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Olive Oil is the backbone of everything we cook during the Holidays. And Philip Asquith — a fourth-generation olive farmer — grows them exclusively for us. His Olive Oil is the stuff of legend.
Phil’s farm in Ojai, California hosts thousands of gnarled, centuries-old trees. All of these Olive trees were grown from cuttings taken from some of the oldest and most renowned Olive groves in Europe. Phil’s family visited generational groves in Tuscany, Provence, and Sicily, taking cuttings from the healthiest, most productive trees and bringing them to California. In many cases, they were centuries old, some over a thousand years old. The result is some truly unique trees, which produce Oils not easily found in this part of the world. Their Columella & Noccelara Del Belice varieties are especially rare and consistently produce our very best Olive Oils. They harvest for us a few that are virtually impossible to find in the US, including Columella, Nocellara del Belice, Cailletier, and Lechin de Sevilla.
These trees can’t be harvested with machines because the fruit will bruise. This makes the harvest slower but intentional, and the Olive Oil has a lot of complexity and nuance. During harvest, the Olives are picked by hand and pressed immediately. The result is this fresh, vibrant, green, and peppery Oil. The temperature and rainfall during the growing season have a significant impact on the flavor of each Olive harvest.
This current harvest is very special. We had abundant Winter rain, mild Spring winds, and warm Summer sunshine. This unique weather pattern produced a lush crop of Olives. Resulting in a powerful Olive Oil, antioxidant-rich and packed with polyphenols.
Phil likes to tell us that Sicilians use a “cough method” to determine how fresh and high-quality an Oil is. The story goes that when you taste an Olive Oil, it needs to make you cough three times or more. That signifies you have the freshest, best Oil.
We get three coughs — every time.
4421 Six Forks Rd #101
Raleigh, NC 27609
Mon - Fri 10a-5:30p
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