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Founders Nextdoor

January 2017

At Founders Nextdoor, we believe that entrepreneurship is hard work, day in and day out. We believe the most amazing entrepreneurs are ordinary people living in every community. And those people, your neighbors, are the people you can learn the most from regarding how to run your business. Because just like you, they have mortgages to pay and families to feed, yet they manage to create amazing businesses that make the world a better place. Today on the show, I’m interviewing two such founders. Barth and Mary deRosa, the husband-and-wife team who’re the owners of Secolari.

Follow your passion. If you have a passion for something, no matter whether you’re older or younger, go for it. – Barth deRosa

NBC4 Washington

 
November 2016

D.C. area businesses participated in Small Business Saturday. News4's Darcy Spencer reports the small retailers rely on the business they get on this day:

The Baltimore Sun

 
July 2016

Maureen Shanks would never have thought to combine dill with tomato sauce. She also never would have put olive oil over ice cream. "It's like an adult creamiscile," the Laurel resident said, of the dessert. "This is fun to do." Shanks and her friends were learnning Hot Summer Cool Italian recipes during a cooking class at Secolari in Columbia. Since April 2014, the store, which sells a variety of olive oils and vinegars, has offered cooking classes.

"We just ramped them up to once a week in the spring," said Erin Beers, manager of the store, of the classes. "They are really, really popular."

Elkridge Furnace Inn has also seen a spike of interest in cooking classes. While the restaurant has offered classes for years, it was not unusual to cancel classes due to lack of participation, according to Matthew Balan, office manager. That's not true anymore. "They are definitely becoming more popular," Balan said. "We do one a month at the restaurant and they are selling out completing. We did bread making and I thought it would not sell whatsoever and we had 14 people sign up. We only can do 10."

At Elkridge, the restaurant's chefs teach the classes. At Secolari, the store has three different chefs take turns teaching the weekly Wednesday night classes. The Cool Italian recipes class was under the tutelage of Chef Alba Carbonare Johnson, who adviced the 12 participants on everything from chopping garlic to the best tools to use to prepare a meal. "I plan the menus," Johnson said. "Erin and I talk about what products they have. Erin is really good about mixing salts and the vinegars."

Johnson, who is known for her Italian/Meditaranean recipes, plans a different menu for each class, though Beers has asked her to repeat some classes — like a lemon-inspired class —that are popular. "I do dishes that are not going to be found in a restaurant," Johnson said, nodding towards the pasta with dill sauce. "Dishes that they would find if they got to go to someone's house or off-the-beaten path." She also chooses dishes that are simple and realtively easy to prepare. "You don't have to have a lot of ingredients to taste good," Johnson said.

Elkridge Furnace Inn offers classes at least once every month for 10 people, though they will host private classes for six or more people," Balan said. "We'll do whatever topic you can imagine," Balan said. "Wild game is always very popular here. Boar, venison, not your normal meal."

The weekly classes at Secolari are a three-course sit down dinner, Beers said, with the guests getting up and pariticpating with each course's preparation. "It's hands on ... and you get to eat," said Patricia Hanyok, of West Laurel, said after the Italian class. "Instead of looking at a menu and reading about the offerings, you experience the cooking of it and can go home and try it." She and her husband, Robert, have attended several classes at Secolari and have signed up for several more. "A friend of ours told us about Secolari about six months ago and we had so much fun," Hanyok said. "The staff is wonderful. It's a fun, laid-back time."

While Chef Alba is known for her Italian/Mediteran menus. Chef Ravi Lahori offers Indian-inspired menus and Chef Daniel Wecker, head chef at Elkridge Furnace Inn, offers typically offers French or Spanish menus. "They do really good things over there," Balan said, of Wecker's participation." We use their products. It is a great partnership." Occasionally, Secolari will have two chefs teach together In June, Chef Ravi and Johnson taught a class that was sold out.

"We see lots of girlfriends. We see lots of couples," Beers said, of participants. "Singles, couples, families. A full class is 16 people." Classes cost typically between $60 to $70 at Secolari. A sausage class at Elkridge costs $80.

Michael Butera, of North Laurel, came to learn some new techniques. "You always learn something, even if it is a small thing," Butera said. "Like the way she knew she had the right amount of oil by using her hands."

