Moroccan Olive Grove was a dream that grew from a respect and nostalgia for Morocco’s culinary heritage. Olive oil was the anchor that helped the founders stay connected to their Moroccan identity. For Mahdi, a born and raised New Yorker to a father who was a pioneer in the New York food business, the yearly returns to Oujda his family’s ancestral land embody emotional food memories. His grandfather’s farm produced a golden green olive oil that was brought back to the states in emptied coca cola bottles. An irony that filled him with sadness every time the plane took off.
A son to immigrants with 2 homes. The home in the country born in and the one he imagined returning to during every family meal. The mission of MOG informally started when his friends would comment on the exceptional and unique flavor of his smuggled coca cola olive oil. “Why not import and share this awesome product and the story behind it on a larger scale”? The idea sat with him for a long time while his attention remained focused on distributing the products the family business already had.
After coming to terms with the reality that his grandfather’s farm while producing awesome olive oil would not adequately fulfill the demand of his customers, the idea grew into a concept with a bigger goal in mind. Honor the 2,000-year-old sacred and cultural tradition of Moroccan olive oil farming by highlighting the best regional olive oil across the country from farmers big and small in a way that prioritizes sound environmental practices, lifts up community and honors our Moroccan mothers and women who have kept us connected to tradition of hospitality and our culinary heritage. So much gratitude for all of their support.
MOG brings the best Moroccan olive oil to fellow Americans with the hope that sharing the tradition and the story will disrupt “colonial channels” of buying bulk Moroccan olive oil, relabeling it under a different country’s origin and selling it in the US without mentioning the country of origin or the regional farm story. No longer would the often called green nectar be repackaged in coca cola bottles instead it would honor Moroccan women and the region that have kept the tradition alive for millennia with packaging integral to the experience.
In Morocco every city has its color, its terroir and we hope that by sharing the gift that grew from our culinary nostalgia, you too will live happier and healthier with meals that will connect you to a history, a moment, a place and a people.
- Mahdi Jaoui