Salt & Olive Market closing its doors in Harvard Square

The Cambridge purveyor of olive oils, salts, and spices will shut down by the end of February.

Another business in Harvard Square is shutting its doors. 

Salt & Olive Market, located inside The Garage at 36 JFK Street, will close by the end of February, its owners announced this week. 

“It’s with sadness, but with hope for the future, that we share Salt & Olive will close its doors by end of February,” Mary Taylor and Lee Phenner wrote on Facebook. “The reasons are myriad, but led by the need to focus on family. We move ahead with wonderful memories, and the belief that Salt & Olive created a delicious experience for the past 6 years.” 

The Cambridge purveyor of olive oils, salts, and spices took over the space inside the indoor mall formerly held by Starbucks in April 2019. Previously, the shop had a storefront on Massachusetts Avenue for years


Denise Jillson, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, pointed to  online retail and low foot traffic as a factors in the closure in an interview with the Cambridge Day,  while Theodora Skeadas , executive director of Cambridge Local First, suggested that rising commercial rents, and the ensuing displacement of businesses, contributed to diminished pedestrian traffic. 

“We encourage stakeholders such as local neighborhood associations to engage deeply in development projects to help protect and insulate our local businesses from the adverse impacts of development – namely displacement,” she said. 

Several businesses that have closed in the square in recent years, most recently Black Ink at the end of December, have cited unsustainable rent increases as factors in their shuttering or relocation. 

Taylor told the Day that while family health issues were the largest factor in the closure, “being a small retailer in the age of Amazon and with what’s happening in Harvard Square is not easy.” 

“We’ll be forever grateful for your support, and for doing something that we loved in the wonderful City of Cambridge,” the owners wrote on Facebook. 

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