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Meet Jennifer Tallent Joseph of The Groves on 41 in Templeton

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Tallent Joseph.

Jennifer, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I grew up in the San Fernando Valley, Canoga Park & Winnetka to be exact, I was lucky enough to begin my schooling at the early learning & education center at Los Angeles Pierce College, I think that is a busway now. 🙂

Throughout my younger years, I was always watching the strong ladies of our family; business owners, entrepreneurs and go-getters and I knew it would be a long hard road to be the pillars they are/were but my Grandmother, a Fernando Award Winner & my Mother, the dream maker & creator of our family farm made a path I could not be more proud to follow.

After a short time in Colorado for University, I knew I wanted to come home back to LA, Marina del Rey specifically. I worked for a local small business, schooled at Santa Monica City College and built amazing friendships with employees of that great “little” hotel, The Ritz-Carlton, Marina del Rey. From there, the rest is history. I soaked it all in, the customer service, the employee service and the need to always meet and exceed expectations. I even had the opportunity to travel with The Ritz-Carton Hotel Company training our teams on a company-wide software program. Wow! The places I went were amazing from Michigan to NYC to Jamaica & Puerto Vallarta, I can say I lived in airports and was on and off planes anywhere from 2-6 times a week. Crazy!

Not wanting to leave the industry, I was excited to work with a Hotel in Southern California’s Anaheim area, you know, that massive world that surrounds the Disneyland Parks. What a great chance to be able to bring one of the smaller hotels into the business plans of the larger destination.

But I had to admit it, I was way too landlocked there, so I packed my skills and went back to what I loved, the events world in hotels & resorts. For eight years, I was the Sr. Conference Services Manager in Newport Beach for The Balboa Bay Club & Resort. Now I could drive from San Clemente to the office and see surfers, dolphins and tourists all enjoying our beautiful Pacific Coast.

What Mom, you bought a farm? It has a barn and vacation rental? You hear the neighbors saying we should do Weddings??? I know all about events, I should have clarified corporate events but I am learning about weddings FAST! I am on my way!!! And now eight years later, I am more than proud to say that we are a Mother-Daughter team making award-winning olive oil and being recognized by so many as one the best and easiest to work with wedding venues in our area and helping our guests learn about the amazing world of true Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

Customer service & building relationships has always been ingrained into me, from those early days in the 90’s at The Ritz-Carlton to now with a beautiful small community of neighbors that become your family in no time.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
If someone is truly making this world their oyster and creating and working towards their dream, then there is never going to be a smooth road.

Life to me is PCH, there are windy roads, mudslides and fires but look at that view! Look at the destination and look at the beauty around you, even if you breakdown.

I have had many chances to change directions on that highway. Sometimes I flew around that bend at top speed and some corners I took the path not yet traveled, like when I chose the hotel industry instead of environmental sciences (and a few other majors in between). You build, you grow and when you hit a ceiling and cannot move up in an organization due to age or other factors, you step out of that comfort zone and go find a new road. And sometimes you find you have to do it all over again a few years later.

Now being out of the big city and the corporations, I can tell you there is nothing easy about farming and definitely nothing easy about being part of a small (& new) family business. I have had to step far away from my anxiety with politics and community government and turn instead to takeaction by standing in front of the Board of Supervisors to fight for the rights of our industries and had to step into town councils to help our small community as they struggle with costs and wellness of living.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Groves on 41 is our family farm. We have 4,000 olive trees planted, Spanish Arbequina & Greek Koroneiki that we turn into Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) each Fall/Winter. The California Olive Oil Industry is still in the growth stages, here in California we produce only 7.5% of the USA’s OO consumption, we have a way to go!

What we do here that sets us apart is that we are small but mighty. Most of the time it is just the two of us and a few contractors here and there. We have our hands, passion and yes, the blood, sweat and sometimes tears into this product.

But mostly what we love is the education. We want to help grow that 7.5% to 25%, 30% or more as our neighbors, friends vacation rental guests and wedding parties and attendees take a moment to learn about the true health, taste and wonder of California EVOO.

We always get excited about the certification of our EVOO, the recognition of local & national awards and accolades and most of all when folks taste our EVOO & Flavored Olive Oils and they then join us in “Playing with our Food”.

Personally, I feel the warm and fuzzy feelings when we get to help our couples celebrate their weddings with us when they send us their favorite photos of the special moments celebrated here. Funniest part, what I never thought would happen… I get excited when I bump into a former guest at the market and get the family updates, from babies to birthdays, they remember me and our home, our farm and get excited to tell us more.

What were you like growing up?
Depends who you ask 🙂

Independent, an only child raised by a strong and ambitious single mom. I was given the freedom to learn, to speak with the adults around me but also given the responsibility of my actions. Often I was the only child invited to many adults only weddings & parties. I guess I could hold my own.

Shy, I loved singing until someone was in earshot, I was always hiding behind Grandma, still one of my favorite photos during a family shoot.

Quiet, I listened and still do, I would listen and build an opinion but often keep that to myself, that is until now.

I was Grandpa’s favorite, quick to help oil the softball mitt or feed the Blue Jay, I was his shadow soaking in every bit of his strength and commitment to family and country. (He was one of the proudest retired US Marine’s I will ever know).

Always proud of my family and excited to be part of putting together the family gatherings, from baking the birthday cakes to later helping bring the family together for larger events.

And Mom would say I had attitude, especially in the pre & early teen years. I tell her that’s what she gets for raising a strong child, not sure she agrees with that explanation all the time. Ha!

Pricing:

  • Our EVOO & Flavored Olive Oils are available in bottles ranging from $10-40
  • Weddings & Special events range from $3000-6000 with some additional elopement packages available too

Contact Info:


Image Credit:

JP Images, Shannon McMillan Photography

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