Passion and Excellence

at Berkeley Olive Grove

Darro and OliviaOK … I’ll admit that we might be a little biased when it comes to our advertisers in the Lotus Guide, but every once in a while we think we need to say something about them, and this is one of those times. It started in the parking lot at a market here in Chico, where Darro recognized me from the Lotus Guide and started telling me about what he and his wife, Olivia, were doing with an olive grove in the Oroville area. To make a long story short, I realized two things at the end of that conversation: One was that everything I thought I knew about olive oil was incorrect or, at best, misleading. The other thing I realized was that I had just met someone who was doing something exceptional, not only with olive oil but also with the environmental issues around growing.

            My wife, Dhara, and I went out to see their 300-acre olive farm and spent an enjoyable few hours learning and tasting the different varieties of olive oil. I’m not even going to pretend to understand everything they were telling us about the finer points of growing olives and processing them into oil that is ranked in the top 2.5% of oil worldwide, but I do understand one thing completely … and that’s passion. You can have all the knowledge in the world about how to do something, but without passion in today’s economy you will fall by the wayside amid an onslaught of permits, rules, regulations, and the financial viability of creating something outstanding.Berkely Olive Grove

            We asked Darro and Olivia to explain in a nutshell what their objective is and here’s what they told us: “Our objective is and has always been to produce the best product possible with natural food value using the olives from this century-old olive grove. The oil we produce here is truly organic (75 percent of what is sold as organic is not) from soil, air, and rain water without any artificial additives of any kind.”

            Meeting people such as Darro and Olivia, and for that matter, all of our advertiser friends, is a reminder to us why we love publishing this magazine that you are holding in your hand. The world we live in will become a better place, not because of rules and regulations passed down to us from the top, but from the hard efforts and sometimes the sacrifices of all of us here with boots on the ground and a passion for excellence, no matter what the short-term costs are.

            Visit for more information and to learn much more about olive oil than you would think possible, because plain and simple, you need to know what you are putting in your bodies in today’s world.


Rahasya Poe, Lotus Guide