We Olive Folsom is located in the heart of California’s Gold Rush country, near Sacramento and the picturesque foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. Owners Ken & Joan Masegian share their We Olive story and what you can expect from a visit to their historic Folsom location.
Q. How did you become a part of the We Olive family?
A. After reading in a Wine Country magazine about the growing availability of California Extra Virgin Olive Oil, the great taste and a store called We Olive in Paso Robles that sold a large varieties of this oil, we became intrigued and contacted them for a visit. After meeting the owners and listening to their vision about their store and the California olive oil industry we started to entertain the idea of being part of the We Olive family, but it was really our visit to the actual store that won us over. Once we tasted the fresh olive oils and traditional aged balsamic we were hooked! Partner these items with the other tasty products they carried, the olive oil soaps and lotions, and we just fell in love with the look of the store and the quality of products they offered the public. We had been looking for something to change the direction of our life and we found it in We Olive. It was important for us to be involved in something we really believed in, and we found that in California Olive Oil and other great tasting products. The relationships we have formed with the other stores and our customers is very rewarding.
Q. What is your favorite part of the We Olive experience?
A. We both love sampling the fresh olive oils and then adding in a balsamic and watching the customers face light up from the flavors exploding in their mouth.
Ken says: It’s nice to have a job where you don’t really sell anything, you just offer suggestions all day long and let people sample and decide for themselves. It is very pleasing to send customers home with products you know they will enjoy using in their cooking.
Joan says: It is exciting when someone walks in the door and says they had a salad last night at a friends house and the dressing was so amazing they just had to come and get some for themselves! Another customer added to our growing family.
Q. How would you describe your relationship with your customers?
A. Our relationships with our customers are very friendly. They have taken the time to listen to us educate them on the health benefits of our fresh extra virgin olive oils and have incorporated it into their everyday eating. They share with us what dishes they have enjoyed our products in and often send us the recipe to share with our other customers in our newsletter. We have several customers that are regular attendees of our evening cooking events.
Q. What are your bestsellers and personal favorites?
A. The bulk olive oil and balsamic area is the busiest part of the store. Our customers love the idea of coming in and refilling their bottles and the flexibility of trying new flavors as they become available without having to purchase a new bottle.
I guess our all time favorite is the Traditional Aged Balsamic. You just can’t believe the complex flavors you get from it until you taste it. We have fun using it in appetizers, salads, marinades and desserts.
Q. What is your favorite recipe or tip to share? Have you received any ideas from your guests in return?
A. Using our Lemon Olive Oil. It is just the most versatile olive oil. We suggest they use it on their vegetables, chicken, fish and even in baking. The recipe we share with them most is our Lemon Orzo Pasta Salad. Simply chop up your favorite veggies (we use cucumber, bell pepper, scallion, cherry tomatoes, asparagus and fresh basil). Cook your orzo pasta, drain and add veggies. Dress with chopped basil, lemon olive oil and a bit of salt and pepper. Great side dish, party dish or after school snack for the kids and keeps in the refrigerator for about a week. For more recipes and product ideas, visit our Blog page.
Also, many of our customers are trying to remove butter from their diet and use extra virgin olive oil in its place. We received this tip from a customer and we pass it along to all of our customers who are making the switch from butter to olive oil. If you want to use your EVOO like butter, place some in a small glass bowl with a lid. Place the glass bowl in your refrigerator so it can become solidified. You can now spread it on items like toast or corn on the cob. You can even get creative and add your favorite spices or honey!
Q. What makes We Olive Folsom unique?
A. We believe our store is special because of how we treat our customers. We consider them family. Customer service is very important to us and every customer that comes into our store is welcomed and, if they are a first time visitor, offered a quick tour of the store, a personalized tasting at the bulk area and an explanation of what We Olive is about. Most customers are very interested to hear about the quality of our olive oils and appreciate learning what they should look for if not purchasing from us. (Certification seals and harvest dates, of course!) First time customers hear, “Welcome to the Family” as they leave with their purchases.
Customers also get excited to hear we send out a newsletter with recipes; they sign up for that right away. To subscribe to our newsletter, click here. Many are happy to hear that we often have Evening Cooking Demonstration classes and Wine, Cheese and Olive Oil Pairing Events. For more information on events, please visit our Events page.