Calivirgin Olive Oil

Lodi, California

Calivirgin Olive Oil

Lodi, California

A Family Affair 

The Coldani family has farmed in Lodi, California for more than a hundred years, raising cattle and row crops before moving to olive production in 2005—a change driven by a shift in the market. 

“We had this ground that we were earmarking to plant a vineyard, and the market for wine was in a downturn at that time,” Steve Coldani said. “Then we got wind of this super high-density olive planting that was occurring, and it came into the United States.”  

From there, the Coldani family went all-in on olive oil, forming Calivirgin, a brand producing high-quality olive oil sold directly to consumers. This model has helped the family to evolve the business, keeping them more connected to their customers. 

A New Experience for Customers 

Calivirgin’s success created an appetite for consumers to experience the product on-site. The family recently opened a state-of-the-art wine and olive oil tasting room, where guests can sip and sample the brand’s many flavored varieties. The building may be new, but the team notes they kicked around the idea for years. 

“How we got here was a kind of a winding road, but this is really a version of what we had in our minds many years ago,” said Gina Sans, Calivirgin's Chief Executive Officer. “We learned a lot along that road, but it’s still the general concept of what we were hoping for it to be ten years ago.” 

Forward Thinking Approach 

A visionary ag producer often benefits from a visionary lender, and American AgCredit’s forward-thinking approach made for an ideal partner in helping to bring the Coldani family’s vision to life.  

“What works really well is the transparency and the open partnership that we have with one another,” said Marc Busalacchi, a Head of Regional Banking at American AgCredit. “They’re creating a differentiator to the product, and they’re really proud of their agricultural roots, which is at the core of what we do and our mission.” 

While the Coldani’s have enjoyed success creating a modern experience for olive oil consumers, the timeless strength of family is largely to thank for where they are today. 

“We were all kind of doing other businesses and working in other areas,” Julie Coldani said. “Once we ended up changing to this model, we came together as a family. Now we work together every day, and that’s a big blessing.” 

This article was originally published by American AgCredit.