Established in 1894 by C.C. Graber, the Graber Olive House has a reputation for its delicious olives. But what you may not know is it’s also Ontario’s oldest existing business! Now operated by the fourth generation of Grabers, the family-owned business still cans their succulent olives using the same methods and equipment that was used on day one.
Being in business for over 100 years begs the question, “what’s the secret to Graber Olives’ success?” For this month’s Client Spotlight, we sat down with Kelsey Graber to learn more about Graber Olive House and how they’ve stayed relevant for 126 years and counting.
When Life Gives You Olives
Unsurprisingly, Graber Olive House is best known for… their olives! Following their own unique process, the Graber team allows their olives to mature on the trees to a cherry-red color which denotes tree-ripeness.
Once ready, harvesters hand-pick the olives and then hand-sort and grade them at the Graber Olive House in Ontario. Next, the Graber team cures the olives in covered vats using a special family recipe. The result? A deliciously succulent, buttery olive that is mild, not at all bitter, and easy to enjoy.
SDP’s own Partner Success Manager Jeanne Huynh, an Ontario native, shares,
These olives are not your typical olive like on a pizza or in an antipasto–they are very good!
But the magic doesn’t stop there. Graber Olives also boasts award-winning extra virgin, unfiltered olive oil produced from the Graber Groves.
Additionally, the business serves its loyal clientele via two walk-in gift shops, an online store, and on-site cannery. The beautiful rustic two-acre property also hosts weddings and other special events.
Lessons From Graber’s Leadership
Since joining the Graber Olive House team in 2009, Graber has worked her way up from a seasonal gift-wrapping part-time job to her current role as a member of the senior management team.
Under the tutorship of the generation before her, she’s learned the importance of building relationships with your clientele. Little things like welcoming customers when they walk in the door, remembering names, staying front-of-mind via email newsletters, and interacting on social media can go a long way in cultivating a repeat-customer.
Next, Graber explains how diversification has been integral to Graber Olive House’s success. As a seasonal business, drawing from a number of revenue streams has allowed the business to flourish even during their off-season.
Finally, being involved in the business decisions as part of the management team has taught Graber a lot about when and how to expand. While it’s important to have a clear understanding of your business’ identity, it’s equally important to be able to make the tough decisions needed to continue to grow and expand.
And these lessons have paid off. Today, dozens of wine competitions across the United States feature Graber olives as a palate cleanser at their events. The Augusta National Golf Club also serves them as a delicacy at their annual Masters Tournament.
And while compliments from happy customers are the norm, Graber Olive House has also received public praise from their more high-profile clientele. Notably, Jimmy Fallon recently featured them on the “Tonight Show” when he showed off one of the Graber Olive gift boxes. He explained, “My wife loves these olives,” with Nancy Fallon calling them “the best olives in the world!”
Working With SDP
A client of Southland Data Processing’s for just over a year now, Graber loves that the SDP team is always just a call away. She knows that she can rest easy knowing support is fast, helpful, and kind.
Having previously used a platform that was much more difficult to navigate, she finds SDP Connect to be very user friendly and easy to use. And when it comes to receiving support, she knows she won’t have to wait a week to hear back. All she has to do is call to receive help immediately. She shares,
I’m very happy and very pleased with SDP’s services over the past year, and I’d definitely recommend them!
Get Your Olive Fix
In response to COVID-19, Graber Olives’ two gift shops are temporarily closed. However, that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your olive fix! Head over to their online store to try a taste of Graber today.
Our personal recommendations? The Graber Olives are an absolute must to try. Also, the Graber Olive Oil is extra virgin, cold-pressed, and freshly bottled from the Graber Groves. It’s perfect for cooking, baking, and is so delicious!
SDP Client Spotlights: Celebrating Our Clients
Every month, we highlight one of our amazing clients with the SDP Client Spotlight. Here at Southland Data Processing, we’re in the people business and strive to always put our clients first. So if you or your organization is interested in becoming our next Client Spotlight, please contact us at [email protected] and we’d love to hear your story!
Photo by Graber Olive House