` Olio2go: Internet Purveyor of Italy’s Finest - Olive Oil Times

Olio2go: Internet Purveyor of Italy’s Finest

Mar. 20, 2014
Vanessa Stasio

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Olio2go founders Jeff Chandler and Donna Morea

For those who have trav­eled to Italy and long to find an olive oil they sam­pled there, oth­ers who hail from Lo Stivale and are miss­ing fla­vors from home, and still oth­ers who sim­ply just love the taste of authen­tic Mediterranean olive oils, Olio2go.com just might become one of your favorite websites.

Husband and wife team Jeff Chandler and Donna Morea founded Olio2go in 2000, when the e‑commerce boom was in full swing. Both had back­grounds in tech­nol­ogy and a pas­sion for Italian olive oil. They opened a small retail loca­tion in Virginia in 2012, but most of their focus remains on the website.

Luanne Savino O’Loughlin, man­ager of Olio2go, explains that the site’s direct-to-con­sumer offer­ing is unlike any other. They focus on hav­ing olive oils from every oil-pro­duc­ing region in Italy along with other arti­sanal prod­ucts. Their inven­tory includes oils from the higher-pro­file, regions like Tuscany, Umbria, and Sicily, among oth­ers, along with areas that are not typ­i­cally known for their olive trees, such as Veneto and Basilicata.

The Olio2go web­site offers about 70 Italian extra vir­gin olive oils.

O’Loughlin empha­sizes the level of care that goes into stor­ing the oils, say­ing that the oils are incred­i­bly well-stored” with con­sid­er­a­tions for tem­per­a­ture, lights and time. At any one time, Olio2go has about 70 olive oils avail­able for sale on the site, accom­pa­nied by infor­ma­tion on the dif­fer­ences in the regions from which these oils come as well as the ways that the olive oils can enhance food.

Despite inher­ent chal­lenges in sourc­ing prod­ucts from cer­tain regions, such as over­com­ing com­mu­ni­ca­tions bar­ri­ers or phys­i­cally access­ing pro­duc­ers, the staff at Olio2go works to ensure that they have rep­re­sen­ta­tion from every region.

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The team at Olio2go began by buy­ing all of their items from other importers, but they have pro­gressed to doing some of their import­ing, which allows them to offer exclu­sive prod­ucts. They aim to show­case Italy’s regional spe­cial­ties, unique pro­duc­ers and harder-to-find prod­ucts. For exam­ple, one of their most pop­u­lar prod­ucts right now is a deca­dent pis­ta­chio spread, Crema di Pistacchio DOP, from the small town of Bronte.

O’Loughlin describes Olio2go’s cus­tomer base as diverse. We have cus­tomers who have recently vis­ited Italy and want to recre­ate those mem­o­ries. Then we have other peo­ple with Italian her­itage who are look­ing for pro­vi­sions that rep­re­sent where their fam­i­lies are from.” She men­tions that they have another con­tin­gency of clien­tele that is well aware of the health ben­e­fits of olive oil. These indi­vid­u­als know that fresh olive oil is best and are inter­ested in the detailed pro­files of the oils, includ­ing infor­ma­tion on acid­ity and polyphe­nol levels.

Luanne Savino O’Loughlin, man­ager of Olio2go

In many ways, O’Loughlin likens the mar­ket­ing of olive oils to that of wine. Brand names often serve as iden­ti­fiers that cus­tomers rec­og­nize and value when mak­ing pur­chas­ing deci­sions. Furthermore, the same care, crafts­man­ship and magic that go into pro­duc­ing wine also apply to olive oil. One can develop and fine-tune his or her palate for olive oils by fre­quently tast­ing the mul­ti­tude of vari­eties from around the world.

Olio2go is focused on expand­ing its web pres­ence in the near future, with pos­si­ble exten­sion of brick-and-mor­tar store oper­a­tions over the longer term. The site receives a con­sid­er­able num­ber of inquiries from cus­tomers world­wide, prompt­ing research into how to poten­tially ser­vice inter­na­tional buy­ers. At the moment, ship­ping is avail­able in the United States and Canada.

Global con­sumer inter­est in olive oil con­tin­ues to pro­lif­er­ate, and vis­i­bil­ity into the nuances of sourc­ing, pro­duc­tion, stor­age and use is also on the rise. During this excit­ing time in the olive oil world, Olio2go will main­tain their com­mit­ment to offer­ing high qual­ity Italian olive oils from a range of pro­duc­ers, includ­ing those lesser-known fam­ily-owned oper­a­tions whose oils may never have been enjoyed in the United States if not for the site.

O’Loughlin hopes cus­tomers under­stand what it takes for small pro­duc­ers to put olive oil in a bot­tle for them. These oils are hand­made, crafted prod­ucts that rep­re­sent fam­ily tra­di­tions and pas­sion that have been passed down across generations.”

She goes on to say that her posi­tion at Olio2go is the most fun job she has ever had. I love help­ing pro­duc­ers, sell­ing a great prod­uct, and serv­ing our cus­tomers. Our olive oils add value to people’s lives; they add fla­vor to meals, fun to the din­ner table, and are healthy too.”

Olio2go’s web­site is olio2go.com. Their store is located at 8400 Hilltop Road, Suite H, Fairfax, Virginia.

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