RosaBianca Berio, for us La Nonna, was a determined, brilliant, inspiring, curious and positive woman.
In times when women were only perfect housewifes, on the contrary she turned into an entrepreneur. She was a tester who studied hundreds and hundreds of samples without any books. But, above all, she was and she will always be an example- our mentor.
Her life is certainly the proof that the passion and love you put into your job is always rewarded with great satisfaction.
She worked with us in the company, until the end.
In 2018, the year of the first centenary of Olio Fresia, she was 92 and we had some fun asking her a few questions, that we have the pleasure of sharing with you!
Rosa Bianca Berio
Where and when are you born?
How many children and grandchildren do you have?
One daughter (Serena), two grandsons (Fabrizio and Federico), 4 great grandchildren (Filippo 10yo, Enrico 6yo, Nora 3yo, Nina 1 yo)
Who did you dream to become when you were little?
I loved to play the piano. I dreamt to play piano but my grandmother used to tell me to learn to do housework instead of wasting time with music. Yes, I wanted to be a musician. I have always loved music. I never thought I would become an entrepreneur.
The history of the company
How did you begin to work in the oil business?
The company business started with my dad. He was in the military during the First World War. After the war, some comrades suggested him to go to their cities in Piemonte and sell oil directly to families.His spirit for entrepreneurship was rewarded. Thanks to word of mouth and the quality of the Olive Oil, the business started to grow.
When did you start working with your husband?
After the Second World War, the company was passed to me and my two brothers. During that time I got married to Giuseppe and we decided to buy the brand and start our adventure. My husband tought his first car, and every week he used it to deliver the Oil himself directly to our customers. He was our sales manager, as we could say now. To sum up, I was in charge of all the rest.
Have you always worked in the oil field? If not what was your first job?
Yes, I can say I have spent all my life in oil. After I graduated, I only worked for one year as a teacher in a school.
What is a tester?
What is your definition of super taster?
First of all, a super taster has to have a great sense of smell. One must be able to understand the oil by only smelling it. Moreover, one can not smoke or drink because they need a clean mouth. My Godfather was an amazing tester, even though those times there weren’t any schools to learn how to recognise a good oil. Experience and practice were our schools and teachers. In conclusion, I smell and taste it and if I like it…I tell them! That’s it.
Do you consider yourself a super taster?
I don’t know if I can say super…I use old methods but usually if I like the oil everybody likes it. I’m kind of sophisticated in my judgement.
Who else in the family do you think is it the best tester after you? What did you teach to your grandsons?
Both of my grandsons have great taste and they know how to recognize a good oil. First of all, I taught them to work hard if they wanted to reach their goals. Moreover I taught them to be curious. Sometimes people ask me “how can you be like that at 90 years old?”. I tell them curiosity is what inspires me to look at the future, always.
Tips for those who want to start a business oil
What advice do you have for those who want to start working in the Olive Oil business?
Firstly to be patient. You can’t always find oil on the market because it depends on seasons and harvests. You have to consider that the olive tree is not a tree that you plant and it’s immediately productive. It needs time, consistency and patience. The Taggiasca Olive Tree is a really beautiful tree. It has always been part of the life of those born and raised here in Imperia. After that, to have passion.
What is really important in the business?
It’s fundamental to focus on quality. You can only direct your business on quality. There are so many other products, that without quality, your product could never be different. Quality products are the result of experience, hard work, passion and love that the producer puts in.
What is your favorite recipe with Olive Oil?
For sure, above all, Bread, tomatoes, salt and oil. It’s the only recipe that even if I’m not hungry it wets my appetite! In simplicity you can find the best things.
Tell us the 3 characteristics that define your favorite oil.
The smell, taste but also color because eyes also want their part!
What have been the more visible changes in the olive oil business since you have worked in this field?
I can say, for sure, that the sense of quality has changed. People pay more attention to the origin and the production chain of the products they buy. The world has changed, and so the business and the customs have too.
Which is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
Above all, to have raised my daughter.
Our tribute to Grandma Rosabianca
In 2018, we decided to come up with a new oil: Rosabianca EVOO. The olives come from our Grandmother Rosabianca, located at 350mt above sea level. We are happy she had time to taste it because this oil is precious, as she is for us.