A former Columbia resident who now lives in Annapolis, Johnson enjoys traveling back to Howard County to teach the classes both for Howard County Parks and Recreation and Secolari.

"People get so excited," she said. "Everyone who comes in is hungry and they leave happy. I love it."

The New York Times

 
May 2016

Less than 10 miles from Washington, Bethesda, Md., is often perceived as only a well-heeled suburb of the capital. But with around 60,000 residents and a vibrant downtown that spans several blocks, it’s a worthwhile destination in and of itself. Though many stores lining the streets are recognizable chains, the lesser-known retailers here make this mini-metropolis an unexpected shopping gem. These not-so-familiar boutiques sell a variety of goods from wines to clothes and are mostly owned by local entrepreneurs.

SECOLARI

Extra-virgin olive oil from California is the draw of this boutique and tasting room owned by Mary and Bart de Rosa, a husband and wife team from Clarksville, Md., about a half-hour from Bethesda. The highlight of a visit is trying the more than dozen different oils, many of which are organic. Single varietals, made with one kind of olive, include the robust koroneiki, originally from Greece, and the more delicate mission from California itself. Unusual flavored oils are must-samples. Who would have thought tandoori, blood orange and jalapeño olive oils could be so tasty?

Patch

 
May 2016

Free Artist Reception on Sunday, June 26 celebrates local artists exhibiting in the locally owned oil and vinegar tasting room.

Secolari, an artisan olive oil and vinegar tasting room, has announced an Artist Reception for the newest local artists exhibiting in the company’s Art Program.

Owners Bart and Mary deRosa invite the public to join them at their location in Towson Town Center on Sunday, June 26, 2016 from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm for this Artist Reception presenting and featuring for sale the artwork of Annette Conniff, Chuck Robinson, and Audra Ziegel. Artists will be in attendance and available to discuss their work. 

Secolari aims to enrich life with the overall benefits of the “Age Old” Mediterranean Lifestyle through the introduction of exceptional foods and works of art, and is proud to exhibit the works of local artists. Co-owner Mary deRosa says, “What has inspired us all along in our adventure with Secolari is that it brings so many of our passions together - good food, artistry, and supporting our community. Our Art Program, with a dedicated focus on local artists, pulls everything together to create a welcoming and beautiful setting that allows us to connect to our local community.”

Owned by husband and wife team, Bart and Mary deRosa of Clarksville, MD, the vision for Secolari was inspired by a trip to Italy. While staying at a Tuscan farmhouse that overlooked an ancient olive grove, the couple knew they wanted to start a business that was reminiscent of their experience there, one that would encompass food, community, and the cultural traditions of the Mediterranean lifestyle. They opened their first shop in 2011, and Secolari now has four locations in the Maryland area as well as an online store.

Event Details:

Secolari Towson Artist Reception 
Secolari in Towson Town Center: Third Level – Nordstrom Wing
June 26, 2016, 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

This event is free and open to the public; refreshments will be provided.
RSVPs accepted online at http://bit.ly/SecolariArtTowson

About the Artists:

Annette Conniff
Annette Conniff is a Maryland artist inspired by local landscapes, with particular passion for weather, sky, and land texture. Working in pastel suits her “alla prima” style of painting quickly and in the moment. Painting both on location "en plein air" and in studio, she feels the luscious and instant color of pure pigment pastel allows her to express the light and mood of the scenes she captures. Annette owns and operates, with her sister Terri, More Than Fine Framing in Ruxton, where her pastel and photography artworks are displayed in the gallery. She is a member of the Mid Atlantic Plein Air Association and the Baltimore Camera Club.

Chuck Robinson
Chuck is a Maryland based photographer who has been traveling the United States since he was a child. He traveled frequently on family vacations, and began taking pictures with his point and shoot camera to document the places he had visited - this is where he first developed an appreciation of the beauty of landscape photography. After studying art in college, he bought his first DSLR camera, and soaked in everything he could about photography by reading books, studying the works of others, and going out to shoot as much as he could. Whether in his home state of Maryland, or during his travels, he continues to seek out the beauty in landscape photography. Chuck’s photography has been published in various magazines, puzzles and greeting cards. One of his images was selected for publication for the Rawlings Conservatory in Baltimore. In 2013, he was selected as the featured artist for Living Classroom’s “Maritime Magic” event.

