norman North teen struck by a freight train in May is on the road to recovery and ready to get back to school after spending most of his summer in a hospital. Harrison Braddy, 16, has been staying busy with rehab and physical therapy ...

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Storm victims face loan dilemma

    The tornadoes, flooding and hail that struck Oklahoma last year left hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, causing many home and business owners to seek help in the form of low-interest federal loans....

    July 27, 2014

  • Teen critical after rescue

    A 17-year-old Yukon male was transported to the hospital Sunday after a near drowning incident at Lake Thunderbird in the Party Cove area. Emergency crews responded to the lake after a report of a possible drowning around 5:30 p.m. ...

    July 27, 2014

  • Migrant kids go to Mass

    The services have all the elements of a typical Sunday Mass — singing, scripture, a sermon, prayers, communion and worship....

    July 27, 2014

  • Injury accident reported

    Transcript Staff Emergency crews responded to an injury accident around 10:20 p.m. Sunday in the 1000 block of 80th Avenue Southeast where there were reports of someone pinned. Several reports indicated a vehicle struck a tree causing one ...

    July 28, 2014

  • Photo Slideshow: James Garner through the years

    Photos of James Garner...

    July 27, 2014

  • Prisons expand reach to bring training to more officers

    McALESTER — Joshua Drake once was offered the chance to be a corrections officer but turned it down because he didn’t want to leave his wife and aging parents for six weeks to train hundreds of miles away in El Reno....

    July 27, 2014

  • SWIMMER Aquatic center could serve many community needs

    Michael Yoch could have been the kid with asthma sitting on the sidelines — could have been, but wasn’t. Michael had trouble running because of his asthma, which made it difficult to play soccer and many other sports his friends loved. ...

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Director leaves decade of memories

    Maureen Dolan is giving up the post as director of St. Joseph’s Early Childhood Development Center, fondly called “St. Joe’s” by the many parents whose pre-school children have spent their weekdays under her care over the past 10 years....

    July 27, 2014

  • Health officials prepare for flu

    OKLAHOMA CITY — Following a flu season in which a record number of Oklahomans died as a result of the virus, state and county health officials say educating the public and general common sense are vital to reducing both the death rate and ...

    July 27, 2014