When you think of local flavor, does olive oil come to mind? If not, it will soon. Locally owned and operated Grapevine Olive Oil Co. has just opened its third location. The Alliance Town Center shop carries a wide range of unique oils and vinegars from Texas, California and international small-batch producers. Shoppers can also find a selection of local coffee, spices and other specialty foods.
Owner Rebecca Knop opened the first location in Historic Downtown Grapevine in 2010 and soon expanded to the Fort Worth Stockyards. Knop was inspired to open the shop after a trip to California, where she discovered a winery that sold a variety of olive oils.
“I've always loved to cook,” says Knop, “so I was amazed at how good they were and how much better they tasted than what I was buying at the local grocery store.”
Knop immediately thought of Grapevine, also known for its local wineries, and within a few months the idea had taken off.
Grapevine Olive Oil has over 70 varieties of olive oils and vinegars. The most popular olive oils are Garlic, Taste of Tuscany, and Tuscan Roasted Garlic and Meyer Lemon. In the vinegar department, Fig Balsamic, Traditional Balsamic and Coconut Mango White Vinegar are hits.
“I'm excited about the new location opening,” says Knop. “It offers a more convenient way for our customers in north Fort Worth, Keller and Roanoke to visit us. Also, this store location is much larger than our Grapevine location, which will allow us to carry a wider variety of specialty foods, spices and culinary goods.”
Grapevine Olive Oil Company, 2924 Texas Sage Trail, www.grapevineoliveoilcompany.com
For Book Lovers
The Keller Public Library started off 2017 with a brand-new look. The doors were closed for a few days before the big reveal on Jan. 6. Updates include easier-to-find categories, clear signage and shelves designed for browsing.
The update was inspired by a growing trend in libraries across the country moving away from the Dewey Decimal System and organized in bookstore-style. “The most important function of a library is equity of access to information for all citizens,” says Library Services Manager Rae Cheney. “We understand that for many people, it’s been decades since they had to navigate the Dewey Decimal System and some people may never have used it at all.”
The new layout is more intuitive, so whether you are an avid book lover or just like to flirt with fiction, visitors can find old favorites and discover new ones. The library staff has sorted through over 70,000 titles to organize them into categories such as self-help, cookbooks and travel. The DVD section is also organized by category, rather than alphabetically.
Cheney adds, “We decided to make this change because we recognize that an overwhelming percentage of people want to be able to get in and out of a place of business without having to ask for help. Of course, we will still be here to provide stellar customer service and assistance with reference questions, but we want to ensure that no one leaves the library without feeling like they were able to find what they were looking for.”
Keller Public Library is at 640 Johnson Road and open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and Friday, and noon to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Lights, Camera … Action!
Calling all aspiring filmmakers, actors and creatives! The ninth annual Keller ISD Student Film Festival is accepting entries. Students interested in sharing their creative movies can enter as a small group, a class or an individual project. Categories include animation, PSA Plus, documentary, music video, comedy and story. Enter a single project or multiple across categories.
The submission deadline is March 20. Entries will be judged by education and video industry professionals on flow, creativity, technical merit and overall impact.
Rules and other important details can be found online at www.kellerisd.net/community/media/film/2017.
Start planning the perfect back yard for summer. Tree Frogs Swing Set Factory opened a Keller location in December. The Houston-based company manufactures redwood and cedar play structures at two price points: Jaguar is made from budget-friendly cedar, while Tree Frog is a luxury level made from California redwood. The 75-plus designs begin with a wood climbing structure and can include slides, swings, rock walls and other play fort accessories. Most sets are modular and can be customized to grow with your child. Swings and slides are made to support an adult weight.
These structures are built to last from wood that is naturally durable and
insect-resistant so it can be free from chemicals. Tree Frogs also carries Ryval basketball hoops and AlleyOop Sports trampolines. Shoppers can browse setup structures at the new showroom.
