Michael Keller was inspired to create Calolea Olive Oil during his travels throughout the world as a fashion model. While experiencing the cuisine in Italy and France he realized what really good olive oil tasted like. Michael grew up in Marin County, north of San Francisco near the now famous McEvoy Ranch. After realizing there were many olive trees growing around his neighborhood, he decided to get some friends together and harvest olives for oil. The oil he produced was amazing, and he dreamed of creating an olive oil company of his own. Michael immediately reached out to the California Olive Oil Council for guidance and decided to become a supporting member back in 1999. The COOC has always been an educational resource for him from production to sales and marketing, the networking has been invaluable over the years.
In 1999, Michael and Monica Keller purchased their first olive ranch with 100 year old heirloom olive trees in Loma Rica, Yuba County, CA. The orchard had been abandoned and was in neglect. After removing blackberry bushes and pruning trees, the orchard was rejuvenated. They started selling their Calolea Olive Oil at local retail stores and farmers’ markets. Their production increased from 17 gallons in 1999 to 1500 gallons in 2006 thanks in part to purchasing a new 20 acre olive ranch in Bangor, Butte County. The Keller’s built a 2-story 4500 SqFt. production warehouse and custom tasting room for bottling and Farm Tours on their picturesque orchard with views of the Sutter Buttes. They host a once a year Farm Trail Tour over Columbus Day weekend in conjunction with the Sierra Oro Farm Trail Passport Weekend. Otherwise open by appointment only and special event popups.
From 2004 to 2020 Calolea Olive Oil has consecutively won “Best of Class” and “Best of Show” Gold medals for numerous varietal blends at the prestigious OLIVE OILS OF THE WORLD competition at the Los Angeles County Fairplex and numerous International accreditations. They attribute a great deal of success in part to COOC seal of authentication, in which Calolea has received every harvest season over the past 20 years. The Keller’s are convinced that Yuba and Butte Counties are the premiere olive growing areas in the world. They anticipate that Calolea Olive Oil will continue to grow and remain a high end olive oil for consumers to enjoy, it’s certainly a passion for The Keller’s.
Michael & Monica Keller