Kalamazoo Olive Company moving to St. Petersburg's EDGE District

The olive oil tasting room has signed a 10-year lease at its new location.

Downtown St. Pete's nearly decade-old olive oil tasting room, Kalamazoo Olive Company, plans to relocate down the road.

According to the Kickstarter campaign created by owner James Ryan, Kalamazoo's longtime home at 449 Central Ave. was sold to a New York developer (that's Red Apple Group) and paying the increased rent has become unrealistic.

Luckily for locals, Kalamazoo isn't going anywhere. It's decided to "make lemonade out of lemons" instead.

The tasting room will move to a new and larger location in the EDGE District at 1010 Central Ave., where it's signed a 10-year lease. With construction on the space underway, Kalamazoo anticipates a reopening of April 1.

But here's where the Kickstarter, which Ryan sheds more light on in the video above, comes in:

"The move and build-out process has exceeded $20,000 of additional expenses we were not expecting. (Grease traps, plumbing, permits, contractors and architects — oh my!)," reads the "About" section of the campaign. "We are using our personal savings, credit cards and a small loan to keep the process moving forward. But, we still are bit short on the needed capital."

Kalamazoo hopes the community will chip in with its relocation through Kickstarter. For their monetary contributions, supporters receive rewards like olive oil and balsamic vinegar pairings every month for a year and a private tour of one Kalamazoo olive farm with Ryan.

Rewards, of course, vary depending on the donation amount.

So far, 33 backers have made more than $3,000 worth of contributions. The campaign won't be funded unless Kalamazoo reaches the $7,000 goal by March 28.

"Because our community supports local businesses like ours, and appreciates the unique local flavor we bring to our city, we thought you could be part of our 'local solution,'" the Kickstarter continues. "As we hope you're one of our "local fans," we do so hope you'll want to help us with this move!"

Launched in 2010, Kalamazoo prides itself on its fresh olive oil and balsamic vinegar sampling experience. Customers are encouraged to try the specialty goodness stocking the tasting room's shelves before they make a purchase.

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