Tree Frogs, 1445 S. Main St., 817-337-2577, www.treefrogsshowrooms.com/locations/treefrogs-keller
Serving with Love
Keller ISD cosmetology students at Studio K honored a group of female veterans in a unique way during an event called “New Year, New You!” celebrating the “she-roes” of Grace After Fire.
Students at the Keller Center for Advanced Learning provided women with a style session that included a wardrobe refresh and photo shoot. The event gave students a chance to show support and connect with the women.
“Having the veterans here has been a great opportunity for us to just talk with them and learn more about what their lives have been like,” says Central High School 10th-grader Citlally Torres. “Some of them may not always have someone to talk to, but I hope they have us here, and we support them.”
Jocelyn Jalapa, an 11th-grade student at Fossil Ridge High School, expressed similar feelings. “We have had the opportunity to meet people we might not usually get to talk to. They have great stories, and getting to talk with them was awesome because they told us stories in a way that you might not get to see on the news. It was a different experience hearing it from an actual veteran.”
Grace After Fire is a Texas-based nonprofit that aims to "help women veterans help themselves" through self-renewal. Female veterans returning home need support while transitioning back into family life and work following military service. Participants were provided with women’s business clothing collected through donations.
“It’s been very nice for somebody to reach out to us and try to understand our world and help us connect with the civilian community. It’s nice to know that they care and care about helping us get back into the community,” says Jennifer Fells, U.S. Navy, E-4, retired.
“The students are great. They’re really happy and they’re asking a lot of questions, which is nice because it shows they’re interested in what we have to share. They’re really good kids.”
Just the Two of Us
Couples planning a Valentine’s date night can take advantage of a few local venues offering supervised children’s activities while adults enjoy an evening out.
Feb. 10 and 14, Dinner and a Movie at The Keller Pointe includes kids’ games, swimming, pizza and movie. Friday’s film is “Kung Fu Panda 3” and the Tuesday film is “Gnomeo & Juliet.” Drop kids off 5:30-9 p.m. Cost is $20/child ($15, members). Call 817-743-4386 to pre-register. 405 Rufe Snow Drive, www.cityofkeller/services/the-keller-pointe
On Feb. 11, Fired Up Fitness entertains kids age 2 and up between 6 and 10 p.m. Pizza, drinks, a movie and craft are provided. Cost is $25 for the first child and $10 for each additional child. No membership required. Register online in advance. 11751 Alta Vista Road, Fort Worth, 817-741-6869, www.firedupfw.com/event/kids-night-out-2/
Taste Buds Kitchen in Southlake offers a kids’ cooking class for ages 5-12 from 6 to 9 p.m. on Feb. 14 that includes sweet and savory Valentine’s Day-themed recipes. Kids will also enjoy kitchen games and be able to bring their creations home. Cost is $45/one child or $40 each/two or more siblings. Register online. 2140 E. Southlake Blvd., Southlake, 817-488-0538, www.tastebudskitchen.com/southlake/kids-cooking-camps
Heart to Heart
Students at two Keller ISD campuses participated in a health study this fall coordinated by Dr. Benjamin Levine at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and KISD Athletics Director Bob DeJonge. Volunteers from Central High School and Fossil Ridge who participate in some type of UIL athletic activity took an ECG (electrocardiogram), which can detect irregularities in the heart. Two other Keller schools served as a control group and will provide health updates over the next several years. Richardson ISD also participated.
The study will provide important information on student athletes’ risks for sudden cardiac events. Following multiple incidents in the past few years, the Texas Legislature is considering whether testing might be mandatory for UIL participation.
The preliminary results were not unexpected. Approximately 2.4 percent of the students tested were flagged for a follow-up. Of that small number, 1 to 2 percent of students had results that may benefit from preventive care.
More research is needed, and DeJonge says the district’s position is to look at the science and let parents make an informed decision for their children.
He adds, “Any loss of life is worthy of the discussion, whether testing everyone is necessary or not.”
Results from the study were provided to representatives at the Texas Legislature, which meets for its current session January through May 2017.