When I first visited my wife’s beautiful native country of Lebanon in 2016, I instantly fell in love with the country, its people, and culture. One particular aspect of the culture that captivated me was the food. Lebanese dishes entice the senses, and many, if not all of them have one ingredient in common - quality olive oil. With subsequent visits, I learned how important olives and olive oil are to the people of Lebanon. It is not well known, but the olive tree and olive oil actually originated in the Levant (present-day Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel & Palestine). It was the Phoenicians, the Lebanese ancestors, that began cultivating olive trees to create olive oil around 6,000 BC. As the Phoenicians began to trade with people around the Mediterranean, they started disseminating the olive and olive oil through Cyprus, Egypt, Crete and the Greek isles. From there, it spread to Italy, Spain and the rest of the Mediterranean countries.
Upon my return to the United States, I became obsessed with finding a premium Extra Virgin Olive Oil that could match the taste and quality of Lebanese olive oil. After a fruitless search, I decided to take on the task of introducing quality Lebanese olive oil to the United States. I was led to a small coastal town in Lebanon where I discovered the incredible Orchards of Laila.
Based in the Mediterranean town of Baassir, Mount Lebanon, the family-owned Orchards of Laila was formed to embody a 300-year-old love story and family tradition in olive cultivation. The first time I tasted olive oil from Orchards of Laila, I knew that this was the product I had to bring back to the USA. The Lebanese have a lot of choices and variety when it comes to olive oil, but the fact that my wife's family serves Orchard of Laila's olive oil in their own home speaks volumes to its quality and taste.
It is Orchards of Laila’s mission to share with the world the exquisite organic first cold pressed olive oil produced from millennial trees planted thousands of years ago by the Phoenicians.
I could not be more proud and humbled to be introducing this incredible product to the United States! I cannot wait for you to experience the unique beauty and richness of this award-winning olive oil, featured on the Official Index of the World’s Best Olive Oils.
Sahten! (to your health in Lebanese) - Tommy Magee
Leb Genco - Orchard of Laila's award-winning producer
Lebanese Genco Olive Oil (LGOO), a family-owned business, was formed in 2014 by the Al Kaakour family.
Orchards of Laila is the first brand that was launched by LGOO as a line of premium organic products. It is free of pesticides and strictly abides by all the requirements set by the EU Organic Certification Board as well as the USDA Organic and US Non GMO verification boards. Both the Family Reserve and the Green Label olive oils that I am introducing to the US are the product of world class olive oil sommelier Ibrahim Al Kaakour.
The brand includes several categories, two of which I am offering in the United States: Olive Oil (Green Label and Family Reserve), and unique Olive Oil based soaps.