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Business Spotlight: Alfonso Gourmet Olive Oil & Balsamics

Long time Tucson residents, Tom and Nancy Alfonso, are the owners and curators of Alfonso Gourmet Olive Oil & Balsamics who are celebrating the recent opening of their second location at Plaza Escondida in Oro Valley. The success of the Alfonso’s business is not by accident, but rather the result of hard work, attention to detail, a passion for quality and an enthusiastic customer following who appreciate the quality and experience that Tom, Nancy and staff provide every day.

March 19, 2014

The story of Alfonso’s starts in November 2011. Tom is a successful building contractor; however, with the housing market down turn in 2008, Tom and Nancy decided to take inventory of their passions and pursuits and to focus their talent and energy in the artisan food industry. Tom’s Italian lineage definitely was a strong influence when deciding to delve into the olive oil and balsamic industry and in 2011; Tom and Nancy opened their first location at Tucson’s St. Philip’s Plaza. This location and quality of product continues to be a proven hit with Tucsonans and just twenty-seven months later, the ribbon was cut at their newest location in Oro Valley.

A visit to the Alfonso gourmet shop is a delight on the senses. The store is beautifully arranged into large isles; each isle presents numerous varieties of fused and infused olives oils as well as aged grape-based balsamic vinegars, imported from Modena, Italy. Each selection is stored in a polished stainless steel container, which in Italian is called a fusti. Each fusti is equipped with a spout so that you can sample the products as you wish before you decide on what to purchase. Another unique experience at Alfonso’s is that you get to watch as your purchased bottles are filled, labeled, corked and sealed; locking in the fresh tastes and aromas.    

Tom and Nancy are sincere when it comes to educating their customers on the difference and importance of purchasing quality olive oils and balsamic. Tom describes how the oils sold at his shops are unique from other store bought products as they are rigorously tested and are Ultra Premium or U.P. certified; 

“Ultra Premium Olive Oil is the highest quality standard that exceeds all other world standards for quality.”  

U.P. certification takes into consideration the freshness, production, transportation and chemistry traits of the olives and the final oil product. Tom and Nancy are closely partnered with a single source importer and forge a close working relationship with their farmers to ensure their product consistently meets the U.P. requirement.     Alfonso Gourmet is only one of two shops in the entire state of Arizona that carry Ultra Premium certified product. The same level of attention is given to the selection of balsamic vinegars.  The vinegars are imported from Modena, Italy and aged for 12-18 years. The balsamic vinegars offered by Alfonso’s never contain thickening agents, sugar additives or added color.  

Enthusiastic staff members are also on hand to help navigate you through the impressive selections and usually will make pairing recommendations that will complement your favorite meats, seafood or produce. If your preference is high temperature cooking with a focus on healthier frying, Alfonso’s staff can help you select an olive oil with the correct polyphenol level; the higher the level of this natural antioxidant the higher temperature the better the oil performs.    

The Alfonso Gourmet store is also home to Blu, A Wine & Cheese Stop.  Blu is locally owned and boasts a flavorful collection of hand crafted cheeses from Arizona and California.  The cheese selections are a perfect pairing with a fantastic olive oil or balsamic from Alfonso’s.   

Food culture is a key ingredient to the flavor and quality of life in Oro Valley (and the greater Tucson region) and Tom and Nancy at Alfonso Gourmet Olive Oil & Balsamics is a demonstration of how great stewardship for this culture is continued in our community.    Stop by their Oro Valley shop and explore what’s in store.

Alfonso Gourmet Olive Oil & Balsamics
Tom & Nancy Alfonso - Owners
7854 N Oracle Rd., Oro Valley, AZ 85704 | 520-638-5000