Strictly Olive Oil was founded in 1985 by Betty Pustarfi. As a retailer, Betty wanted a better way to educate her customers about the different grades and flavors of olive oil. This led her to introduce olive oil tasting “bars” where customers could compare oils from regions around the world. This method bolstered the confidence of her customers, and in turn increased sales of high quality olive oils.
Betty established tasting bars in several stores, and became a respected and entertaining seminar speaker for groups of food professionals as well as consumers.
In June 2006 Betty sold Strictly Olive Oil to Nancy Ash. Nancy, who has an extensive background in specialty food sales and marketing, is eager to continue Betty’s ground-breaking work in olive oil education.
Nancy Ash has been trained by the International Olive Oil Council in both the U.S. and Italy as an olive oil taster and taste panel leader, and has been a member of the California Olive Oil Council’s Tasting Panel since its inception in 1998. With over 25 years experience in the food industry, Nancy has previously worked as a chef, cooking teacher, recipe developer, writer, photographer, and food stylist as well as a specialty foods sales and marketing manager. Nancy has been a member of the California Olive Oil Council since 1997 and the San Francisco Professional Food Society since 1987, and has served on the Board of Directors of both these organizations.