Oliva, pronounced “oh-LEE-vah”, and Italian for Olive, opened our doors on May 1, 2017 in the Barracks Road Shopping Center in Charlottesville, Virginia. We offer the finest Extra Virgin Olive Oils and Balsamics available in the Central Virginia area along with culinary gift and product extensions from our oils to include a skincare line for men and women, olive wood accessories, chocolates, pasta, and much more.
I am Robert "Bugg" Johnson, the proud owner of Oliva. I was born and raised in Nelson County and, after receiving a B.S. Degree in Business Administration from Radford University, I began a career in the Financial Services Industry with an emphasis on commercial insurance and risk management. In 1998 I received my Masters of Business Administration Degree with Honors from Kennesaw State University. Along my career I lived in seven US cities and the island nation of Bermuda twice for a total of eight years. That wasn't tough duty! During my travels around the globe, I saw some amazing places and met equally amazing people. It was during these travels that I visited the stunning wine and olive regions of Argentina, California, Chile, and Italy. I was hooked on the food and flavors and knew at some point I wanted to bring these "hobbies" back home one day to the Charlottesville area. In 2015 I had logged twenty five years in the corporate world and 1.5M Delta Skymiles so that "one day" became a reality. It was great to be closer to family, especially a new nephew, and all that is so special about calling the Charlottesville area home. In 2016 I became aware of the former Oil & Vinegar store in Barracks Road being for sale and — fast forward — we closed the transaction in March 2017. I pulled out of the Oil & Vinegar franchise to maximize flexibility in product offerings, rebranded under the Oliva name, and reopened as a locally owned independent small business that employs and supports our friends, family, and neighbors.
Our core products include Award Winning Extra Virgin Olive Oils ("EVOOs") and Balsamics. In addition, we offer a wide variety of culinary and EVOO related products. A few are mentioned above but I love our line of teas, bread dippers, spices and rubs, tapenades, compotes, crackers, chutneys, infused flavored honey, and more. Every line we carry has been hand selected and tasted by the local Oliva staff and many products have wonderful stories. For example, our Olive Wood collection of bowls and cutting boards are made from retired non-producing olive trees in Tunisia. Our Polish Pottery is beautifully hand painted and signed by artisans of different skill levels using vibrant colors of red, blue, yellow and green. We love sharing these stories behind the products for that personal touch and attachment. If you have not yet gotten the idea that Oliva is the perfect place to find that unique and special gift for a host/hostess, birthday, wedding, corporate or other special occasion, think again! Our baskets and gift sets are as creative as they are functional and beautiful.
I hope you visit us soon at Oliva. If you are not lucky enough to be in Charlottesville, you can always find us at www.olivaoils.com and we will send a touch of Charlottesville to you! And, by the way, bring back your Oliva bottle squeaky clean and dry and we always refill any size and give you a 10% discount. Reusing our bottles means less waste and a small effort towards respecting our environment.
Now you know a little bit about me and Oliva. Be sure to drop by and tell us a bit about you. We can't wait to share the flavors of our local store with you, our friends, family and neighbors.