Support our local businesses!

For the April 6 Chaska Rotary program, Rotarian Ron Cossette introduced local business owners. The first presenter was Elizabeth Contrera, from the Smiling Olive, located at 110 Pioneer trail, in the Chaska Commons shopping area across from the Cub grocery store, east of Highway 61. The Smiling Olive provides the freshest olive oil with the most health benefits

Elizabeth provided us with the background of collecting and pressing olives, the technical processes that are used today, and the differences in quality that may not be apparent unless the labeling is accurate and read by consumers.  Laboratory analysis has replaced the subjective aroma test used in the past. She was very convincing when describing the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil, and most of us are hoping to remember the details associated with free fatty acids, extra virgin olive oil, oleic acid, and polyphenols with anti-oxidant properties. She also dispelled the notion that extra virgin olive oil should not be used for cooking. For desert, Elizabeth offered us descriptions of the multiple uses of Balsamic vinegars. The production values associated with fine wines are also applied to the vinegars sold in her store. Go to the store’s website or reach The Smiling Olive by phone at 952-361-9939.

Victoria Rose Floral provides fresh cut flowers and arrangementsThe next speaker was Rotarian Marta Christianson, owner and manager of Victoria Rose Floral & Gifts, in Victoria, across from the defunct grocery store. Marta gave us the correct cutting method to help floral arrangements last as long as possible: use trimming shears or a sharp knife, NOT scissors, cut stems while they are under water, and cut the stems again after a few days. She ensures her flowers are fresh, and when possible, locally grown, and attributes this as the basis for the quality and longevity of her store’s products. Rotarian Gary Goeman provided an unsolicited endorsement of the Victoria establishment and Marta’s high standards for quality. Go to the website of VIctoria Rose Floral or reach it by phone at 952-443-4774.