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Our Story

From our Family to Yours

​Staunton Olive Oil Company (SOOC) opened in July 2015 in historic downtown Staunton, Virginia.  Owners, Michelle and Gary Gallaugher, operate the store with a close-knit group of family and friends. Michelle is a registered nurse of 25 years. As a mother of two, she maintained a part time schedule as an RN until April 2016 when she decided to devote her time to running the local and online portion of the business. Gary owns and operates his own Commercial and Residential window cleaning business, but he can often be found at the store working on Michelle’s “honey-do list.” 

Gary and Michelle have been married for 30 years in October 2020 and have two children. Ian is in the Army National Guard with a degree in Behavioral Health. He works with youth at the Boys and Girls Club as well as with a local non-for profit organization.  Emma is a first year student at UVA in the School of Architecture. She can still be found here at the shop during her college breaks.  

It was during a visit to central Florida to see family that Michelle’s dad, a cabinet maker, took her into a similar store. Her dad had made the cabinets for this location and wanted to show Michelle.  She fell in love with the store and the concept. Upon returning home, she often thought about opening her own but she was overwhelmed with the idea of starting a business.  Several months later, Michelle experienced some health issues that required her to change her diet and lifestyle.  As a nurse she knew the health benefits of extra virgin olive oil and vinegars. She embraced clean eating and found it exciting to share her own story. It was at this time, she felt confirmation to open SOOC.  Family and friends were all confident Staunton would be the perfect fit for such a store.  So, the journey began in January 2015.

The resulting support from the local community of Staunton, the businesses, the tourists and SOOC’s regular customers has thus far exceeded their expectations.  Michelle remains as excited today as she was on the very first day to share with customers and the community the wonderful flavor combinations of olive oils and vinegars; as well as support the benefits of a healthier way of eating and living through their use. Michelle began teaching oil and vinegar classes in the summer of 2017 in their kitchen that was designed and created by her father. These have been a lot of fun!! 

Michelle lost her dad this past June of 2019 and is kicking the classes back into place knowing how excited he would be to see them continue to flourish.  

Gary and Michelle have purposed to have SOOC represent them as a family, that each individual be welcomed, greeted and introduced to the nature of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars. They hope you enjoy your experience with them and look forward to your return visit.