After an attempt to establish an olive oil business in France proved unsuccessful, Shawn and Antoinette Addison brought their dedication and drive to California, where they decided to give olives another shot. Starting from scratch by growing, milling, bottling, and labeling all of their own products in the Santa Ynez Valley, the Addisons branched out by buying The Olive Oil Source in 2008, which was founded 10 years earlier by John and Lisa Deane to provide information and supplies to California’s fast-growing olive oil scene. In the five-plus years since taking it over, the Addisons have continued that mission with renewed energy, building the website and online marketplace into an internationally recognized portal for all things olive oil.
Today, in addition to educational videos and other resources, OliveOilSource.com offers wholesale bulk oils and vinegars, boutique products for “home, mind, and body,” and a custom labeling operation that’s popular for weddings and other parties. The Addisons offer more than 40 different flavors of olive oil, some of which, like garlic, can be blended together simultaneously during the milling portion of the extra-virgin olive oil process, while others, like chipotle, involve lots of trial and error with blending in naturally flavored oils after the milling process.
Among the most popular flavors in the collection are garlic, lemon, and blood orange.
Garlic is a relatively universal oil, paired best with breads and pastas or used as a marinade. The lemon flavor, on the other hand, complements vegetables beautifully. “One of the reasons people buy flavored olive oils is for the convenience,” said Antoinette. “You can take green beans, put them in the microwave for two minutes, put on some lemon olive oil, and it’s really good.”
People also frequently buy flavored oils as a substitute for ingredients that they have trouble finding in the grocery store. For instance, blood orange is a relatively rare fruit, so the flavor has become a customer favorite across the country. Among other uses, the blood-orange flavor is a good base for refreshing vinaigrette dressings that work well atop summer salads.
The party-favor option is one of the Addisons’ fastest growing markets, allowing customers to choose from an assortment of labels, create their own labels, or work with an expert to come up with an original design to fit any and all of their gift needs. And it’s a party gift guests will actually enjoy, too. “It’s something everyone uses,” said Antoinette, “even if they’re not totally into food!”