Family and Olive Oil

65Olive oil is about family – at least it is for us.

Our story is a little unusual. It started with my wife’s mother suggesting to her husband Silvano, to buy a little piece of land with a couple of olive trees, that they might enjoy a sunset with a glass of wine overlooking the Brijuni Islands…  in peace and quiet. Well Ines should have known better of the man she married, and years later those „couple of trees“ turned into almost 2000 producing one of the finest olive oils in Croatia. A couple of years ago as people started to recognize the quality of the oil and demand increased significantly, my wife and I joined the adventure after moving to Istria before the birth of our son Liam in 2010.

As a family we have perhaps not the longest history of making extra virgin olive oil, however we possess a rather unique set of skills that really work together. Silvano, an engineer by profession does the planting, growing, milling, blending and wholesale. I lead the retail, export, marketing, events and customer service parts of the business coming from a background in architecture, teaching, writing  and restauranting.  And Lena, a qualified art historian and archeologist, is our key person for design, quality control, good sense and the very important „oil“ between two sometimes rather difficult and headstrong men.

In our olive oil shop I love watching the faces of our guests when they finally realize that they are learning about oil from an Irishman.  I think all things are possible here, especially in a country of such great potential. I think Lena, Silvano and I would agree that living the dream of doing what you love to do requires an immense amount of hard work, passion and commitment, but part of that is the commitment to family, friends and above all – having fun.