The heritage of Olmo Bros Nursery & Farm is the combination of la famiglia from three of the twenty regions of Italy: Naples, in the Campania Region; Potenza in the Basilicata Region; and Lucca in Tuscany. While joining together from those three regions, our focus has been to explore the heritage and culture of the other seventeen regions in the products that we bring and make available to our customers in our farm Mercato.
Following the traditional cheese making methods instilled from generations of our family making these products in both Italy and the United States, we created our artisan cheese products initially for our own consumption and later as gifts for other family members and friends. However, as the circle of family and friends increased with new member demands for more products, it became apparent that first, we may have a marketable product that others may enjoy, and second, we needed to increase the scope of our operations, seek the necessary government approval of our products, and in doing so, enhance our processes to be complaint with their requirements. It also became obvious, that the addition of our artisan cheese products would complement our existing imported Italian seed vegetable and herb product offering that we’ve been producing and selling on our 5-acre onsite farm Mercato since starting the farm in the early 2000s.
After working closely with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for several years, including the enhancement of our existing kitchen to meeting their demanding requirements for an on-premises commercial Cucina, in 2017 we were awarded the first of numerous license renewals, and certification to produce and bring to market our numerous artisan cheese products under the Olmo Bros family name. Since that time, we have added numerous additional Italian specialty products including our most recent and now gaining momentum, our fresh baked Italian breads in a loaf and rustico format that many of our paesano customers have remarked: “it’s the best Italian bread since leaving Italy”.
To continue with our adherence to a philosophy of growing our products in a carefully planned and sustainable manner without the use of environmental impacting pesticides and herbicides, we recognized the benefit of introducing honeybees into our processes. Attending classes and working with one of only thirty-three certified beekeepers in the US, we established two hives on the farm populated with Italian honeybees. With our primary objective for pollination vs honey production, the Italian bees were recommended since they were more docile than the other species, provided wide coverage in pollination, and as a side benefit, would provide us with some amount of honey to add to our product offering. And being an Italian species, they complemented our heritage.
Our family farm is now run under the direction of the husband-and-wife team of Sammi and Larry Olmo.