In Italian, Maggio means May, like the month. For us, Maggio means our great grandmother Maria.
Born in 1875, in the shadow of Mt. Etna in Sicily, Maria Maggio was a strong and determined Italian woman. She married and raised her two children in Messina, Italy, but her husband desired a better life for his family, out of the mafia's reach. He looked to the New World for answers. In 1901, they embarked on their journey toward a new life in the United States, but the night before their ship set sail, the mafia murdered Maria's husband. Not knowing what her future held, Maria made the voyage across the Atlantic on her own. Once in America, Maria met and married a fellow Sicilian immigrant and settled into northern D.C.; together they had 11 more children. Though her husband worked, the Great Depression took its toll on their family, and food for 13 children was scarce. Never one to accept defeat, hardworking and driven Maria searched for a way to help support her family.
Though the United States offered this immigrant family freedoms they had never known in Sicily, it did not offer quality extra virgin olive oil. At this point, most Americans had never heard of olive oil, let alone sold it in their supermarkets. And so Maria set out on a business venture, importing extra virgin olive oil from Sicily. She bottled it in her home and began selling it around the D.C. and Maryland area. Maria knew what we also know--that extra virgin olive oil is the elixir of health and good food, and introduced it to her region.
Maria and her children have all since passed away, but her grandchildren can still remember dragging carts around the neighborhood and selling "Nonna's oil." We even remember our elderly Nonna's exasperated sighs as she stood in the grocery store aisle for too long, inspecting each bottle of olive oil, reading each ingredient. She knew what quality extra virgin olive oil was, and secretly judged all the oils from which she was forced to choose in the grocery store.
Now, 100 years later, we know Maria would be proud to see her great-grandchildren following in her footsteps. At Maggio Olive Oil Co., we seek to bring you the freshest and healthiest extra virgin olive oil--the kind you can't find in the grocery store. We purchase the oil directly from olive growers, bottle it ourselves, and bring it to you. The olive oil industry is wrought with fraud and poor quality oil, and so we choose our growers for their organic practices and integrity of their business to ensure we are bringing you the best there is to offer.
Italians see two things in life as most important: family and food. At Maggio Olive Oil Co., you are not just our customer--you are our family, and good, healthy food is what we want to pass on to you. We hope you stop by one of our stores to meet us, so we can welcome you to the Maggio Family!
Maggio Olive Oil Co. is owned by Jonathan and Laura (Maria's great granddaughter). They are excited to share their love for food, family history, and their knowledge as certified IOOS International Olive Oil Masters with each of their customers.