Meet Maurice & Cindy Penna
What does it take to talk olives, think olives, eat olives, and even dream olives on a daily basis? If you asked Maurice and Cindy Penna, a husband and wife pair of olive enthusiasts and growers, they would tell you that all it takes is a love of olives. They are passionate about sharing that love with the world.
Penna – Gourmet Olives
And what the Pennas do is make olives available at a price that won’t blow a grocery budget. The Pennas own M&CP Farms, 100 acres of olive production, processing and packing, located in the fertile Northern Sacramento Valley of California. They have owned the land since 1951.
Maurice, age 59, was actually born in Australia to Italian parents from the village of Revigliasco di Asti. Maurice moved to California in 1951, when his parents purchased the land that is now M & CP Farms. He attributes his farming knowledge and appreciation for fine foods to his family upbringing.
Cindy is a native Californian and has spent most of her life in the Sacramento Valley. Her grandparents were from the Orland area. They owned a well-known nursery, the same nursery that supplied many of the original olive tree plantings that now grow throughout California’s olive region. Maurice and Cindy met in the third grade when Cindy was asked to “guide” the new student from Australia.
As a young man, Maurice spent a few years in the military before choosing a life of farming over the big city. Maurice was fortunate to find a mentor in Elton Develter (1918-1994), a UC Berkeley graduate food technologist and olive expert who spent his entire life in the California Olive arena. Develter shared with Maurice what he had learned traveling the world observing and studying the old ways of olive growing and processing. “Elton imparted so much passion for knowledge and thirst for the old ways into me,” Maurice said. The Pennas have combined Old World curing and spicing practices with safe, modern technology to produce a unique, flavorful and consistent olive. Their company, M&CP Farms, sells both fresh olives for home-curing and retail olives.
M&CP Farms currently retails Penna Olives. Penna Olives are known as “California’s Everyday Specialty.” And that is because the Pennas want olives to be more than just a holiday condiment. Maurice, a home kitchen chef, has developed several recipes which showcase olives. He also promotes the health benefits of this tasty little fruit. Today, the Pennas are dedicated to sharing the full-flavor range of their California olives while continuing to be involved in all aspects of their product’s production, processing and packing.
Penna’s Olives in the Press
2012 July 3rd, Italian Mama Chef ”Olives! Olives! Olives!”
You might be asking yourself why am I talking so much about olives, well I’ll tell you. I’ve been given the honor to promote a company that is all about olives. They are Penna Gourmet Foods. Penna Gourmet Foods is a grower, packer and processor of gourmet olives. I’ve been browsing their website and plan to place an order. Penna Gourmet Foods Fresh Olives are available starting around the middle of September (weather permitting) so my order will have to wait just a few months.
2011 September 23rd, in Article Circulation ”The Small Olive Crop” Agricultural Commissioner Doug Compton seems to agree with Penna estimating the crop to produce between 20 and 30 percent of a normal crop, though Penna says it will be closer to the 20 percent range; possibly a 47.5 million dollar loss.
2007 October 17th, in the The New York Times web page “Dining and Wine” section.
An article by Julia Moskin titled “Olives, Flavored by Time, Seasoned With Memories” The online version of the
article also had links to a couple of new curing recipes. We hope to post them here soon.
2007 Featured on Alton Brown’sshow “Good Eats” was an episode about curing your own olives. We
were proud to be listed as a source for fresh olives for curing on his website ( www.altonbrown.com,) on the
Linkage page, the recommendation is almost at the bottom of the page.
January 11, 2006 issue of the The Chico Enterprise Record , in the Style/Food section, an article titled
“Pennas embrace gourmet olive market.” Please click the links below to view a scan of the newspaper pages. Click here to view large pdf file of the first page of the article. Click here for the second page of the article. Click here to view just the text of the article. The article was also mentioned on the Specialty Food website, http://www.specialtyfood.com.
October 12, 2005 post on the olive blog article called “Buying and Curing Olives”(Olives and Olive Oil Section)
Mentions our web site and our blog on curing fresh olives. Weblog has lots of olive information.
October 12, 2005 issue of the The Star-Ledger , an article titled Taking the olive cure. Mentions our web site and what type of consumer would be interested in curing their own olives.
Spring 2002 issue of FB World.com (1st paragraph of article)
“Orland, California growers Maurice and Cindy Penna are the leaders in Northern California olive growing. They are distinguished as the only ripe style olive processor in Northern California. M&CP Farmer have been producing pre-ripened green olives since 1975 on farming land that has been in the family since 1951. However, the olive orchards themselves have been commercially viable since 1915 and are some of the oldest in the state. The focus for the Penna’s is on quality olives and olive produces that puts M&CP Farms at the forefront of the custom packed fresh olive market in California.”
February 2001 Issue of the California Olive Oil News
“Maurice Penna of M&CP Farms / Penna Olives / Loam Ridge was one of many olive producers showing new stuffed olives. He had a tasty display of new olive pates and tapenades and several new cheese stuffed olives. His Extra Virgin olive oil, a blend of Ascolano, Sevillano, and Manzanillo was one of the most memorable of the show .”