The Challenges and Triumphs of Taking Over an Olive Farm in California

The brand, formerly known as Pitchouline, earned a Silver Award at the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition for its medium-intensity organic blend."Fabien always entered the competition, so I entered to continue his tradition," Tim Bui told Olive Oil Times.

“I saw the opportunity to buy 50 hectares of land that Fabien was already growing olives and producing oil on, and it was a great opportunity to get into the olive business,” he said. “I checked out the land and fell in love with it even though I didn’t know much about agriculture.”

Bui is now working to incorporate Pura Grove into his larger company, Pura d’Or, which sells organic supplements and personal care products for skin and hair.

While olive oil has been used for hair, beauty and skincare purposes for millennia, Bui said a consistent problem he faced at Pura d’Or was knowing the provenance and milling methods of the bulk olive oil he imported from Europe.

Bui now uses roughly 10 percent of his production in his skin and hair care products, while he bottles and sells the remaining 90 percent under the Pura Grove brand.

Bui hired additional farm workers and a consultant to help him learn more about olive farming and oil production. Still, he said olive farming is not easy and continues to face a steep learning curve.

“Farming, in general, is a lot of hard work,” Bui added. “It’s a lot of manual labor that you have to put into the process just get one bottle of oil.”

“I think olive oil production, in general, is very challenging in all of California,” he said. “We’re facing stiff competition from overseas.”