Lucero California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Lucero California Olive Oil is a family owned operation with it’s headquarters located in Corning, California (aka “The Olive City”). We have ventured to this part of Northern California to witness the olive trees in bloom and celebrate the start of the 2013 harvest season. This little slice of California has quite a history in olive folklore. Amongst ancient Sevillano olive groves that are over 100 years old that line the residential streets, Bobby and Dewey Lucero (father & son) share their story.
Three Generations and Counting
Although Lucero California Olive Oil is only eight years old, olive growing is not new to the Lucero family. Grandpa Pete owned his own nursery growing olive trees in Corning for 27 years. Grandpa Anthony made his own olive oil in small batches to give to family and friends and continued to produce olive oil due to it’s popularity. The Luceros have some of the oldest olive groves in Northern California, with their ancient olive groves of Sevillano trees imported from Spain over 100 years ago.
Along Came Dewey
Having grown up amongst the groves and olive oil business, Dewey, grandson to Pete and Anthony, went to his parents with an idea to grow the family business into something larger. His vision was to create a family brand and produce larger quantities of California extra virgin olive oil to market and sell. Graduating from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, one of the best agricultural colleges, Dewey’s insight to the future of the California olive oil business has been spot on. Leaving a job in the high tech world behind, Dewey looked to the future and took his knowledge and experience back home to turn the family farm into a high tech olive oil mill. With the addition of Super-High Density Groves which increases the amount of trees planted, olives harvested, and oil production compared to a traditional grove, Lucero California Olive Oil has transcended to another level.
A Well Oiled Machine
The Lucero family has pulled together like a well “oiled” machine to make Dewey’s dream succeed. The olives used to make Lucero California Olive Oil are picked, pressed, bottled, and labeled at their on site olive mill. The olives are pressed within 24 hours of picking for ultimate freshness. The harvest date is applied to the bottles to ensure you, as a consumer, are made aware of the date of harvest. Why is this important? This date guarantees you are buying olive oil at the peak of it’s freshness with polyphenols (healthy antioxidants) at their highest levels. All of Lucero’s olive oils are extra virgin and are certified by the California Olive Oil Council. The majority of their oils have won awards and medals of Silver and Gold from various associations such as The California Olive Oil Council, The Fancy Food Show, and County Fair Competitions in Yolo, Napa, and Los Angeles. With the competitive growth of the olive oil industry in California, this alone speaks volumes of the high quality EVOO that Lucero produces.
We were impressed by the Lucero California Olive Oil Spring Bloom Event that was meticulously choreographed. From start to finish, no detail was missed. There was something for everyone to enjoy the day from the grove tours with Bobby and Dewey Lucero, local food and wine to savor at the picnic tables, crafts for the children, live music to entertain, tours of the mill and bottling facility, and an upscale retail store with rows of shiny stainless tanks (fustis) filled with olive oils and balsamic vinegars for you to try before you buy. A full staff was readily awaiting to answer questions and assist you in your selections. The store was pristine with fully stocked shelves of beautifully labeled bottles, proudly flaunting the awards they have won. A display of the award winning Anthony’s Blend EVOO was personally signed by all three generations (Anthony, Bobby, and Dewey) with an olive branch tied to the top. These little details made us feel we were buying truly special and unique products that the Luceros took pride in showcasing.
Mi Casa Es Su Casa
The saying “My home is your home” is something that you will experience when you visit Lucero. Not only do the Luceros open their doors to you (literally seven days a week), they open their hearts and share their story, making you feel like you’re part of their family. Having never met the Lucero family, we felt like we already knew them. They include you in their daily lives, especially if you are one of their Facebook fans! Dewey is all over the place! One day he’s in Portland, Oregon opening a new store, then he’s off to Japan the next! Dewey, marketing guru extraordinaire, does a great job at marketing the business on a large international scale, yet still comes home to Corning to help with the family groves, sleeping in his bedroom that he grew up in at his parents’ home. As successful as Lucero California Olive Oil has become, Dewey stays grounded and knows that home is where the heart is.
Enjoy the day at a truly local farm with local flavor and witness a family dream come true by visiting the Lucero California Olive Oil Mill. Check out their website (www.lucerooliveoil.com) to find out about other events that they have planned throughout the year. You can also buy direct from their website or sign up for their Olive Oil Club to receive quarterly shipments with a variety of Lucero California Olive Oils, Balsamic Vinegars, Little Thief Mustards, Tapenades, and more! We found scrumptious goodies in every corner. Our favorite pick this season? Chocolate Infused Olive Oil drizzled over fresh strawberries with a sprinkle of Strawberry White Balsamic Vinegar served over vanilla ice cream. Yum! Or, how about using the chocolate olive oil the next time you bake a cake for added chocolaty flavor? Why not try the strawberry balsamic vinegar in your next summer fruit salad? Need we say more? Good times, good food, and good job, Lucero!
Photographs taken by The Grove & Co. at Lucero California Olive Oil in Corning, CA.