Audra Ziegel
Audra began painting with oils in 2002 as a high school art class project and has been painting ever since. Her work has been shown at numerous galleries and events in Illinois and Maryland, including the Towson Arts Collective, the Boneyard Arts Festival, the Indi Go Gallery, the Sousa Archives and Center for American Music, the Salt Fork River Art Festival, and the Champaign Downtown Festival of the Arts, where her art was awarded an honorable mention. One of Audra’s paintings, “Roadside Vista,” was a winning entrant of the Sky Gallery competition in 2012, wherein it was featured on a billboard as part of a rotating exhibition around the city of Champaign-Urbana, Illinois.

 

Her Mind Magazine

 
March 2016

Combine great food with great art and what do you get? A great idea. And that’s just what Mary and Barth De Rosa, owners of Secolari, had when they decided to open the doors of their vinegar and olive oil shops to local artisans. Now, patrons of their store at The Mall in Columbia and other stores can peruse (and purchase) original works while filling their baskets with upscale goodies like tapenade and peach bourbon jam.

Since launching their creative endeavor — which includes hosting receptions where artists can share and discuss their work — last summer, “Everyone has really rallied behind the initiative,” says Jennifer W. Culotta, Secolari’s Public Relations and Art Manager. “The artwork makes a huge difference in creating a welcoming and enriching setting in our shops.”

Through their efforts, adds Culotta, “We are hoping to strengthen our connection to our community. As a locally owned small business, it’s important to us to be connected to the people in our community, so we try to integrate ways we can open up our space to allow that to happen.”

Patch

 
February 2016

Secolari, the locally owned artisan olive oil and vinegar tasting room, has announced an Artist Reception for the inaugural artists exhibiting at the company’s new Cleveland Park location. Secolari’s Art Program is solely dedicated to showcasing local artists.

Owners Bart and Mary deRosa invite the public to join them at their location in the historic Sam’s Park & Shop in Cleveland Park on Sunday, February 28, 2016 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm for this Artist Reception presenting and featuring for sale the artwork of Lynn Goldstein, Bonny Lundy, and Zina Andresini Poliszuk. Artists will be in attendance and available to discuss their work.

Secolari aims to enrich life with the overall benefits of the “Age Old” Mediterranean Lifestyle through the introduction of exceptional foods and works of art, and Secolari is proud to exhibit the works of local artists. Co-Founder and COO Mary deRosa says, “Secolari brings together so many of our passions - good food, artistry, and supporting our local communities. Our Art Program, with its dedicated focus on local artists, brings this full circle by creating a welcoming and fully realized environment that is so much more than a typical retail shopping experience.”

Owned by Bart and Mary deRosa of Clarksville, MD, the vision for Secolari was inspired by a trip to Italy. The couple wanted to start a business reminiscent of their experience, one that would encompass food, community, and the cultural traditions of the Mediterranean lifestyle. The deRosas followed through and opened their first shop on Bethesda Row in October 2011, followed by a location at The Mall in Columbia in 2013, and in Towson Town Center in the summer of 2015. Secolari in Cleveland Park is the company’s fourth and largest location; the store, located steps from the Cleveland Park Metro, opened its doors in November.

Event Details:

Secolari Cleveland Park Artist Reception
3501 Connecticut Ave NW
February 28, 2016, 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

This event is free and open to the public; refreshments will be provided.
RSVPs accepted online at http://bit.ly/SecolariCPArt

About the Artists:

Lynn Goldstein
Lynn Goldstein’s art has brought her international recognition and awards. She has exhibited widely in nationally juried exhibitions and galleries, and her work is enjoyed in private and public collections throughout the United States and Europe. One of her paintings was selected for the permanent collection in the Jean-Haffen Museum, Dinan, France, upon completion of an artist residency. Additionally, Lynn was one of fifteen American artists selected to participate in the Caravan multicultural and international art exhibition at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC and the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in NYC in the fall of 2014. Most recently, her work was selected for exhibition at the Smithsonian S Dillon Ripley Center.

