Umut & Cosku Kaplan, the founders of Oleavia, answered Amy Overgaard's questions about the establishment and development of the Oleavia brand.
Founders Umut & Cosku Kaplan. Photo by Chris Emeott
Oleavia EVOO, Coccinella’s proprietary olive oil brand, launched in 2018 and has since received multiple gold and silver medals from the NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, where judges look for specific tasting notes, as well as analyzing the texture and smell, and looking for harmony in all of those areas. In 2021, both editions of Oleavia’s most popular olive oil, Asilik, won a gold medal for the second year in a row.
Coccinella at 50th & France produces its own award-winning olive oil in Turkey.
Photo by Chris Emeott
In old Latin, “oleavia” means “the path to the olive groves.” The olive branch above the “o” in Oleavia’s logo symbolizes peace.
When Umut Kaplan—the business operations manager of Coccinella at 50th & France—was 15 years old, his family hosted an Italian exchange student at their home in Ankara, the capital city of Turkey. During that year, the Kaplan family experienced the richness that comes from engaging with another culture.
This formative global experience ultimately resulted in Umut and his younger brother, Cosku, moving to the U.S. in 2012, where they attended a boarding school in New Hampshire, followed by a college in Minnesota.