Shoppers at Galena Garlic Company (GGC) only need to sprinkle, cook and serve to create fantastic gourmet meals in a flash. “Papa Laszlo” Marton, owner of two locations in Galena and Geneva, enthusiastically sells garlic, olive oils, vinegars, unique gourmet spice blends and more to help cooks of every skill level prepare dishes friends and family will crave. The company also has a thriving wholesale business and ships to stores nationwide.
Marton’s passion for “Redefining the Art of Cooking” peppers everything he does. The business now includes the culinary expertise of his two daughters, Maria and Nina Marton, as well as the barbecue knowledge of Galena Associate Manager Matt Stahl, who won two Tri-State Wingfest Awards in 2010. The company’s foundation is its thriving garlic farms nestled in the beautiful rolling terrain of Jo-Daviess County in northwestern Illinois. But it isn’t just garlic that drives the GGC team. Chefs and culinary novices alike soon find his signature line of spice blends become essential tools in their kitchens. Each blend is created in small batches with all-natural garlic, artisan sea salts and the highest-quality ingredients from around the world. Each one comes labeled with a serving suggestion in an easy-to-store and resealable pouch. Flavors range from traditional tastes like the award-winning Coffee BBQ Rub or Bloody Mary Steak Rub to exotic specialty seasonings like Ras el Hanout Blend. “The spices are always fresh, always foolproof, and ready to just sprinkle, cook and serve,” Marton says. “I love hearing the comments we get from shoppers who say things like, ‘My kids love this even on popcorn!’ or ‘You saved my marriage by helping me cook!’”
Olive oil lovers know GGC seeks importers who bottle only the freshest olive oils from around the world. The varietals he stocks change with the season, based on the region of the world producing fresh olive oil at any given moment. Marton is proud to say the olive oils he sells won 10 recent honors for taste and quality. GGC olive oils won two Best of Show Awards, three Best of Class awards, and five gold medals at the 2011 Los Angeles International Extra Virgin Olive Oil Competition. Stocking fresh olive oil doesn’t just give the consumer a bettertaste, there’s also a health benefit. “Olive oils that have been pressed in the last two months have especially high polyphenol counts,” says Marton. “We make sure our olive oils are as fresh as we can get them, often less than 60 days.”
High-quality vinegars complement the lineup of olive oils, nut oils and spices. Aged balsamic, fruit infused blends like strawberry or grapefruit, champagne, red wine and even espresso balsamic vinegars are available. The fun comes in that every olive oil and vinegar is available to be tasted before you purchase. “We provide tasting and recipe cards in the stores so we customers know exactly what to do with the products when they take them home,” Marton says.
All of GGC’s products, including gourmet soups, dips, sea salts, salsas, vinegars, olive oils, tapenades, garlic cookbooks, olive oil soaps and garlic art, can be conveniently ordered online and shipped. Wholesale orders are also available. Visit www.galenagarlic.com. GGC is also happy to create custom gift baskets for friends, family, corporate events and business clients. They even do custom wedding and event favors.
The charming stores are located in downtown Galena (311 S. Main St., Galena, IL 61036) or Geneva (318 W. State St., Geneva, IL 60134. You can also connect with GGC online at www.facebook.com/galenagarliccompany or www.twitter.com/galenagarlic.