Olivia’s Croutons was created in April of 1991. Our son David was almost two and daughter Olivia was three. We started in our own kitchen with the butter & garlic flavor, sold in brown bags, hand stamped with rubber stamps. Twenty bags was a big order – it took quite a long time to hand cut each loaf and bake the croutons in our conventional oven.
By August of that year we were dealing with about six stores, and had just signed on our first “really big store”. We did a demo and sold 200 bags of croutons in three days. This was a monumental step. We installed our first Blodgett convection oven in our kitchen and rigged up a semi automatic cutter. Now we could really make croutons!
Since that point we have grown steadily. Once we started adding UPS ship orders we realized we had no limits. In April of 1993 we moved out of our kitchen and into a larger commercial kitchen, which we had built in our basement. In the spring on 1997 we added a packaging machine. With our new longer shelf life, we were able to sell our products through distributors; a whole new market for us. This growth forced another move in July of 1999, when we purchased a perfect little building in a neighboring town.
By the end of 2005 it was clear we again needed to find new production space. We looked and looked and finally it happened. My husband, David was out driving on a backcountry road when he found our new home, for both the croutons and our family. We purchased it in March and immediately began extensive renovations to the 1912 dairy barn.
Olivia’s has a new home. We live on the 50-acre homestead, are growing wheat for the croutons and producing our products in our brand new space, cleverly concealed inside our beautiful historic barn. The property is now listed on the National Historic Register. The kitchen has doubled our production capacity. We have added a new bagging line for increased packaging options and an expanded product line.
We continue to have fun meeting new vendors and exploring new markets. I love what I do. I like making a product that people love to eat and one that is unique to the market place. Croutons brought me into the food and grocery business. It has proven to be an education! I pride myself on being an honest, hard working, uncomplicated person. It is only logical that we would produce a wholesome, all natural, uncomplicated product. As a family, we enjoy these tasty treats and we hope you will like them too.