Bonny Lundy
Bonny Lundy finds great joy in sharing the richness of nature, and is fueled artistically by color energy, elegant shapes, and poignant displays of the life cycle. She developed a deep love for plein air painting at Goddard College in Vermont, and after graduating with a BFA in painting from Lake Erie College, has continued independent experimentation, exhibitions and teaching. In the DC area, she teaches watercolor at Glen Echo Park, and has led instruction at Artists and Makers, Washington Artworks, Smithsonian Associates, Frederick Community College, and the Delaplaine Art Center, as well as workshops to Honduras, Italy, France, and New Mexico.

Zina Andresini Poliszuk
Zina Andresini Poliszuk’s personal painting specialty is watercolor. She enjoys working in a painterly style with expressive color and brush strokes; she uses atmospheric landscape, interior and still life imagery to express personal yet universal life experiences with an emotional essence. Zina is an Artist Member of the Baltimore Watercolor Society, and has Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Art Education from Towson University. She has had solo and group shows in Baltimore, Columbia, Ellicott City and Annapolis, Maryland, and her work is represented in private collections around the country.

 

Edible DC

 
December 2015

We’re on the hunt for last minute gifts–aren’t you? Team Edible has made a list of our some of our favorites. You can’t go wrong with #buylocal!

SECOLARI: With shops in DC and Bethesda, as well as Columbia and Towson, the oils and vinegars here are some of the best quality you will find. And addictive! Delicious flavors like basil and rosemary oils and grapefruit [vinegar]; any home cook would be thrilled with these delightfully packaged gift sets. Check out their truffle salt too!

On Tap Magazine

 

December 2015

The holidays are upon us, and chances are you’re one of the many shoppers scrambling to find gifts at the last minute. But fear not, for trips to insufferably crowded shopping malls or online impulse buys are not your only options. On Tap has scoped out some of the DC area’s best neighborhoods for shopping locally this holiday season, so read on for unique, stress-free ways to find the perfect gift. 

BETHESDA ROW: The foodies will be delighted with something from Secolari Olive Oil & Vinegar, which also stocks an extensive range of pastas (including gluten-free options). The store only stocks items after the owners personally verify that each product meets their exacting standards for quality and luxury.

Secolari

 

November 2015

Secolari, an artisan olive oil and vinegar store, opens its fourth location in the historic Sam’s Park & Shop shopping center today. The name Secolari is Italian for “age old,” and was adopted in honor of the ancient olive tree, which can live for thousands of years. 

The concept of Secolari aims to enrich life with the overall benefits of the “Age Old” Mediterranean Lifestyle through the introduction of exceptional foods and works of art. Located steps from the Cleveland Park Metro Station, the space reflects an old world Tuscan farmhouse, with Secolari products displayed amidst antique décor. The store centers on an open tasting room, where guests can sample the full portfolio of Secolari’s extra virgin and flavored olive oils, balsamic, and vinegars, and the friendly and knowledgeable staff serves as a valuable resource in educating its visitors. The shop also offers an array of other products including a variety of seasonings and spreads, flavored pastas, and honeys, and will exhibit and feature for sale original artwork by local artists.

Owned by husband and wife team, Bart and Mary deRosa of Clarksville, MD, the vision for Secolari was inspired by a trip to Italy. While staying at a beautiful Tuscan farmhouse that overlooked an ancient olive grove, the couple knew they wanted to start a business that was reminiscent of their experience there, one that would encompass food, community, and the traditions of the Mediterranean lifestyle. The deRosas followed through opening their first shop on Bethesda Row in October 2011, following with a location at The Mall in Columbia in 2013, and in Towson Town Center in the summer of 2015. The Cleveland Park store, at approximately 1400 square feet, is Secolari’s largest location. 

Bart and Mary deRosa traveled extensively throughout California to establish a network of small farmers to produce Secolari olive oils and vinegars, and the company’s focus on quality and integrity has differentiated them in the market. All of Secolari’s oils are first cold-pressed, and each of its single varietal oils are certified “Extra Virgin” by the California Olive Oil Council, the industry’s trade and certifying organization.

Patch

 

October 2015

Secolari, the locally owned artisan olive oil and vinegar tasting room, has announced an Artist Reception for the inaugural artists exhibiting at the company’s new Towson location. Secolari’s Art Program is solely dedicated to showcasing local artists. Owners Bart and Mary deRosa invite the public to join them at their location in Towson Town Center on Sunday, Nov. 8, 2015, from 5 to 7 p.m. for this Artist Reception presenting and featuring for sale the artwork of Annette Conniff, Brian Gray, and Zina Andresini Poliszuk. Artists will be in attendance and available to discuss their work.

