[Editor’s note: At article deadline, Opal & Olive was located in Bay Head; as of Memorial Day weekend, it has relocated to Point Pleasant.]
Anthony Grieco has always loved to entertain. So when his family opted to sell Grieco Beverages, the soda and beer store in Brielle they owned and operated for 35 years, he reverted to what he knows best: throwing a party.
“All I knew was beer and wine and liquor,” says Grieco. “I love entertaining, I love cooking, I love hosting people in my house. So I decided to focus on the entertaining side of home.”
Scouting big-box home stores, Grieco quickly recognized that entertaining seemed to be an afterthought at most mega-retailers. “They have one or two serving platters, that’s all,” he says.
In the true entrepreneurial spirit, he opened retail shop Opal & Olive in April 2019, just as the summer season ramped up. His motto: “I want to bring back the dinner table.”
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Grieco fills his compact space with goods to entertain in style, from serving platters and glassware to coasters and tea towels, spices, herbs and foods. “You spend all this time in your kitchen,” he says. “The last thing you want to do is serve it on paper plates.” Bestsellers include melamine serving bowls and platters that look like fine china; wooden cheese and charcuterie boards cut in the shape of fish; and colorful acrylic glassware, including goblets, tumblers and champagne flutes.
As shoppers flocked, Grieco discovered the demand for gifts. He has added items like lotions, candles and more to his inventory. The store has become a go-to destination for hostess gifts. The focus, however, remains on the dining table: “At my core, it’s all about home entertaining.”
When Covid-19 hit, Grieco was prepared. Computer savvy, he had already developed a strong online presence, he says. “I was up and running right out of the gate.” Opal & Olive began to offer free local delivery and curbside pickup. His online business is particularly brisk in the dog-toy category, merchandise he added as a nod to Louie, his Australian Labradoodle, who joins him every day in the shop.
Grieco is optimistic as he enters his third summer in business. As a one-man show, he’s unstoppable, working seven days a week. “If you see it, I’ve done it,” he says. “I’m the merchandiser, the buyer, the sales clerk, the shipping clerk. I’m everything you see.”
Opal & Olive is located at 611 Arnold Avenue, Point Pleasant Beach; 732-892-8300. Follow the shop on Instagram: @opalandolivehome.Click here to leave a comment