Big Paw Olive Oil Company Starts Roadside Stand Tastings

Wanting to give customers the opportunity to taste featured olive oils while taking in views of San Benito County, the Big Paw Olive Oil Company will host a roadside stand the first Saturday every month through October.

Big Paw Olive Oil Company kicked off its second roadside stand tasting Saturday, May 5 at their 1275 Santa Ana Valley Road location in Hollister.

Customers can come out to taste at least six featured olive oils for free, while taking in views of San Benito County, on the first Saturday of every month through October.

Though Big Paw Olive Oil Company has been in existence for 25 years, the Saba family purchased the company ten years ago. Tired of the rat race in the Bay Area, Co-Owner Susan Saba said her husband Bryan came home one day and told her, “I bought an olive oil business off of Craigslist.”

Susan credits this decision with creating a higher quality of life for the Saba family and ultimately leading them to relocate their lives and business to Hollister.

“We’re still fairly new to the Hollister area,” said Justine Saba, sales representative and daughter of Susan. “Hollister is a great community. My dad loves being involved in the community. This (the roadside stand) is his way of reaching out.”

Susan also said that part of the decision to start their roadside stand was to allow customers to taste the olive oil before purchasing.

“It is nice to have this up so people can come and taste the olive oil,” Susan said. “They can buy them online, but this way you can taste it. The internet can only go so far.”

Always experimenting with new flavors, Justine said that the Saturday events will have monthly picks available to taste based off of what is popular at the time.

A new flavor created by the Saba family to celebrate moving into the Hollister area is “Hollister Heat.” Made with the addition of cayenne pepper, Justine said the olive oil, “has a spicy kick without burning your mouth.”

People visiting the roadside stand can also ask the family for advice on different ways to pair or use the olive oil.

“[For the balsamic vinegar] make a reduction out of it and drizzle it across pork chops, chicken, or vegetables,” Justine said.

Justine also explained how to enhance traditional dinner rolls using the garlic olive oil to add flavor.

“Take Pillsbury crescent rolls and stretch them out,” she said. “Drizzle a generous amount of garlic olive oil so it can soak it up. Then add some minced garlic on top of that to give it a kick. Next put on parmesan or mozzarella cheese and from there put it in the oven. When you take it out you have one tasty treat.”

With their product currently offered at Fisher’s Restaurant and outdoor farmers markets, the Saba family hopes to increase involvement in the community by creating new relationships in the future with local restaurants and growers.

The family also plans to continue experimenting with new flavors.

“You never know what’s good until you try it,” Justine said.

Though the roadside stand will open up one Saturday a month, the Saba family encourages anyone who is interested in trying the olive oil to reach out to the family.

“People are always welcome to come up anytime,” Susan said.

More information on the Big Paw Olive Oil Company can be found on the company's website or by calling (408) 464-9048.

Becky Bonner

Becky Bonner is a local teacher at San Benito High School who is passionate about sharing things to do in San Benito County.