How did you get started with Pineapple Collaborative?
The year was 2017. I was freelancing, helping small food businesses with their creative strategy which included helping Ariel with Pineapple DC, and working together to evolve the creative vision. Together we were inspired to create something bigger, and so we quit our jobs and dedicated our time to launching and building Pineapple Collaborative. It’s been over 3 years since that moment and I couldn’t be happier and more excited about the journey we’ve had and the potential for the future.
At MINNA we believe in creating beautiful, ethically made products and using business to do good - how do these concepts relate to or inspire your brand and process?
Sounds like MINNA’s values are very aligned with ours! That’s why we love working with MINNA. The Olive Oil & The ACV are updated classic staples: proprietary organic blends transparently & directly sourced from women-led farms in California. We have created these hero products from the inside-out-- to reflect our values of sustainable agriculture and women’s empowerment. We’re proud to work with Kathryn Tomajan, one of the only female olive oil millers in the country, Enzo Olive Oil Company, and Joanne Krueger of Little Apple Treats on our products.
When we set out on our search for our olive oil producer, we worked with an oleologist (a Pineapple community member) to help us identify potential farms that aligned with our values of sustainable/regenerative agriculture and women’s empowerment. We created a sourcing criteria spreadsheet to evaluate farming and labor practices, among other practical considerations, and landed on Enzo Olive Oil Company given alignment on our values. Enzo cares about its environmental impact and understands the need for resilient farming in the face of climate change. Some of their sustainability measures include: planting high-density trees that are able to be harvested mechanically and conserve water; keeping grass and cover crops on the ground to retain water; sending olive pomace to organic dairy; sending olive pits to fire log company (can be used for clean-burning fuel); discing compost into the soil to add nutrients.
Our apple cider vinegar comes from Little Apple Treats, a 100% organic apple orchard of a variety of heirloom apples. In terms of sustainability measures, they keep wild grasses as cover crops.The Olive Oil tins are available in three different colorways (white, yellow, and pink) while the Apple Cider Vinegar comes in a clear glass bottle with a wooden top. Why three colors for The Olive Oil, you ask? We want The Olive Oil to live on top of your counter and see more than just the dark insides of your cupboard but moreover, they want you to have the chance to choose the colors of your kitchen stuff the same way you might a sweater or sneakers or a lipstick.
What about your home makes it feel like home? What is a favorite memory of yours in your home?
Stocking my kitchen with all of my special tools and pantry items. A few favorite pantry staples (though there are really too many to name) include Pineapple Collaborative Olive Oil, Fly by Jing Chili crisp, and Daphnis and Chloe fennel seeds. I love framed exhibition posters (I have a few from Matisse, Miro, Georgia O’Keefe) and original art that I source from Chairish. I love my set of sunprints from Neicy Frey. I love my plant children. I have a pencil tree, a rubber tree, a ficus, a fiddle leaf, and many succulents and they bring me so much joy!
Favorite memory? Rosh Hashana dinner with my family in 2019, pre-pandemic. I made brisket and a round honey-raisin challah.
What are you reading, listening to, watching or looking at lately?
I’ve been on a mission to read through all of my many cookbooks! Right now I’m digging into The Jemima Code by Toni Tipton Martin Have also been reading Washington Black by Esi Edugyan. I've been watching Pen15, Normal People, and I May Destroy You, and looking at pieces from The Break, This Instagram page of archival Chinese food design and Tappan Collective art.What are your go-to favorite recipes? We’ve been using The Olive oil and ACV all summer for salads!I love making a whole grain pasta with a sauce of Pineapple Collaborative olive oil, white wine, butter, greens, and parm. I also am very into enjoying fall fruits with a drizzle of olive oil, honey, and salt. Lastly, I really like our ACV with sparkling water and honey and thyme!
What's the best piece of advice you've ever received?
Seek to understand rather than to be understood.