Meet A Local Monday | Brie + Michelle
Mother + Daughter team Michelle + Brie founded Olivelle in order to share world-class olive oils with home cooks across the country. From their quaint shop in Bozeman, Montana, they have grown their business from the ground up. Olivelle produces a variety of stand-out, inspiring and palate-challenging flavor profiles that enhance any chefs kitchen. We were excited for the opportunity to interview this powerful duo for our latest Meet A Local Monday!
Michelle Schaeffer & Brie Thompson
Company Launch (Year):
What Inspired You To Start Your Company?
We grew up in the kitchen and around food. My mom loved perfecting recipes while adding her own creative touches. After graduating from college, my mom presented the idea of opening our own retail shop and I jumped at the opportunity. Once I was 'in the food business' I realized I had found something that was truely exciting and inspiring. When you see how thrilled customers get from tasting or using your products it is hard not to want to put all of your energy and efforts towards continued growth.
Tell us about your products.
We work with the highest quality extra virgin olive oils, balsamic vinegars, herbs, and sea salts to create flavor masterpieces. Realizing that not everybody in the world is culinary trained, we strive to create the great tasting products that can appeal the everyday home cook while still having the highest quality standards that is expected by the professional. Our goal is to get people excited about being in the kitchen and our products are a great way to keep food simple and healthy while adding lots of flavor.
What Does “Artisan” Mean To You?
Artisan means crafting tasty, all-natural goods the way the artisans used to, using traditional methods with the highest quality ingredients available.
What is your favorite artisanal treat?
I love cheese and there is nothing better than fresh Buratta spread of a good crusty piece of bread, drizzled with a green grassy olive oil, and finished with a sprinkle of Murray River sea salt. When I am feeling less indulgent I can't help but love a pan full of veggies roasted with a drizzle of Caramelized Garlic EVOO and sprinkle of Chili Verde Sea Salt....crave-able and healthy!
Where Does Your Food Inspiration Come From?
I love flipping through magazines and using images as inspiration to create something new. I don't usually follow the recipes so it doesn't always turn out great but it is always fun!
What Products Are You Working On Now?
We are just launching a new Salt Sampler, Garden Tasting Collection, & Orchard Tasting Collection. Sorry top secret....stay tuned to find out!
Do You Have a Favorite Product?
Our Caramelized Garlic EVOO is my absolute favorite for adding flavor to so many things I struggle in the kitchen every time I run out.
Latest Ingredient Obsession?
Pecans, I want them on and in everything!
What Did You Have For Dinner Last Night?
A meat & cheese board with my hubby. It is so basic but that is our "date dinner" at home. After the kiddos go to bed we slice up a variety of meats and cheeses, toast up some nuts, slice an apple, dollop on the mustard, and pour a glass of wine.
What Person, Living Or Dead, Would You Most Like To Have Try Your Product?
I would love either Martha Stewart or Oprah to try my products and not because they are experts in what's great but because they are two strong women who have created their own success. I admire what each of these women have done and the respect they carry with so many followers.
What’s The Best Piece Of Advice You’ve Gotten In Building Your Business? What Advice Would You Give Other Artisans?
If you show care, excitement, and passion for what you are doing while giving great customer service others want to be a part of what you are doing and everything else will naturally fall into place.
What Other Local Food Artisans or Chefs Do You Admire?
I am so admirable of Robin Bequet! She makes the most amazing caramel, wins the top awards year after year, has grown at an amazing rate, and is genuinely nice on top of it all.
If You Had To Choose Your Last Meal, What Would It Be?
I love pasta!!! Handcrafted pasta tossed with a roasted veggies and a light white wine garlic cream sauce.
Favorite Restaurant or Food Experience?
I am from Montana and have mostly grown up on everyday american type foods so when I was in New York a few years ago and a friend took me to a fancy french restaurant with very grotesque sounding menu offerings I was a bit taken back. I decided I was going to get out of my comfort zone and ordered the items that scared me the most! To this day I still really don't know what I ate but I know it was so fabulous I will never prejudge a menu again.
What’s Do You Enjoy Doing Outside of the Kitchen?
I love to play with my kiddos, relax on the patio with my husband, garden, and work. I know the last one sounds weird but I guess that is why I got into a business based around food...I truely love what I do every single day!
What’s Your Favorite Kitchen Soundtrack?
If I am alone I love listening to Carla Bruni or Nora Jones but If I am cooking with others I tend to play Pandora's station '80's throwback, 90's comeback because it plays a great mix of music that everyone seems to know and enjoy.