With so much scrutiny and skepticism in the olive oil industry these days reputation starts to become more important than ever. Every olive oil company out there has their list of loyal customers and for our family at Coldani Olive Ranch, the responses and comments we get in emails and on our social media mean more to us than you can imagine. Hearing the positive feedback we get is always a huge pat on the back and makes us feel good about the product we have put so much time, effort and passion into.
Olive oil tasting and food competitions are really the only way to hear from “non-customers” or people who are not already fans of our products. Although the total dollar amount of annual entry fees into these competitions “irks” me every year; we use these competitions as a gauge to measure our quality, consistency, and where we stand in the industry.
2014 was a very good year for Calivirgin olive oils. Now that all of the competitions are complete we have our totals for the year and this was one of our most awarded years to date. All of our olive oils received medals this year and we medaled in every competition we entered. We collected 42 medals in 2014 totaling 5 bronze medals, 12 silver, 19 gold, 4 best of class awards, 1 best of show, and one producer of the year award across the major U.S. domestic and international olive oil competitions. In a very short time we are proud to have grown into one of the most awarded U.S. olive oil companies.
Lodi Olive Oil
Another achievement for 2014 was the acquisition of a cross town local olive oil company. Coldani Olive Ranch acquired Lodi Olive Oil Company this year to add a great local name as well as a few more mono-varietals to our portfolio. Lodi Olive Oil Company has a line of award winning olive oils made with varietals sourced from the Lodi/Stockton area and was founded by Leonard Cicerello , Robert Pirie, and Henry Sanguinetti in 2004. A wine distributor, a farmer and a nurseryman created the perfect team to jumpstart a new company in an industry that was relatively new to the Lodi area. Today the Lodi Olive Oil brand is among local favorites with a great reputation. I think this purchase will allow us to distribute the Lodi Olive Oil label across the U.S. (we intend to keep and continue the brand) into states it wasn’t already available. For more information visit www.LodiOliveOil.com
This Years Harvest
We currently have the calm before the storm. Harvest should start up towards the middle of October. This time of year we are servicing equipment, estimating tonnage, taking pre-orders for product and lining up deliveries of fresh produce for our flavored olive oils. This all comes right before the holidays when online and wholesale sales are also at their peak. Essentially we get all jacked up on coffee, run around in organized chaos and then crash sometime right before the new year. It’s really fun! Actually, honestly, it is. I get this heavy weighted feeling of slight nervousness; somewhat like I did as a kid in the locker room before a sporting event or being crouched in blocks at the starting line on a track before the gun goes off. Everything is fast paced. You know there will be challenges you have to deal with; there always are. You know that you are about to embark upon a sleep deprived harvest of 18-19 hour workdays until it is over. You know you only get one shot at making the olive oil for the entire next year of sales, and you know how important this holiday season is for a retail company. Writing about it almost spikes my adrenaline. That gun is almost raised to start this race; I’ll see you at the finish line!
–Ciao, Mike Coldani