We are so excited to introduce you to Grove Provisions, and the man behind the brand - Doug Kilgour. Grove Provisions is based in gorgeous Paso Robles, CA and is truly a family run small business. We absolutely love how he and his daughter, both lifelong foodies, decided to launch the business over a few bottles of wine one night. And how he combined his skills with his daughter's areas of expertise (social media to name one); the pair also incorporated future husband/son in law's graphic design expertise to create the company logo (which we also love)!
Grove Provisions currently stocks pure organic olive oil, infused olive oils, vinegars, pacific-harvested sea salt, and a few other gourmet pantry goods. Read on to learn more about their origin story, what Doug loves about his area of California, and more...
How did you get started? What were your first steps and how did it evolve from there?
I have always been a “food guy” and when we moved to the CA Central Coast from Menlo Park we built a home…and planted some olive trees as part of the landscaping on our 3 acres. With some encouragement from one of our neighbors we hand-harvested the olives and had them pressed into olive oil at a local “frantoia” or olive oil processor. This was my first tasting of fresh, hours old, olive oil and I was shocked at how good it was. I was employed at the time (now retired from big business) but started researching California olive varietals, all and the olive oil “business”, even attending a 2 day olive seminar at UC Davis. At the time my daughter Kate was well on her way to becoming an accomplished cook as well as a social media expert. Over a few bottles of wine one evening we decided to start a company that sourced locally made, artisan olive oil and market it on-line. Then the hard work began: sourcing truly first quality oils; designing a label that was distinctive; procuring bottles; designing a website, and launching our on-line store via the Shopify platform. That was 4 years ago and now we have about 70 brick and mortar retailers and 10 wineries that sell Grove Provisions products, which now includes 4 different extra virgin olive oils, 3 co-pressed flavored oils, 3 vinegars, flake sea salt, a spicy mustard, a artichoke/green olive tapenade, and a hot honey, maybe our most successful product. All from central coast California farmers.
How did you come up with your name?
Grove Provisions is a bit of a double entendre – olives are grown in “groves” and my food mentor, my grandmother Ruth’s maiden name was Grove. It is mostly in honor of her that we came up with the name.
Above: Ruth (Grove) Kilgour, part of the inspiration behind the brand's name.
Tell us about your workspace!
I am pretty much a one-man band. I have a workspace carved out of one of our garages that is specially insulated and with its own heating and cooling. Olive oils are stored in 100 liter “fusti”, which are stainless steel commercial containers from Italy which are the optimum way of storing olive oil to keep it at its freshest – I have 7 of them. I have work tables and am surrounded with cases of glass and packaging materials. I fill each bottle to order, seal and cap, then label – no inventory is sitting on a shelf! Each bottle has a handwritten date that the bottle was filled so the customer always knows that it is fresh and current. Olive oil is a “fresh” product and each year olives are harvested in November and December with the oil pressed within a few hours of harvest. The oil is ready in about 45 days, so each February we have new product. It is a bit of a dance to buy enough of each oil to last the year, but not much more than that. Most California oil processors and marketers strive to have the freshest product, often unlike olive oil from Europe that might be a year old before even hitting the retailers’ shelves. Additionally, our oils are all Certified Organic.
Do you have a favorite review or comment about your products?
When we were concepting the business we wanted to be a bit different in our branding than traditional olive oil brands. My future son-in-law is a graphic artist and he concepted the logo and label design and if there is one constant comment from consumers is how much they like the branding. Each of the labels has a fruit of identifying “icon” that completes the look of each label.
Are there any great local artisans or small businesses that you’re into right now?
I don’t sell to any national brands or grocery stores: each of my retailers is a small, local business and I so enjoy that we are kindred spirits building our businesses but still remaining small and true to ourselves.
Do you have a favorite local restaurant?
I am lucky enough to live in wine country – Paso Robles! We have a vibrant wine-tourism community and have more good restaurants than a small town of our size could ever have, which is wonderful. We have a Michelin star restaurant called Six Test Kitchen which is an immersive experience of food and wine. Similar, Somm’s Kitchen is a 16 seat curved bar that is owned and operated by a top level sommelier named Ian Adamo. He pairs an ever changing 7-course tasting menu with interesting and rare domestic and international wines and French champagnes. Julien Asseo was the executive chef at Guy Savoie in Las Vegas before returning to his roots here in Paso in 2020 to start a wonderful French bistro called Les Petites Canailles. Julien’s father founded the stellar winery, L’Aventure here in Paso Robles.
Check out Six Test Kitchen on Instagram (pictured above)
Check out Las Petites Canailles on Instagram
Check out L'Adventure Winery on Instagram
You live and work in Paso Robles, CA: do you have any favorite place to enjoy the beauty of your area?
Paso Robles is only 25 miles from the coast and highway 1 to Big Sur – magical drive.
Big Sur, CA
What's your favorite thing about California?
Where to start?! Climate; food and farms; wine; the Pacific; San Francisco; Santa Monica; Yosemite.
Yosemite National Park, California
If you enjoyed this blog, check out some of the other artisan profiles we've done in the past: