Growing up with Olive Trees and her endless love for her grandfathers olive groves

She had a successful career in journalism but her past was calling her. As a little girl, Ioanna spent her summers running through her grandparents olive groves. It was there that she learned the depth of love and respect that her grandparents had for their olive trees.

We visited their family home, taking in the beautiful energy filled with days gone by and pictures of her loved ones, past and present. Ioanna was standing by the very small window over the kitchen sink, when she shared her grandmother’s philosophy with us. The view out of the window was over looking the Gulf of Corinth, stunningly blue waters that took my breath. On the other side of their home were groves upon groves of olive trees that covered the hilly terrain. The back drop was the spectacular mountains that had been shaped over thousands of years. Growing up her grandmother would always remind her that although our eyes want to look at the sea, it’s the mountains that give us our magic. I will never forget these words or the touching emotion in Ioanna’s voice when she shared her story with us.

It’s magical! Unless you have had the privilege of walking through a well loved olive grove, it is hard to describe that magic that I felt. For starters, olive trees act as a carbon to purify the air we breathe. So it is a given that you are breathing in high quality fresh air when in the presence of a grove. In the case of My Precious Olive Tree the visual landscape is magnificent. Absolutely a feast for the eyes! The stillness relaxes you as if you were in a beautiful spa environment. Ioanna’s gentle ways with her warm smile and kind heart while sharing her history and life long love for these olive trees makes you feel as if you are with family. I don’t know by describing this experience if I can do it justice but once you taste this extra virgin olive oil, you will have a better understanding of what happens prior to it ever going into a bottle for your kitchen.

Fast forward, Ioanna traded in her celebrity to raise her children and take over her grandparent’s olive groves. In a very short few years she is seeing top awards from around the world. This is so important to a producer, as it exposes their extra virgin olive oil to a world that might otherwise never know about their efforts to create one of the best on the market. She has faced more of her share of diversity. Not only the typical farmer’s hardships that are out of her control, she has also dealt with the resistance of not doing it the way it’s been done for thousands of years. Those local farmers that have given her such little respect are now starting to take notice and express their curiosity in how she is producing such an amazing product. Ioanna is a great example of consistency, patience, and determination. Qualities no doubt she learned from her grandparents.

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A Career Change, a Family Olive Grove, and a Successful Brand: Ioanna Kanellopoulou opens up to “It’s Possible“.

Sometimes, you can not imagine, neither predict, in which path life may lead you. In such a way, some of the most unexpected business success stories have been made. Such a story is behind the Greek brand,“My Precious Olive Tree”.

Its founder, Ioanna Kanellopoulou, worked as a journalist. Then she decided to leave the media for the sake of her young children, came the crisis that swept everything (and the media of course) and so the “big comeback” was difficult for her. However, there, in the “empty mornings”, the idea arose: Ioanna Kanellopoulou decided to revive the family olive grove, and to make her own brand of olive oil.

The founder of My Precious Olive Tree explains how easy or difficult it is to make such a great career change while quoting her future plans.

You have worked in the field of Media in the past. How did you decide to leave journalism and start your own project?
I studied Communication and Mass Media at Panteion, and indeed, after graduation I worked for many years as a journalist. I lived in the media in very good times and stopped working before the crisis, when I was pregnant with my first child. Then came the second child and I consciously abstained because I always wanted to be present in the first years of their lives.

When they both grew up and went to school, I was shocked to stay home in the mornings without working. Unfortunately, due to the great crisis in the media, my return was very difficult. So I had to change the path of my career.

Always keeping in mind my grandfather’s words that “we are privileged to produce our own olive oil”, I decided to take over, revive and make known abroad our family olive grove and the liquid gold we produce. This is how My Precious Olive Tree was born.

How easy or difficult is it for someone to make such a total change in their career, and what advice would you give to other people who may have such thoughts?
Such a big career change can not be easy. You start from the beginning, you have to learn new things, to study, to research the new field of action. You make trials and errors. It takes patience, perseverance and strong will to find the right path. But every crisis holds a great opportunity and we must be ready to seize it.

I could not give any advice, but I believe that there is no other way to evolution and success, except by taking risks, making mistakes and learning from them.

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My Precious Olive Tree, the Gift that Does Indeed Keep on Giving

Finding unique gift ideas during the holiday season can be difficult, especially when shopping for those who already have everything. Rather than the latest gadgets, surprise and delight your loved ones with a gift that truly gives back, helping Greece and the environment, through My Precious Olive Tree, an olive tree adoption program based in Ampelos, Greece. Founder Ioanna Kanellopoulou spoke to The National Herald about the program.

Having studied Communication and Mass Media and worked for many years on television as a reporter and presenter, Kanellopoulou decided to change careers and do something that could involve her children and also teach them something good.

When asked where the idea for My Precious Olive Tree came from, she told TNH, “The Greek crisis affected the media sector dramatically, so much so that I began thinking about an alternate career path. It was during this time that I inherited an olive grove from my grandparents, who always said ‘our land is blessed, we are privileged to produce our own olive oil.’ With that in mind, I found myself often in the olive grove and mill, thinking about how to sustain and/or make our family grove flourish.

Kanellopoulou continued, “For two years, I studied how to care for olive trees. I travelled and spoke with other farmers and olive oil experts and scientists. The olive oil we produced won a couple of major prizes, which inspired my desire to share our olive oil with the world. An olive tree adoption program was born out of this wish.”

She told TNH that the program is growing when asked about its progress so far. “It is encouraging. The community of adoptive parents is growing daily, especially from Northern Europe. We are currently focused on promoting our olive tree adoption program in the U.K. and U.S.,” Kanellopoulou said.

In 2017, My Precious Olive Tree olive oil travelled for the first time to New York, in order to participate in one of the most important olive oil competitions in the world, the prestigious New York International Olive Oil Competition.

The international panel of experienced judges, awarded the extra virgin olive oils that stood out for their taste and flavor. My Precious Olive Tree was honored with the Gold Award 2017.

As noted on their website, “This great distinction rewarded our continuous effort and our passion to produce an excellent extra virgin olive oil. And above all, this award is a commitment for all of us working for My Precious Olive Tree, to maintain the high quality standards for our olive oil.”

Adopting an olive tree for yourself or to give as a gift is a simple process online and there are wonderful benefits, as well. My Precious Olive Tree adoptive parents receive an authentic Greek extra virgin olive oil of proven superior quality produced exclusively for them in a small family grove.

As the owner of an olive tree in Greece, those adopting know the exact origin of the olive oil they consume and experience the real benefits of a truly fresh, healthy, and flavorful olive oil, while supporting small farmers and helping them connect with international markets.

In this way, the program helps in keeping prosperous and sustainable a small part of nature and those adopting an olive tree receive olive oil delivered to their doorstep with no extra delivery cost.

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The products of our country and our heart!

“Greek products are present in every home and they enhance our everyday life. They travel to the world, stimulate our economy, win prizes and make us proud, carry our culture”, Athens Voice, online newspaper.

I used to be a journalist and work in television, today I declare myself a farmer. Okay, I do not prune the olives myself, but that is my job. I produce olive oil. An extra virgin olive oil, which I was very proud of a while ago, when it won the Gold Taste Award at the New York International Competition.

My Precious Olive Tree has a special character, excellent organoleptic characteristics, subtle aromas and a balance of bitter and spicy senses. Anyone trying to set up a business in Greece in 2017 has many problems. Bureaucracy, delays, lack of resources, high taxes, and absolutely no coordinated effort by the state so that Greek olive oil as a whole (and not individually the olive oil of a producer) is a strong brand name.

However, Greek products can conquer the world, for two main reasons. Firstly, because this place is blessed and produces products of exceptional quality and taste, and secondly, because Greek businessmen have stubbornness, strong will, good aesthetics and are “trained” in difficulties. I always say that whatever you do, do it with passion and do not be afraid of mistakes. Mistakes are not made by those who do nothing. And … dare!

I dared! I created My Precious Olive Tree, an olive adoption program, with a lot of love, because I envisioned sharing with people from all over the world the treasure I inherited from my grandfather, the olive tree and the excellent olive oil it offers us! And I hope the day will come when I will say that I did it!

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Economic Downturn Spurs Return to Family Farms

Perhaps this new trend in Greek olive oil production is best exemplified by Ioanna Kanellopoulou, who began her career as a young journalist and the mother of two children. In this first stage of her professional path, Kanelopoulou found herself working long days for a small salary in a role that didn’t permit much extra time with her family. Looking for her particular brand of ef zin, Kanelopoulou turned her gaze towards her grandfather’s land, aiming to begin producing her own brand of olive oil.

Admitting that, like many of her peers, she knew little about growing olives, Kanelopoulou reached out to Liris for his support in her endeavors. Just a year later, she won a Gold Award at the NYIOOC for her EVOO, My Precious Olive Tree, which she continues to sell online.

While there are a multitude of new olive farmers arising from the ashes of the Greek financial crisis, Kanellopoulou embodies the traits necessary to rise to the top of the competition. She knows the real potential of her land, the market, and, most importantly, how to ask for help from those who are well-versed in re-engineering a faltering olive grove. From this, she was able to create a high-quality, unique product.

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She left journalism and won an award for best olive oil

Ioanna Kanellopoulou has been for years a popular TV presenter, but her love for her grandfather’s olive trees and her vision of a product of premium quality led to her ambitious “My Precious Olive Tree” project, with her efforts to be rewarded with the gold prize to the most important international olive oil competition”, Proto Thema, Greek Newspaper

Its distinctive aroma, rich, clean taste that balances the bitter with the spicy and its golden color gave the extra virgin olive oil “My Precious Olive Tree” the highest distinction in the most important international olive oil competition in New York.

The precious, as its name suggests, olive oil stands out not only for its special characteristics, but for the people behind its “birth”, as well as for the unique olive πρόγραμμα adoption program that gives every lover of olive oil the ability to take care of an olive tree from anywhere in the world. Besides, for the family of the creator of “My Precious Olive Tree”, the journalist Ioanna Kanellopoulou, the olive trees are treated with the care and love that one offers generously to the children.

Mrs. Kanellopoulou’s grandfather raised these … arrogant children with respect, attention and time, leaving her a great legacy which she wishes to share with all those who love the liquid gold of the Greek land. But how did a journalist, who for years was the face of popular shows, leave behind the television sets to devote herself entirely to the production of extra virgin olive oil? Ms. Kanellopoulou talks to about her ambitious plan and proves that the passion, the appetite and the effort to keep alive the traditions, the history and the values ​​of the family, evolving them and honoring them, give rich fruits like these of the olive tree.

Why did you decide to leave journalism and start working in olive oil? Did the financial crisis lead you to look for a different object?

Journalism came out of my mind when I became a mom. It was a difficult decision, however, I chose to live to the fullest in their early years, because this job is very demanding, without a schedule so it has a high cost for a mom. When the children grew up and I felt that it was time to go back to the market, the crisis in the area was deep, so I turned to where the future of this country is. In the primary sector. The olive groves of my grandparents in my place of origin, Ampelo, Achaia, were waiting for someone from the younger generation to reach their fame abroad!

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