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Meet Frank & Shannon Tucker of Terrace Hill Olive Oil Co. Of Tucker Family Farms in City of Orange

Today we’d like to introduce you to Frank & Shannon Tucker.

Frank & Shannon, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
We had been on a slow search for land to farm as part of our retirement plan. Our life has been very active and we love our home garden, support urban farms thus feeling like this could be a stimulating experience once we moved on from our long careers. In 2012, we fell in love with an already established Olive/Grape Farm on the Central Coast of CA. It came a bit prematurely since we were both still planning to work for another 5+ years.

The property was being managed by a wonderful man who began teaching us Farming 101! That abruptly changed when he passed away suddenly the night before our first Olive harvest. We were thrown into a farmer’s life overnight. Luckily, neighboring farms were also affected by this man’s passing and everyone came together to help each other with picking crews, equipment, trucks and more. Our yield was nearly 10k pounds which left us with 220 gallons of beautiful Olive Oil! Now what? Our manager was to get paid in Oil so we had no plan.

Within weeks we had read countless books, had permits pending, a Website up, bottles ordered, labels and logos designed and we did it all ourselves! It was very crude at first. We had no background in sales or marketing but we do have lots of experience shopping! Many retailers want to carry local quality products. I reached out to shops that knew us first. Wineries in the Central Coast were happy to carry our Estate Olive Oil on their gift shelves. It grew slowly. Meanwhile, we are working full time in OC and driving the four hours to handle farming needs. We have learned so much!

Luckily, our son moved to the farm with a background and now a career in winemaking and viticulture he oversaw the day to day. Our daughter is an artist and took over our media operations and print material.

We connected with some Chefs by donating Oil for a charity farm dinner. It is now featured in a handful of fine restaurants and shops in the LA/OC area. We also started selling at our local Farmers Market -Orange Home Grown. It is through this experience we have found our true purpose. Educating the public about food sourcing, growing your own and supporting local as well as the health benefits and taste of high-quality Olive Oil is now our focus. It has been timely with all of the news about fake oil and the trend toward eating healthy & buying local. We have taken it a step further by getting involved with teaching kids about growing their own food, doing hands on learning with items from the farm, promoting the idea of eating freshly grown foods. We have met so many wonderful people who then carry on our message to others! Newly retired, we continue learning something new everyday! We bought this farm to stay stimulated and active but had no idea how much more this experience would be giving us.

Has it been a smooth road?
We don’t really see obstacles, just challenges. Some of the most prominent…
Our lack of knowledge tops the list!
The drought and unforeseen weather.
Long-distance driving.
Regulations and governmental oversight.
Lack of proper equipment.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are a small family farm and Olive Oil Company. We grow Italian Olives in California. We are all natural in practice, using only organic products for enriching the soil, encouraging birds of prey and watering on demand. We are hands on in every way; from flower to bottle. The Olive varieties and the excellent climate of the Central coast creates a unique and flavorful Olive Oil. We keep our prices at a place that’s reasonable so people can enjoy it. We are extra unique as we encourage bottle refills or fill your own at our Farmers Market! We love what we do and hope that you do too.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
The LA/OC area has a rich food scene that draws the best in innovative chef driven restaurants. This creates a culture of food awareness with consumers that seek quality local products. We are those people, too!

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