When you think of Texas and oil you don’t think of olive oil, do you? But did you know that Texas has a booming olive oil industry? Texana Brands is leading the way with their extra virgin olive oil and line of infused oils.

In 2012, Stephen Coffman, sister Mary Rose, and brother-in-law Michael Paz wanted to put their family’s 150-acre ranch between San Antonio and Laredo into production, but they didn’t want to do anything typical. the land has been in the family for 125 years and they wanted to leave a legacy for their children and grandchildren. The land was previously used for watermelons and beef cattle.

Olive trees, they decided. Stephen and Michael and crew planted their first olive trees in 2012, not expecting a harvest for 8 years or so. Instead, by 2018 they had the third harvest and the largest olive oil crop that Texas has ever seen. What started with 7,000 trees has grown to over 200,000 trees producing 30-50 gallons of oil per ton of olives.

The location of the ranch helps — cool winters without too many extremes provides almost perfect growing conditions.

The olives are harvested and pressed at the ranch within 8 hours of picking in an onsight mobile olive mill. The oil gets transported to the production facility in Kyle, Texas, just south of Austin where it sits for 30 days in steel tanks to remove sediment. From there, some of the oil is infused to make the flavors that Texana is known all across the state for.

The family is commited to the olive industry in Texas as a whole. Michael has served as the president of the Texas Association of Olive OIl where he helped to create a research platform for the industry in collaboration ith state agencies and other growers. The association has more than 60 members and represents about 150 growers over 4,000 acres of land across the state.

Texana oils are old through H-E-B grocery store. They also make the rounds at fairs, trade shows and stock shows around the state. Online sales and restaurant customers account for a small portion of business. Gary Bounds, long-time family friend, came on to handle the production facility in Kyle and helps with marketing. Gary gave us the tour of the production facility in Kyle.

Keeping the business family-focused, the company was named after great, great grandmother Texana Ramsey Henrichson.

Written by Chef John O'Neil