Today we’d like to introduce you to Kerry Thornhill Houston.
The arc of the 1836 Texas Olive Oil Brand is a success story accomplished in just three years. Kerry Thornhill Houston purchased land in 2012 and planted 40 acres of olive trees. In 2014, the olive trees produced their first fruit and the dream became a reality. In 2016, the orchard had its first harvest and the following year, the 1836 Texas Olive Company brand was sold to retail store Bering’s in Houston featured in their gourmet department. Additional retail stores followed, including: We Olive & Wine Bar and Revival Market.
In 2018, 1836 was featured as the exclusive olive oil at the 2018 Truffle Masters culinary showcase and competition. This distinguished honor introduced 1836 to an elite group of chefs and culinary gourmands.
In mid-2018, 1836 was invited to be part of the Williams Sonoma “Local” program featuring vendors with Texas products and became the exclusive Texas olive oil to be featured in Williams Sonoma Texas stores.
By the end of 2019, 1836 was featured in over 20 retail locations across Texas. In addition, 1836 has been adopted by many high-end restaurants in the Houston metro area and continues to participate in Food Shows and Marketplaces across the State.
1836 has been featured in videos and Instagram posts by chefs across the United States, Scotland, Ireland and Canada. This has been a remarkable journey and accomplishment by the 1836 brand in just three years.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
To answer the question of obstacles, one must consider the two elements that have created 1836: farming and the introduction of a new brand to the general market.
Farming olives in Texas has been a challenge as my background includes “no” farming, but determination and the engagement from my local community provided resources, education and support. There is a long list of valued contacts and members of the South Texas community that helped me create and build the olive orchard. Land clearing, high fence installation, water well engineering, electricity and irrigation infrastructure all to support the planting of the trees were challenges. These challenges were met and I was proud to acknowledge all the parties in my YouTube video A Texas Girl’s Olive Orchard.
Introducing a new Texas olive oil to Texas consumers also had challenges. For several years, I discussed my plans for an olive orchard and my desire to produce a Texas olive oil. My friends, contacts and favorite stores were aware of my dreams and in 2017, Bering’s Stores in Houston were the first to carry 1836 in their two locations. This opportunity created a launching pad for my marketing efforts. I spent time introducing 1836 to chefs and retail stores in Houston and the 1836 brand was rewarded with a following and brand ambassadors to carry the message beyond what I could have managed alone.
Williams Sonoma Highland Village in Houston helped cement the 1836 brand as a gourmet item. As 1836 sales grew, the brand was invited to showcase in all Texas stores. Social media has been a resource that continues to support the 1836 brand. With the support of social media influencers and chefs, the 1836 brand reached a wide audience. Orchard photos and dishes featuring 1836 continue to keep the brand current.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
The 1836 brand identity has a distinguished and sophisticated appeal. I would like to thank Angela Morales, Principal at Moticos Studios, for helping create the iconic image of the 1836 Texas Olive Oil brand. Additionally, I would like to thank Texana Olive Ranch for their farming guidance and sharing their resources in support of a fellow olive grower.
- 250 ml sell for $24.99
- 500 ml for $36.99
- Website: www.1836oliveco.com
- Phone: 713-818-5487
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: 1836oliveco
- Facebook: 1836oliveco
- Twitter: 1836oliveco
Kerry Thornhill Houston