Navidi’s Olive Oils & Vinegars is a specialty food store located in the heart of downtown Camas. Their one-of-a-kind olive oils and balsamic vinegars are what they are known for, but they also sell sea salts, sauces, pasta, mustards, loose-leaf tea, as well as soap and lotions crafted from goat’s milk.
Some of their products are from the Northwest and they know the various entrepreneurs that sell their products in the shop. Most of them they meet as vendors at various markets or shows in the area. The products are a way for customers to experience a wide range of unique flavors from around the world.
The brick-and-mortar store was opened nearly 12 years ago by Gabby and Ken Navidi. They also have an online store and a booth at the Vancouver Farmers Market. Two years into their business operations, they opened a second location in Bend, Ore., and were able to increase their employee base from one employee to four. The team is incredibly knowledgeable and takes pride in educating customers about the various vinegars, olive oils, and they often suggest different recipes and pairings.
When the pandemic hit, their business was hit pretty hard.
“We lost out on revenue typically earned from doing the markets and shows,” Gabby said. “Many people froze in response to the pandemic, not purchasing what they normally would in the year previously. December is a huge month for us in sales, and that month is what we lost.”
Navidi’s Olive Oils & Vinegars also had to shut down their Bend location in March 2020 due to higher costs and the uncertainty of retail through the pandemic. Thankfully, their website was up and running, which helped them serve customers both near and far.
“We had to shift our mindset of how a sale usually works by 180 degrees,” Gabby said. “Typically, a customer comes through our door, tries a sample, likes it, brings it up to purchase, then walks back out the door. Now that door is locked. Hello, curbside delivery. My manager did a fantastic job getting those orders out the door and probably did 30,000 steps in a workday.”
Today, business for Navidi’s Olive Oils & Vinegars continues to pick back up.
“Our support team through the Downtown Camas Association is doing their best to promote our local area businesses, because we are stronger together,” Gabby said. “Our customers are the best. They really did their best to help us during the pandemic and we survived because of them.”
Navidi’s is located at 322 NE Cedar St., in Camas.