Over four generations, the Theros family has maintained exquisite olive groves in the Messinian region of Greece. From one branch of the family tree to the next, the Theros groves have produced superior harvests through meticulous care and handling in the old world tradition.
Our extra virgin olive oil is never diluted or commingled with inferior oils. And it is always fresh – we deliver only current-season product to our customers.
Our product is never touched by outside hands – every facet of our production, from caring for our trees to shipping our oil to you, is handled by our family.
As many of our customers have noted, the first time you try our oil, the difference in aroma, appearance, and taste is striking. This is what the experience of true olive oil can and should be.
Theros Olive Oil has been an integral part of life in a small part of southern Greece for generations. The superior Koroneiki olives that produce it were taken from our family’s trees in Messinia, in the Peloponnese – Greece’s most productive region for olive groves.
No country boasts a higher proportion of Extra Virgin production than Greece. Many consumers are not aware that oil from other regions such as Italy and Spain lag significantly behind.
And, as Greeks know, the Messinian region yields the best of the best. In fact, the name says it all: Literally translated, Messinia means “The Mother of Olive.” The ancient Greeks bestowed the name due to the area’s geographic location and local weather conditions: Its dry rocky soil and ocean breezes make Messinia a perfect location for the world’s best Koroneiki olives to flourish.
To be identified as “Extra Virgin,” an olive oil must have an acidity ratio below 0.8%. Theros Olive Oil not only meets this standard, but greatly exceeds it, always carrying an acidity of 0.4% or lower – up to half that of other common retail brands.
Why is low acidity important? In a word: Purity. Higher acidity is the result of subpar oil, or commingling with impure product, chemicals or preservatives. Theros Olive Oil never employs such practices. This is 100% pure, unblended, beyond-Extra-Virgin oil. Try it and the difference will be immediately apparent.
It’s one thing to discuss acidity and purity in the abstract. It’s another to actually see it with your own eyes.
During a weekend visit to the grocery store, we picked up a bottle of very common (and, unfortunately, very popular) oil. The following photo, completely unedited, compares Theros Olive Oil on the left to this so-called “extra virgin” store-bought oil on the right.
The comparison hardly requires an explanation. Note the remarkable differences in color and texture. Even in this simple photo, one can see how watery and thin the store-bought oil is. It is NOT extra virgin (despite the false labeling), and it IS diluted.
The unfortunate reality is that most American consumers don’t know what they’re missing. But as we have heard from many of our customers through the years, with the first taste of Theros Olive Oil comes a new appreciation.
Controversy has erupted in recent years as the subpar quality of many so-called “Extra Virgin” oils has been exposed. Media outlets including the New York Times and The Guardian have run investigative pieces turning up widespread fraud, adulteration, and outright fake oil on US store shelves. Time Magazine has called it “a scandal,” and noted expert Tom Mueller has written a book on the subject that currently sits at 4.5 stars on Amazon.
It’s a multi-faceted problem, involving everything from lax importing and labeling standards, to chicanery on the part of producers, to understandable confusion amongst everyday consumers.
The simple fact is, most oils on US store shelves are not truly Extra Virgin; many are diluted, processed, or presented as coming from different origins than they actually have. When lab tested, such brands fail to meet the low-acidity standard required to be considered Extra Virgin.
A watershed moment occurred in 2010 when a UC Davis study found that 69% of imported olive oils labeled as “Extra Virgin” failed to meet the standards for that classification.
In our way, we’re out to tip the scales back in the direction of quality. We know through the experiences of our customers that Theros Olive Oil can actually change your perception of what olive oil can and should be.
Stella Godwin is the owner of Healthy Harvest Natural Foods store, and one of our retail customers. As she says, “When I first tasted Theros Olive Oil, I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment. I said, now I know what olive oil is supposed to taste like. Theros is an olive oil game-changer for us.”
Ours is a family endeavor. Nearly 20 years ago, we began bringing back small quantities of oil for family and friends. It never lasted long. So, initially as a result of popular demand from our loved ones, this small, family-owned business was born.
And yet, it is remarkable to consider that the oil you enjoy today comes from the same groves that previous generations have cared for and cultivated. This is naturally-pressed oil, the way it has been enjoyed by Greeks for centuries.
Know this: When you purchase our oil, you are truly enjoying the very same oil that Greeks themselves enjoy, and that our family uses at home.
Harvest. Cold-pressing. Bottling. You have just been briefed on the entirety of our business process.
But how and when does the process happen?
Each fall, our family in Messinia, Greece undertakes an annual tradition: The harvesting of 15+ acres of centuries-old olive groves. Within these groves are the very trees that previous generations planted, cultivated and picked. Our oil comes from over 800 trees, many of which are over 300 years old.
Our harvesting is done entirely by hand, with electric rakes as the only form of technology (no kidding). The olives are taken directly to be crushed using the first cold press method – an all-natural process that uses only pressure to produce a higher-quality, lower-acidity oil. From there, the oil is shipped and bottled without any form of blending or diluting.
If this sounds simple and pure, that’s because it is. We harvest the best olives in the world, crush them, bottle the oil, and offer it directly to you. No pesticides, no preservatives, no commingling, no processing, no middlemen and no corporate intervention. Just the world’s finest olive oil in your home, directly from our family, remarkably soon after the olives from which it came were growing in the South of Greece.