Saturday, September 23, 2006

West Vancouver Farmers' Market

Last weekend we attended the West Vancouver Farmers' Market. My mother had been going throughout the summer and this was our last time. There was a lot of interest in our oil and a number of people made deposits for the new oil that will be arriving in February.

It was a shame we are sold out of this year's olive oil because there were a lot of people who wanted to buy some. Luckily we have a shipment of 500 ml bottles arriving in October. If your interested, send us your e-mail and we will let you know when it arrives (

We also found some great fusti (stainless steel containers) for storing olive oil. They come in 5L and 15L sizes and a limited number will be coming with our October shipment. Let us know if you'd like one. We will be taking orders for February as well.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

How much olive oil?

We have just recently started taking orders for this year's olive oil production. The harvesting and pressing of the olives in Amelia will take place in November and December. We will receive our shipment in Vancouver in early February 2007. Our idea is to have people order their year's supply of oil and put a deposit down on their order now; this not how shopping in North America usually works. It is hard to get people here to think about buying a year's supply of anything! People are used to getting their olive oil at the supermarket when they run out of the little bottle they have. In Italy, people buy a year's supply because they know that olive oil is a product that is seasonal and only available fresh once a year. They also understand it should be consumed within a year. If you want the good stuff, you have to learn to plan ahead. Our challenge is to change Canadians' eating habits and shopping practices. This is not an easy task and might not happen right away, but I am convinced that once people start using our oil they will start to understand. Many customers have told me they have no idea how much oil they use in a year. I keep saying that it is more than you think. When you use good oil, you want to drizzle it on everything. I have pretty much stopped using butter and have gone to extremes such as putting olive oil on my toast in the morning. Another aspect to consider is that olive oil is good for you, so don't hold back. A friend recently sent me this article from the Guardian newspaper in England, which sings the praises of olive oil as a healthy ingredient.,,1870466,00.html

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

An adventure in olive oil

When I first moved back to Vancouver from Umbria, Italy I knew the one thing I could not live without was the wonderful extra virgin olive oil that I was accustomed to drizzling over just about everything. The oil in Umbria is green and spicy and perfect for salads, grilled meat and bruschette.
Before leaving, I decided to buy a huge stainless steal drum and 60 litres of olive oil from my friend Francesco at the olive mill down the road. I had helped harvest the olives and I wanted to take my bit of Umbria home with me to share with my friends and family. I knew no one at home had probably had the pleasure of tasting fresh pressed olive oil. In fact, when I got back to Vancouver I realised most of the fancy olive oil I saw in stores was being sold past its prime and at hefty prices.
After tasting my olive oil, friends started to ask me if they could buy some. This is when my mother and I got the idea of importing olive oil from the town of Amelia where I had lived for the last two years. This is how we started Amelia Oil.