A world traveler with a taste for Mediterranean quality, Joanne Lacina was living in Greece when she discovered that the olive oil locals enjoyed there was very different from what was sold on supermarket shelves back home. “I saw that there was a huge quality deficit in the U.S. and thought to myself, ‘Why can’t we all be enjoying this amazing olive oil that the Greeks have been eating for decades?’” she recalls. Partnering with producers around the world, Joanne founded Olive Oil Lovers in 2012 to offer Americans a fresher, high-quality alternative at a competitive price. “This is what the American people want,” Joanne says. “So that’s what we’ll give them. And we’ll deliver it right to their doors.”
From the start, Olive Oil Lovers has used the web and Google tools to set itself apart. “We’re not just a store. We’re a platform where anyone from anywhere can expand their olive oil knowledge and palate,” Joanne explains. “This is something we couldn’t have done as a brick-and-mortar.” Today, the company reaches thousands of customers and drives international business with their web presence. AdWords, Google's advertising program, currently accounts for 70 percent of their new customer acquisitions and “is very critical to our growth,” says Director of Marketing George Floropoulos. Google Analytics provides insights on their web traffic and marketing campaigns. Google Trends helps them see what is in high demand in the olive oil market. And G Suite tools Gmail, Docs, and Drive make international collaboration quick and easy. “If Google didn't exist, we wouldn't exist,” adds George.
Since their founding, Olive Oil Lovers has doubled their number of partnerships. They now work with over 40 producers in the U.S. and abroad to provide olive oil as well as other fresh items, such as vinegar, jam, and honey. Their 90 percent growth year-over-year has allowed them to hire more full-time employees and expand to a team of eight. And thanks to their success, Olive Oil Lovers is able to educate their consumers while providing an economic boost to small-scale growers. “It's the beauty of having the entire country as your customer base,” says Joanne. With growing demand and powerful e-commerce tools, the future looks golden for this New Jersey business.