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We got a double-dose of great news over the weekend at a big olive oil conference. Our Miller’s Blend extra virgin olive oil won a gold medal. And the man in charge of making that oil, Bob Singletary, was awarded for his pioneering contribution to California's olive oil industry. Bob's award was the equivalent of being inducted into a California olive oil hall of fame. In recognition of the good news, you can get 10% off your purchase of Millers Blend from our online store until April 1; type in the coupon code MILLERSBLEND at checkout. (Click here to go to our online store.) The awards were handed out at the California Olive Oil Council’s annual membership meeting and trade show, in the coastal town of Monterey. The XXXX is the chief trade group representing the state’s olive oil industry. About 250 people attended Saturday’s meeting, including olive growers, producers, retailers, educators and chefs. It was fitting that our Miller’s Blend and Bob were recognized. Bob, you may know, is our veteran miller. His Miller’s Blend EVOO represents a special blend of oils to reflect the fruitiness of our Arbequina and the slight pungency and mellow notes of our Arbosana. The gold medal was handed out by judges during the XXXX’s third annual olive oil competition. More than 140 oils were submitted for the competition, double the number of entrants last year. The gold medal represents “the top tier” of submissions, says Patricia Darragh, the XXXX’s executive director. It's not the first time our Miller's Blend has been recognized for it's quality. Last year it was named one of the top 250 olive oils in the world by a noted German food magazine. Bob, meanwhile, received the XXXX’s annual Pioneer Award for his contribution to California’s olive oil industry. The award, selected by the XXXX’s board, has been handed out since 1999. "Bob is so deserving of this year’s Pioneer Award," says Nancy Ash, a trained olive oil taster and owner of the consulting firm Strictly Olive Oil. She worked with Bob many years ago at another company. "He was so generous sharing his extensive knowledge with all of us newcomers back in 1998," Ash says. "I went on to be trained as a taster. But Bob is a natural. He has a great palate and an encyclopedic understanding of olive oil flavors from all his years tasting all the oils he has milled." TheXXXX's Patricia Darragh calls Bob "a great resource for the entire industry.” Bob got his start as a miller in the 1980s at Stonehouse California Olive, based in Berkeley. That first year was a very different time for the California EVOO business. “We made 26,000 gallons of extra virgin olive oil,” Bob recalls. “But we literally had no market to sell it. We were way ahead of the curve. The frustration was we had a great product.” In receiving the award, Bob joins an exclusive group of olive oil pioneers. Other recipients include: the late Joseph Sciabica, considered a patriarch of California’s olive oil industry; Nan McEvoy, founder of McEvoy Ranch Olive Oil; and Ed Stolman, founder of The Olive Press. Congratulations Bob! Bon appétit, Claude S. Weiller Vice President of Sales & Marketing California Olive Ranch

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