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THINGS WE LOVE

Interview: Katrien & Francesco Bizotto

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Oro de Pòe: Olio Extravergine di Oliva

My name is Katrien Bizzotto, and I’m an olive oil entrepreneur from Pove del Grappa, Italy.

 Q: What do you love most about your job?

I love the entire process, from cultivation to bottling and selling. In particular, I take pride in creating an exceptional product that provides a connection between our terrain and our world here in Toronto. I love the fact that we can bottle a delicious little piece of home and share it with our friends and customers.

Q: What are the steps involved in making Oro de Pòe Olio Extravergine di Oliva?

Many steps are involved in olive oil cultivation, but the main one is the harvest, which happens every year in the fall. We hand pick all of our olives, the process is extensive and meticulous. Next, the olives are cleaned and ground into a paste. The next stage is “malaxing” or mixing the paste. After this, the oil is separated from the solids and vegetable water. The oil is stored in stainless steel containers for the sediments to sink and is then bottled and labelled. 

Q: How did your product get its name?

The name Oro de Pòe comes from “Pòe”, which is the local dialect name of the village Pove del Grappa, a region dedicated to the growth of olive trees since Roman times. “Oro” refers to the golden color of our precious product. Our Estate Gentile is located in one of the most northern locations in Europe where olive trees grow and bear fruit. The territory of Pove del Grappa is located in a natural, shell shaped valley at the foot of the Grappa mountain, and is known for its mild, well ventilated climatic conditions, which create a relatively dry environment. Due to these ideal climate conditions for olive tree growth, the region is known as the Olive Basin. All of these factors come together to produce a very delicate olive oil that elevates the flavour of any ingredient it accompanies. Not to mention, Oro de Pòe is about as pure as they come, and pure olive oil is a notoriously great health booster.

Q: What’s your product’s story?

Our oil is the result of a love story.

In the early 1960’s, Cavalier Gentile Bizzotto chose a new seat for his textile factory in Pove del Grappa, a village in the Vicenza province, known for its particular mild microclimate at the foothills of the Dolomites. He also chose this particular piece of land because it housed an olive orchard with century-old olive trees, some over 300 years old. He immediately planted 200 more trees in honour of the birth of his youngest son, Francesco. As new parents, they felt it was a good omen to dedicate plants known for their longevity to their children.

In the early 1990’s, Francesco took over caring for the olive yard, and became even more passionate about the olive oil culture than his father before him. Having just become a father himself, he and his wife Katrien (that’s me!) decided to continue the tradition, planting 250 more trees at the birth of each of their children, Amedeo in 2001, Maria Elisa in 2004, and Pierpaolo in 2008. To them, this represented an invitation for each of their children to uphold the family tradition and remain connected with their roots, family history and territory. These concepts are well represented by an olive tree, and especially important to our family since we moved to Toronto.

Oro de Pòe is not only a wonderful oil, but also a concentration of human feelings: tradition, parental love and gratitude. We have invested wholeheartedly in this project to connect with the richness this region and product has to offer, and to emphasize a sense of belonging to our family, something that can be easily lost when moving away from your roots.

Q: If you could pick 3 words to describe this product, what would they be?

Delicate, exquisite and healthy.

Q: Why have you chosen to partner with Pusateri’s?

Pusateri’s has always been one of our favourite places to shop, as they are one of the only grocery stores that places emphasis and value on premium products with a rich background and history. We have discovered many household favourites here ourselves, and enjoy learning about each unique product, often made by family businesses like ours from all over the world who take pride in their product and its quality. As such, to have our own product sold here feels like a natural fit on both ends. We want our special olive oil, so rich in quality and heritage, sold to clientele that will appreciate it, and Pusateri’s wants to sell premium quality products from proud and reliable vendors offering a product that is consistently excellent.

 

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