If you’d have tried to contact Marianne Olsen of Olsen & Company a few weeks ago, you would have found the boutique coffee-and-provisions shop on Partition Street closed up. A sign on the front window announced that the temporary inconvenience to customers was due to a relocation, halfway down the block on Jane Street. That building too was covered over in paper.
When Olsen finally sat across from me inside her new space (hard to imagine that it used to be a garage), she and her co-owners had been toiling for days to get the shop open for business. Friends stopped by to add congratulatory bouquets of flowers to the clean, eclectic décor, and the espresso machine was poised to steam out rich coffees.
The spare lighting was welcoming and the seating was comfortable, whether customers wanted to sit at the bar or at one of numerous custom-built tables lining the opposite wall. Unlike their former cozy spot on Partition Street, this incarnation of Olsen & Company is spacious enough to invite in a crowd of shoppers and eaters.
When Olsen & Company opened in Saugerties nearly two-and-a-half years ago, Marianne’s associates, daughter Elizabeth and Janelle Olsen-Leipheimer, another family member, had both begun jobs and interests elsewhere, but were wooed back to the Hudson Valley where the good life seemed to be happening. The trend towards locally sourced, well-made foods and products fit right in with their common desire to provide consumers with a taste – or two – of that good life.
The three women collaborate, each contributing her own talents to offer specialty cheeses, jams, syrups, sauces, pasta, honey, herbs, meat, dairy products and eggs, as well as sandwiches, salads, baked goods and other noshes. Wine, beer, cider and non-alcoholic drinks are available to those not in need of a caffeine jolt. Home and body care products round out the stock. Their aim is to give thoughtful scrutiny to every brand, every ingredient, every item that gets sold.
Olsen & Company occupies one-half of a building owned by Jennifer Hicks, who runs the 11 Jane Street Art Center in the other half. That venue showcases exhibitions, performance pieces and installations on weekends and by appointment. Having a comfy, welcoming coffee and drinks bar right next door seems like perfect symbiosis.
Olsen’s background includes catering and acting as chef for some “well-known” musicians. She and her husband raised a family of five on a nearby country property. Now promoting a lifestyle that emphasizes good food and drinks, handmade products for living well, and family and friends, her time and creative energy have come full circle.
Olsen & Company is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, until 4 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday, until 9 p.m. on Thursday and 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, closed Tuesday. It is located at 11 Jane Street, suite B, in Saugerties. For more information, call (845) 247-7189 or visit https://olsenandcompany.com.