With Love From Joshua Tree, California

I love sharing products with you that inspire travel and I recently discovered Wonder Valley Olive Oil and couldn’t wait to share! A few months back, I walked into one of my favorite beauty stores in NYC ( Cap Beauty!) and this bottle of olive oil was just sitting on the shelf and to be completely honest, the branding on the bottle was what caught my attention.  Being the annoyingly curious person that I am, I ran home to read all about it and ordered a bottle!  Well, the olive oil was delicious and probably one of the best I’ve tried. It was fresh and so green – and now I can’t wait to keep getting more! So today we are talking to Alison, the Founder (Her husband Jay is also a Founder!) about what inspired her to create the brand and her love for Joshua Tree, California.

What Inspired you to create Wonder Valley Olive Oil?

Prior to starting Wonder Valley, I was the marketing director for the California Olive Oil Council in Berkeley, CA. This non-profit role was about industry advocacy, quality control, collaborations with farmers and chefs and through it, I was tasting weekly with a professional olive oil panel. I absolutely loved the industry and decided to create Wonder Valley Olive Oil.

What is special about California olive oil?

Unlike our European counterparts, California olive oil is a very young industry (under 30 years old). It is untethered to any old-world traditions around what olives to grow and blend together, so there are incredibly unique blends of Tuscan varietals, greek, Spanish, and California mission olives all being pressed and milled in very modern equipment.

Describe Joshua Tree in three words.

Blank canvas, otherworldly, creative community

If we had one day in Joshua Tree, where would you take us for breakfast, coffee, and dinner?

I’d cook breakfast at my home or in my vintage trailer then we’d head down to The Station. The Wonder Valley Oil Shop shares the space with The Station, built and run by our best friends Glen and Steve. They have the best coffee too within their retail space – serving Canyon Coffee. For supper, we’d head either to La Copine for lovingly made local food and great wine menu then head to a beloved local roadhouse, Pappy, and Harriets for a drink and some live music.

How has living in Joshua Tree changed your life?

It’s a different pace of living with a lot fewer distractions. It’s really just condensed what’s important to me: my creative work, cooking beautiful food at home, spending time in nature, and having a close-knit community.

Do you have any advice for young entrepreneurs starting a business?

Create things you are passionate about and hold yourself and your work to the highest possible standards. Create things you are proud of, not what you suppose the market wants or what’s trending.  Create because you have something to say, a vision to follow. Use your intuition as the compass for making decisions. Put blinders up to the criticism and to the praise, as best you can. Do every job yourself, at least in the beginning – bootstrap, be scrappy and relentless – it’s the best way to learn. Hire people better than you at certain tasks, and give them trust and room to grow.

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