Our Story . . .
Born into a family of artists and Chefs, the art of cooking comes naturally to Al Hartman. His lifelong study of authentic smoking techniques earned him the nickname ‘The Smoke Whisperer’. With his McGyver-like skills, and a passion to create astounding flavors, Al invented an entirely new smoking process in 2007. His exclusive process NATURALLY wood smokes extra-virgin olive oil, in the absence of heat, air & light...to preserve the quality and flavor of premium oils. The resulting products were met with such enthusiasm, it was obvious they'd be welcomed into Specialty Foods and Fine Dining.
Al’s partner in life quickly became his partner in business. Brenda Chatelain's strong business background, and marketing flair, provided the missing ingredients... and The Smoked Olive was born! Neither could have imagined where their passion and determination would lead.
"Our journey began with smoked olive oils, adding smoked brown sugars along the way, and eventually leading to DARKHORSE smoked malts, for the brewing & distilling industries. What started as a test at the local farmers market made its’ way to national television, magazines, newspapers and even The White House. From The Today Show and Top Chef, to the pages of Food & Wine and The Washington Post, The Smoked Olive continues to be a wild & wonderful ride. We’ve been privileged to meet some amazing media stars and everyday stars, who’ve helped advance our business along the way. They’ve contributed in numerous invaluable ways, simply to support quality Artisanal foods and dedicated Artisans. Our journey has been made rich by these people who have touched our lives, and to whom we are forever grateful."
- Al & Brenda