The Adams’ have been growing, curing,
and packing gourmet olives for five
generations. The family’s first olives were cured by Alfred Adams
Sr. in the 1880’s.
Alfred Adams Sr. was a preacher in Oak Park, California (later to be
Sunland) who cured and sold olives door to door to subsidize his income.
Alfred Adams Jr. learned the trade as a young boy and helped his father
the business in the Los Angeles area. In 1907 the Sunland Olive Company
incorporated by Alfred Adams Jr. with the help of his three sons: Elmer,
and Alfred III.
The Sunland Cannery grew to over 100
employees by the time the great
depression hit the United States. Early in the twentieth century, the
Company started its’ move out of the growing population of the
Los Angeles area
to the San Joaquin Valley. Curing and canning operations were built
in the towns
of Porterville and Terra Bella where some of the first commercial olive
planted. Fred Adams, the only child of Elmer Adams grew up working with
father, uncles and aunts at the Sunland Olive plant. Fred moved to the
area in 1953 and worked at the Sunland Terra Bella plant. Fred made
his home in
the valley and made olives and farming a great part of his life. In
1968, the Sunland
Company was sold and merged to form Early California Foods. Fred’s
Pat Paterson, ran Early California Foods for 25 years until it was sold
in the early 90’s.
During this period, Fred began curing
and selling olives at Farmers Markets
all over California. Through out the 1970’s and 80’s, Fred
would truck his organic
oranges and bottled olives to Farmers Markets where he would sell them
to the public. Some would say, Fred was one of the founding fathers
of the gourmet
olive business as it is today. He was one of the first to stuff olives
with garlic and
jalapenos. In 1993, Fred’s son David Adams became actively involved
business. Together, they purchased a small competing olive company Smith
and merged the operations under one roof in Lindsay, California.
Today, the Adams’ are on their fifth-generation
of producing gourmet olives.
You can find their olives under several labels including: Adams’,
and their new label, Raw Earth Organics. You will find their olives,
olive oil, veggies
and vinegars at: Farmers Markets, Fairs, Produce Stands, and Gourmet
The Adams’ Estate currently consists
of 55 acres of olives and a curing/bottling
operation in Lindsay California. The olives are of several varieties
Manzanilla, Sivilano, and Mission. The olives are hand-picked or machine-picked
from September through January. This is a very unique operation in that
are picked at several stages of maturity for different cures and processes.
All together their product line has grown
to over 150 items. The Adams’
pride themselves in creating the freshest, highest quality products
are always looking at developing new and exciting edibles. Their newest
Muffuletta, a very popular olive relish in New Orleans. Dave Adams feels
olive relish should be made where olives are grown, not 2000 miles away
Louisiana. Today, sales of this item are looking very promising.