Roman Holiday

Wellspent is headed to Italy to secure the bag (full of olive oil!). That’s right, for the first time since the world turned upside down, we’re heading to Europe for some quality time with our trusted producers. The foursome - Jim & Judith, Noah & Kate - will travel from Florence to Sicily meeting with the folks who’ve been supplying us with olive oil for decades, all the while looking for new sources of high quality, affordable extra virgin olive oil to bring home. Justifying frequent trips to Italy was one of Jim’s primary reasons for starting this company, and he and Noah are taking full advantage: in addition to olive oil, they’ll be looking for all manner of tasty treats for the Wellspent shelves, including tinned fish, pasta, and fruit and vegetable preserves. Needless to say, we’re excited to taste what they find!

First Stop: Florence! Most people come for the Ponte Vecchio, the Uffizi or Michelangelo’s David, but not us! We’re here to visit the Nenna family’s agriturismo in Casciana Terme, where they produce Novo Frantoio.

Second Stop: We’re off to Umbria to visit Marco and Paolo Bettini! The Bettini family has been producing estate-grown extra virgin olive oil for half a century, and we’ve been importing it to Oregon for over 20 years!

Third Stop: Abruzzo, here we come! We’ll meet with Gaetano Carboni, who heads up operations at Pollinaria, a unique hybrid of artist’s residency, research institute, and organic farm. In addition to olive oil, they produce pasta made from heirloom Italian wheat varieties.

Fourth Stop: Roman holiday! A quick visit to everyone’s favorite ancient city to eat, drink, and take in the sights before we fly to Palermo to pick up the oil trail in Sicily!

Fifth Stop: We’re back on the road of liquid gold! From Palermo, we’ll drive to Sciacca to meet up with our “Sicillian Connection,” aka Giambattista Riolo. Giambattista helps us with logistics on the Italian side of our import operations, and together we’ll visit the cooperative that supplies us with Madre Terra.

Sixth Stop: For the last leg of our trip, we’ll hang in Sicily with Giambattista for a few days to visit other food producers, including the folks who grow our salt packed capers, some potential new tinned fish and pasta vendors, and (of course) meet with several new-to-us olive oil producers. We’ll be sad to say arrivederci to Italy, but we’re excited to share our finds with all of you back home!

On the Road

Jim and Noah sent us a bunch of pictures from Italy, where they’ve been on a non-stop sprint of olive oil tasting, eating, spritz drinking, cappuccino ordering, sight-seeing, and more olive oil tasting!

Novo Frantoio

Casciana Terme

Jim, Judith, Noah and Kate are in Tuscany visiting the Nenna family at Novo Frantoio. Daughter Sabina runs things these days, managing the family's on-site agriturismo as well as the organic, 200 year old olive grove. Her father Giuseppe started farming this land over 30 years ago, building the family's first olive press himself. Sabina welcomed our travel-weary gang with a home cooked meal in the agriturismo's restaurant, and the fearsome foursome will spend the next few days with the family touring the groves and basking in the Tuscan sunshine before heading off to Umbria. Buon viaggio!!

Day Trip!

Florence & Pisa

Where in the world are Jim & Noah now?! After getting their bearings in Florence, our gang visited the agricultural markets in Livorno before soaking up the sights in Pisa. Always nice to stretch the legs, especially when the next stop is 300km away! Off to Umbria to visit Marco Bettini



Jim, Noah, Judith & Kate are visiting the legendary Marco Bettini who, besides making some of the best EVOO in the world, is a cardiologist by day & also an avid (checks notes) canyoneer?! He and his brother Paolo were some of the first folks in Umbria to advocate for an earlier olive harvest, which in turn yields a more flavorful oil, and the local industry literally hasn’t been the same since. Che fico!!


Loreto Aprutino

Jim, Noah and the gang visited Gaetano Carboni at Pollinaria, an organic farm that grows heirloom wheat and hosts artists in residence in addition to producing some of our favorite EVOO. ⁠

After touring the centuries-old farm and mill (the oldest bits date to the 15th century!) they visited the Loreto Aprutino Museo dell’Olio, a museum dedicated to preserving the area’s rich history as a center of olive oil production founded by Gaetano’s ancestors and featuring some of the oldest olive mill machinery in Italy!

Day Trip!


No trip to Palermo is complete without a (checks notes) SPLEEN SANDWICH?! A fondly remembered delicacy from Jim and Judith’s first trip to the area, it goes to show what kind of deliciousness you can get into when you don’t really speak the language. Well sated, the crew hits the open air market to take in the sights.

Madre Terra


A cooperative comprising over 300 families, Madre Terra is the largest of all of our Italian evoo producers. Located near Sicily's southern coast, the award-winning cooperative got started in 1944 and now sells olive oil to chefs around the world. Jim, Judith, Noah and Kate got to tour the state-of-the-art facility (they convert any waste into biofuel), see the scenic groves, and meet with the team that operates the mill.

Day Trip!

Trapani & Beyond

After squeezing into the smallest car in Italy (just kidding, they got a slightly less small car), the gang set out to tour the famous salt flats of Trapani. Along the way, they made sure to make a serious carb stop to grab some “roadside pasta” in Guarrato and stretching their legs among the ruins. (Ed Note: Can we make roadside pasta a thing in the US?)

Antheo D.O.P.

Sicilian countryside outside of Rosolini

In the shadow of the Hyblaean Mountains deep in southeastern Sicily, the COPA Società Cooperativa Agricola combines ancient farming techniques with cutting edge technology to produce exceptional EVOO. Granted Italy's exclusive DOP status (Protected Designation of Origin), COPA's oils, including Wellspent fave Antheo, are produced using indigenous Sicilian olive varieties that grow only in the Mont Iblei highlands. ⁠



!!!New Producer Alert!!!

We've been chatting with Francesca via email for months, and one of the highlights of this recent trip to Italy was finally getting to meet her in person!! Situated near the Ionian Coast in Syracuse on the farm her father established in 1957, Francesca manages 5,000 olive trees & over 15,000 lemon trees 😮 Her evoo was better than we could have imagined, and we CANNOT wait to share it with you!!!

Arrivederci, Italy!