Once Upon an Olive Press

As a child, listening to stories about my grandfather was my favourite pastime. He was a true forward thinker who valued hard work.

A quintessential businessman, real estate investments, including land acquisitions for development, were some of his most celebrated endeavors. For it was on these plots, which he later transformed into olive farms, that the family would gather. Every week, my siblings, cousins and friends would meet in one of the Bedouin tents pitched on the land, eat freshly-baked taboun bread and listen to how he would supervise the farming of the crops that would then be used to produce olive oil. Back then, there were hardly any presses and farmers had to send their olives to neighbouring countries for pressing. Which is why, in 1960, he made the journey to Italy where he purchased a state-of-the-art olive press and shipped it back home. I was later told that he passed away in 1968, before the first batch was produced.

The fields lived on, beautiful and glorious. Their colours, scents and sounds are what inspired me to paint, to practice yoga and to create. To this day gazing at them fills me with peace and hope.

Being half Swedish on my mother’s side, I grew up with a strong work ethic; if I wasn’t busy doing something, I was busy planning something. I fervently wanted our olive oil legacy to start a new chapter…

And it did, beginning with a simple bar of organic soap.