You know the saying “two heads are better than one?” Well, this rings true for the olive oil-making duo behind The Other Brother Company. They make organic olive oil from start to finish on their farm in San Francisco. Besides cooking up a storm with the stuff, we’re tempted to throw it in desserts and DIY beauty treatments, as well. So there are TWO more reasons to love olive oil… way better than one, right?
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
We started the Other Brother Co two years ago. We left our corporate jobs to pursue our love of growing our own food, working outside and, most importantly, spending more time with family.
Why did you decide to start The Other Brother Co?
Quality of life. We both felt it was time to take a leap of faith. The jobs and the people we worked with were awesome, however, we weren’t building something for ourselves and our family. We were traveling a lot and wanted more of a connection to our community. We loved being home with family and working in the orchard. We found that growing our business was more exciting, tangible and more connected to what matters to us.
What’s your current favorite recipe?
Our favorite recipe recently has been a summer squash salad. To make it yourself, slice your squash lengthwise and thinly shave it with a mandolin. Soak the squash in water to release starches (so they don’t stick together), pat dry then plate. Drizzle with Other Brother Templeton Bold Extra Virgin Olive Oil, a squeeze of lemon, a sprinkle of Gunpowder spice and finish with a pinch of salt. Yum.
What does the making process look like for you?
Our making process starts with farming. Olives start as flowers, grow on trees and bloom in May. The flowers are then pollinated and grow into baby olives in June. The olives grow and ripen from June-November. November-December is our harvest. We hand-pick the olives and cold press them into olive oil in a mobile mill that drives to our orchards.
For packaging, we work with a local sign painter to make all the lettering on our labels. We bring him a sketch and the copy, and he paints all the letters on paper. We scan them in ourselves and design the labels accordingly. All of our oils are grown, bottled, designed and hand-labeled by us.
Tell us about the importance of organic and local.
Organic is simple. You are what you eat, so eat healthy food grown by a farmer who cares about not only the crop, but the ecosystem behind it. It’s a delicate balance, and sustainability doesn’t lend itself to profit in dollars. Be a responsible consumer and understand your impact, and if you can, choose to support a responsible farmer. By keeping things local, we support the people around us. Keeping the income within our communities helps everyone succeed together.
What’s one piece of advice you’d share with other makers?
Have a good business partner and a strong community of honest people alongside you. Have things to distract you in your free time… and exercise.
What other creative hobbies do you have?
Woodworking, pottery, cooking and skateboarding — it’s all creative nourishment for the heart and soul.
Tell us how technology has changed and supported what you do.
This year’s drought has been a huge issue for farmers in California. Water is more precious than we imagine. In order to preserve water, we use state-of-the-art water meters on our orchard to figure out how much water each tree is getting daily. We can adjust the amount of water according to the current temperature and what part of the growing cycle it is.
In the sales, distribution and marketing realm, we use digital media to work remotely. We use Instagram to update customers on what we are up to that week. We can also work remotely with online vendors like Brit + Co and be able to ship our products from wherever we are.
What’s the best thing about working with your brother?
We understand each other’s values and can communicate without talking… seriously. We spent years learning how to work with each other, and we respect each other as brothers. We disagree from time to time, but we are working to provide for the same family, and that loyalty ultimately bonds us to this cause.
What’s up next for The Other Brother Co?
We want to continue to make the “good goods.” Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for new fun products that are on the way!
Ready to get cookin’ with The Other Brother Co? The Brit + Co Shop has got the goods!