Secolari aims to enrich life with the overall benefits of the “Age Old” Mediterranean Life Style through the introduction of exceptional foods and works of art, and Secolari is proud to exhibit the works of local artists. Co-Founder and COO Mary deRosa says:

Secolari brings together so many of passions - good food, artistry, and supporting our local communities. Our Art Program, with its dedicated focus on local artists, brings this full circle by creating a welcoming and fully realized environment that is so much more than a typical retail shopping experience.

Owned by Bart and Mary deRosa of Clarksville, MD, the vision for Secolari was inspired by a trip to Italy. The couple wanted to start a business reminiscent of their experience, one that would encompass food, community, and the cultural traditions of the Mediterranean lifestyle. The deRosas followed through opening their first shop on Bethesda Row in October 2011, and following with a location at The Mall in Columbia in 2013. Secolari in Towson Town Center is the company’s third location; the store, located on the third level of the Nordstrom wing, opened its doors in August. 

About the Artists:

Annette Conniff
Annette Conniff is a Maryland artist inspired by local landscapes, with particular passion for weather, sky, and land texture. Working in pastel suits her “alla prima” style of painting quickly and in the moment. Painting both on location “en plein air” and in studio, she feels the luscious and instant color of pure pigment pastel allows her to express the light and mood of the scenes she captures. Annette owns and operates, with her sister Terri, More Than Fine Framing in Ruxton, where her pastel and photography artworks are displayed in the gallery. She is a member of the Mid Atlantic Plein Air Association and the Baltimore Camera Club.

Brian Gray
Working in pastels and oils, Brian Gray’s work tends toward realism, primarily of landscapes. His most recent work is based on small spontaneous landscapes during travels to the Appalachians and Great Lakes, as well as larger naturalistic compositions evoked by imagination. Though largely self-taught, Brian has studied in studio settings at the University of Michigan, University of Montana, and Mary Baldwin College. 

Zina Andresini Poliszuk
Zina Andresini Poliszuk’s personal painting specialty is watercolor. She enjoys working in a painterly style with expressive color and brush strokes; she uses atmospheric landscape, interior and still life imagery to express personal yet universal life experiences with an emotional essence. Zina is an Artist Member of the Baltimore Watercolor Society, and has Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Art Education from Towson University. She has had solo and group shows in Baltimore, Columbia, Ellicott City and Annapolis, Maryland, and her work is represented in private collections around the country.

Baltimore Magazine

 
October 2015

Clarksville-based husband-and-wife team Bart and Mary deRosa are bringing their artisan oil and vinegar to the area with a new shop in Towson Town Center. The third-floor space will boast shelves of balsamic vinegars and olive oils amidst antique décor. The space will also serve as a showcase for local artists and feature open tastings for guests to sample the products.

Patch

 

September 2015

Secolari, the artisan olive oil and vinegar tasting room, has announced an Artist Reception for the inaugural artists exhibiting in the company’s newly expanded Art Program, dedicated to showcasing local artists.

Owners Bart and Mary deRosa invite the public to join them at their location in The Mall in Columbia on Sunday, October 4, 2015 from 7:00 pm to 9:00 pm for this Artist Reception presenting and featuring for sale the artwork of David Drown, Diane Dunn, and Zina Andresini Poliszuk. Artists will be in attendance and available to discuss their work.

Secolari aims to enrich life with the overall benefits of the “Age Old” Mediterranean Lifestyle through the introduction of exceptional foods and works of art, and Secolari is proud to exhibit the works of local artists. Co-Founder and COO Mary deRosa says:

What has inspired us all along in our adventure with Secolari is that it brings so many of our loves together - good food, artistry, and supporting our local communities. Expanding our Art Program with a dedicated focus on local artists brings this full circle by pulling everything together to create a welcoming and unique environment, one that goes beyond a typical retail shopping experience.

Owned by husband and wife team, Bart and Mary deRosa of Clarksville, MD, the vision for Secolari was inspired by a trip to Italy. While staying at a Tuscan farmhouse that overlooked an ancient olive grove, the couple knew they wanted to start a business that was reminiscent of their experience there, one that would encompass food, community, and the cultural traditions of the Mediterranean lifestyle.