e began this journey in a tiny shop downtown Gig Harbor
in the spring of 1994. Opened under the
, we were a largely seasonal tourist business, whose
customer base ebbed and flowed like the tide through the marina, peaking in the
summer months and virtually disappearing in the winter. We operated as a bakery/soft pretzel/ice
cream/espresso shop, offering all manner of goodies to the strolling visitors
in the harbor.
During our three years in that location, we continually
added new dimensions to our products, focusing more and more on unique baked
goods, treats, and our own family-recipe Pumpkin Walnut Bread, which rapidly
became our most requested item.
After losing that location due to the sale of the building,
we reopened on the Key Peninsula with a new brand and new focus; A
Taste of Eden opened its doors in October of 1998 as a full-scale
bakery, and right away we jumped full-on into local farmer’s markets, including
and downtown Tacoma. Our popular Pumpkin bread became the
launching point for our now-famous Sweet Breads, a seasonal line we still
produce to this day which now encompasses more than 120 unique flavors. These breads, along with fresh cinnamon
rolls, scones, flaky pastries, cookies, biscotti, artisan breads and more we
sold weekly at markets throughout the northwest, as well as at upwards of 200
coffee shops and over three dozen small groceries.
Over the years, we have continually evolved to meet the
needs of our customers. Through the
farmer’s markets we have made connection with many of the local growers in the
state, which allowed us to begin creating fantastic jams, jellies and fruit
butters, as well as fancy infused herbal vinegars and oils. We further diversified in 2004 with the
creation of our hand-glazed caramel corn line, which just last year was
re-branded under the name Popcorn Junction, featuring historic
trains and trivia on each decadent bag.
We left the greater Peninsula region in 2006, needing more
space than was affordably available and attempting to avoid the nightmare that
was the construction of the second Tacoma
Narrows bridge. We settled in the quiet community of
Chehalis, where we operate both a small retail store and a 6000-square-foot
kitchen facility, allowing us to expand even more our selection of products.
Today, as we celebrate 20 years of success, we are in the
midst of yet another phase of our evolution.
Several years ago, through some of the amazing contacts we have been
blessed to make over time, we were able to begin purchasing true, smooth
Balsamic vinegar from Modena, Italy, that has been aged for 18 to 20
years. This amazing condiment is unlike
virtually anything on the supermarket shelf, and has enabled us to create a
fantastic line of fruit and spice infused Balsamics, which are perfect for
dressing, marinating, and flavoring nearly any dish. This is not simply flavored vinegar – it is
smooth, sweet, and bursting with flavor, with ZERO added sugars or
preservatives, allowing us to craft ingredients that fit nearly any lifestyle
or dietary restriction with a quality unheard of in the US.
From top to bottom, we designed our Olive Branch product line
to be completely clean label, featuring only ingredients from the best
producers around the world; every
ingredient we use is either certified organic, fair-trade, or from a source
(like our Balsamic) that has been producing the same quality product for over
1000 years. In fact, we currently use no
products from China or Mexico, simply
to preserve the purity and quality of our ingredients.
We pair this beautiful Balsamic with the finest cold-pressed
extra virgin olive oil you can find.
Fresh-pressed at the centuries-old groves on the shores of the
Andalulcia region of southern Spain,
this pure first-press olive oil literally melts in your mouth like butter,
smooth and subtle, with the inherent quality of absorbing nearly any flavor we
pair with it. Therefore, we slow roast
organic herbs, spices, or fresh citrus with this oil to create dozens of
flavors of infused extra virgin olive oils for cooking, dipping, marinating and
Along the way, we have been always listening to our
customers. In addition to our neighbors
here in the northwest wanting to buy from local companies, we are also very
aware of the purity of our food and many of us have specific dietary
restrictions, allergies, or simply things we try to avoid in what we eat. To that end, we structured our entire Olive
Branch catalog to be:
* Gluten-Free * Soy-Free * Salt-Free * MSG-Free * Preservative-Free *
* All-Natural * GMO-Free * Dairy-Free * Vegan * No Refined Sweeteners *
This product line has truly opened doors like nothing else,
and we have rapidly built a huge customer base across Washington,
Oregon and Idaho and even into other parts of the
country. We now sell these beautiful “lifestyle”
foods at over a dozen farmer’s markets, many fine art festivals such as the
Anacortes Art Festival and Salmon Days, as well as daily through our website
and our store in Chehalis.
Additionally, we officially returned to our roots this February,
opening the first of what we hope to be several full-service Olive
Branch brand stores…right in Uptown
Gig Harbor! This specialty store features all of our
delightful natural products, along with many other complementary items, from
flavored sea salts to local honey, tapenades, candied nuts & spreads, and a
spectacular selection of fine Washington
wines. We hope to open several more
stores over the upcoming years, upholding the tradition of excellence we have
always aspired to, while providing the best selection of healthy, natural
products to our friends and neighbors around the northwest. After all these years and with the many
twists and turns in this journey, Gig
Harbor was the perfect
place to once again begin an exciting new chapter in a story we dearly love.
Yes, after 20 years, it feels very good to be home.