Baby boomer entrepreneur creates her dream career

Cary Kelly is a baby boomer who lives in the Washington, DC, area, who has reached that stage of life when she can become an entrepreneur, have her own business, and live out a long-time dream.

So after a career of working with a professional association followed by a second career in the hospitality industry, Cary consulted with her husband and their financial planner to develop a business model that allowed her to be a business entrepreneur and have a good income.

Cary Kelly, olive oil entrepreneur

Cary Kelly, olive oil entrepreneur

The upshot of all that planning? A shop that attracts customers who enjoy the best ingredients in gourmet cooking. For Cary, that begins with high quality olive oils and vinegars from Europe.

Ah love Oil & Vinegar” is the name of her shop in the upscale Village at Shirlington in Arlington County, Virginia, a few miles from the nation’s capital. She sells exquisite olive oils, many infused with spices. And, many vintage balsamic vinegars, some as exotic as nectar. And here’s something I like: customers get to sample every item.

In fact the first impression you get when you walk into Ah love Oil & Vinegar is high quality. There’s a pleasant and welcoming fragrance of olive oils and spices, really not unlike the impression of visiting an Apple computer store. That’s quality.

The concept of olive oil and vinegar boutiques started in France about 25 years ago, when we baby boomers were in the earlier stages of our careers, and it’s just now catching on in America. So for Cary, a boomer now in the third stage of her career, selling gourmet olive oils makes sense.

Her advice to any baby boomer considering such a bold career jump: get over your fear and realize you can live on less money. It’s still more fun.

This store has been open more than a year, and Cary has already opened a second shop in suburban Washington.


  1. What a good idea! I live in Italy and of course we’ve got that kind of shop over here…competing with old-fashioned Mom and Pop shops that don’t have the special olive oils and vinegars that your kind of shop carries (plus all the other goodies I’m sure). Well done, congrats!

  2. Ah love Oil & Vinegar is a treat – if you haven’t been there I promise you it’s worth the trip! Warm, friendly and delicious.Cary is a walking testimonial for the benefits of eating and living healthy!

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