Some people are surprised that olives grow on trees. And while olives are often taken for granted they are important ingredients in a multitude of delicious recipes. Want to know more about olives? You might consider visiting the charming Graber Olive House in Ontario.
In 1769 Franciscan missionaries from Spain planted the first olive trees in southern California. More than 100 years later, in 1892, Clifford (“C.C.”) Graber and his brother Charles arrived in Ontario from Indiana to try their hand at farming. Only 19 years old, C.C. began growing citrus but then discovered the delights of the locally grown olives of his neighbors. C.C. and his wife, Georgia Belle Noe, began growing olives an experimenting with curing them. Happily a successful tradition and a thriving business began and continues to this day. Graber Olive House is Ontario’s oldest existing business and is the oldest operating olive packer in the U.S.
While the olives are now grown in the San Joaquin Valley, the original site in Ontario is still the store and show place for their wares and continues to be run by the Graber family.
Find the Graber Olive House at 315 E. 4th St. Ontario. If you can, stop by for a tour and visit the gift shop. The olive canning season is a short two months (October and November) but Graber Olive House is open year round, Friday, Saturday, Sunday 10:00-5:30.