Lori Berndt, the owner of The Olive Twist retail stores in Auburn and Fort Wayne, announces that her Auburn store has completed its move to a new downtown location. Her new storefront is located in an old building at 203 North Main Street, in the heart of Auburn’s Sixth and Main Street Revitalization Project. The Olive Twist’s move has resulted in expanded retail space amid all the activity in the city’s historic downtown that is being revitalized in part by a $500,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Rural Affairs (OCRA).
The new Olive Twist store, with more than 1,200 square feet of retail space, is nearly twice the size of the prior Auburn boutique that was located just down the street. The new location previously was occupied by Jeremiah’s Brewed Awakening Coffee Shop, which recently moved to a larger facility. The two business moves have been in the works for a couple of years, according to Berndt, who is excited that the expansion plans of The Olive Twist and Jeremiah’s have come to fruition. “Everything finally lined up and we were able to move,” Berndt said.
The owner notes that the Auburn store now has sufficient floor space to display The Olive Twist’s selection of premium olive oils, balsamic vinegars, herbs and spices, and to expand its merchandise and community offerings. “We are super excited to have space to properly display our product, along with a kitchen space to prep for our cooking classes,” according to Berndt, who teaches classes for those interested in learning to cook with more healthy alternatives such as olive oil.
The new storefront also has allowed The Olive Twist to expand its Indiana Made product display, featuring locally-made items as part of the Indiana Grown initiative. These items include Hoosier-made products such as Best Boy Mustards and Hot Sauces, Sechler Pickles, honey from Richardson Farms, along with unique wooden kitchen products and locally-made pottery.
Berndt, who is a client of the Northeast Indiana Small Business Development Center, anticipates hiring an additional sales clerk for the new store, expanding her small staff as the Auburn location grows. The Auburn store is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Fort Wayne store, which is located at 6410 West Jefferson Boulevard, in Covington Plaza, is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.