In July 2010, My husband and I went searching for a place to escape life in the Bay Area. I wanted a place that reminded me of Italy and Bob wanted access to surfing, good beer and fish tacos. With family in Southern and Northern California, something in the middle seemed to make sense. When we visited Paso Robles, we were gobsmacked. Gorgeous vistas, spectacular wines, farms, food and an energetic community full of people helping people fulfill their dreams. Endless possibilities. We bought a house on the hill with 7 acres of open land, an abandoned riding ring and corral, lots of gophers and ground squirrels, and rocky soil.
Farming runs on both sides of my family. The Bozzo and Filice families were sharecroppers in Calabria, Italy. The Molfinos owned a small farm in Strathmore, California. I have vivid memories as a child running through rows of table grapes, slapping the pie pans that Grandpa Sam hung to scare off the birds. Farming was in my veins. Bob grew up surfing and sailing and had never touched a tractor. Now he finds any excuse to get on his tractor and mow the orchard or checking the irrigation on his Polaris. Who knew?
We decided to plant an olive orchard because in Italy, it is a tradition to pass along 100 trees to the next generation. We have 2 kids so we planted 220 Italian cultivars. However, you grow grapes for your kids and olives for your grandkids. We also wanted to plant olives because we don’t have abundant water in Central California and we wanted to grow something that makes people healthy and happy.
Why the Queen of Trees? The Romans and Spaniards called olive trees “The Queen of all Trees” because they live long with grace and elegance. Queens have many of the same qualities as olive trees. They are rulers, wear a crown, people bow when they enter the room. Whether you are the Queen of England or the queen of a honey bee colony, you are the female in charge. And Royal Oil? You will feel like royalty when you taste some of the best EVOO that California has to offer.
We were thrilled to hear about the COOC because there are many imposters out there and we want to make sure that we adhere to the standards to make the best California EVOO. We want to support the industry and other growers in California. Last year we launched our business, won an award, and was named one of the best EVOOs in the Central Coast. But farming is not for the faint of heart. This year our crop was low and we searched all over the state to source high quality EVOO to sell.
– Edie and Bob Barry and the kids and grandkids