“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” -Eleanor Roosevelt.
I am a sucker for a good story. And as I’m currently on Spring Break in sunny Arizona, I’ve had plenty of time to be introspective. This is one of those feel good stories that I just couldn’t help passing on to you. This is the story of the Queen Creek Olive Mill, and why you NEED to visit on your next trip to the Phoenix area!
Let me just start by saying, our blog has a partnership with Queen Creek Olive Mill, but I will also tell you that we used their products long before our partnership formed AND long before I knew the story behind the Olive Mill. We truly believe in this family owned business and think you should check it out!
But first the story-
Perry and Brenda Rea are visionaries.
They vacationed in the Valley of the Sun (Phoenix, Arizona) and realized that olives grow well in the arid soil. They decided to move to Arizona to make olive oil and what an AMAZING decision that was.
Let me also take a minute to say, Perry and Brenda were living in Detroit and in the automotive business at the time of this life-altering vacation. They also had four small children (with one on the way). I don’t know about you, but as a mom of young kids and an equal provider to our small family (much smaller than the Rea family), I CANNOT imagine the guts it took to move the entire family across the country to pursue this dream. But gutsy they were. And those guts paid off in spades.
The Rea family bought land in the township of Queen Creek, Arizona, right outside of Phoenix. The Queen Creek Olive Mill was born.
You’ve heard of “If you build it, they will come.”? Well, this was the case for Queen Creek Olive Mill. Perry and Brenda Rea started making olive oil, and everyone else came. (Including awards. See, you don’t have to trust me, the experts have spoken!)
Queen Creek Olive Mill is now a full blown Agri-Tourism site. They give tours, host events, have a restaurant complete with their own garden, partner with other local brands (Hayden Flour Mills, anyone?) and sell their olive oil, fresh pressed on-site, from their beautiful olive groves in Queen Creek, Arizona. Trust me-this is lucky for us!
The Rea family believes in knowing your farmer, sustainable farming practices, and using local produce whenever possible. Did I mention they even have their own garden (which they are in the process of expanding)? This is a business we can get behind whole-heartedly!
The best part? It’s a family business. Many of those Rea kids that came to Arizona as toddlers are all grown up and now help to run the Queen Creek Olive Mill. And they still do Sunday dinner together. And we all know, those who cook together stay together.
If you are looking for a family business to support, this one is the perfect choice.
When you visit, spend time wandering around the shop. You will be amazed at the ideas you will come up with. Between the olive oils, stuffed olives and olive spreads it’s hard to decide which is my favorite.
And it’s not just olives. They also have a Spanish Fly Dirty Martini Mix, plenty of balsamic vinegars and cremas, baked goods and even an Olive Spa line. There is something for everyone. Buy a bottle of wine (they even have a free chiller) and something from the Grove to Gourmet case to snack on and sit out on the lovely patio. Or order a full lunch and eat it among the olive trees.
Going early? Never fear-they even have specialties coffees available.
PS: Don’t miss out on the Mexican Olive Oil Cupcake (although if they are out, the Blood Orange Olive Oil Cupcake is pretty divine as well).
Just goes to show, good things happen to people who dream big!
I am so inspired by those who can create! For further #WithTwoSpoons creations-SUBSCRIBE to the blog. Those 2 emails a week will give you first access to all of our recipes and posts!
For other friends who have followed their dreams to create amazing things check out these sites: