Spotlight on Olive Branch, A New Café With a Mission to Bring New Life to the Village Through Locally Sourced, Fresh Foods at 10239 Fair Oaks Blvd #B in Fair Oaks Villagein Profile Articles
We're pleased to introduce Jordan Anderson of Olive Branch in our Business Spotlight Series.
We're spotlighting various merchants in the Fair Oaks Village, as well as individuals who support what FOVEC does, all while giving you a little insight into our history and what we do for the Village. We encourage you to share these local stories and visit with merchants to get to know them firsthand.
We connected with Jordan to learn more about him and his business, Olive Branch.
How would you describe your business to a friend?
We’re a family-owned and operated café.
We pride ourselves in using whole ingredients, local produce, and making food from scratch.
Why did you start the business? What were you hoping to accomplish?
I've been in the restaurant industry for 21 years. I got the offer to open a business here from the owner of the building, who shared my vision of bringing new life to Fair Oaks.
I saw the opportunity to work in a neighborhood that I love, which is my own, given the fact that I live in Fair Oaks, and also the café vibe is better for me simply because it’s daytime and both my chef and I have kids and we’ve both worked nights forever. It’s really nice to go home in the afternoon and spend time with family.
Both my chef and I are from the Hawks family of restaurants (in Granite Bay) and I was also the GM of Lucca back on 16th and J in Sacramento. I started my career in Sacramento almost 20 years ago at Scott's Seafood.
What is a common question you get? What is your most popular menu item?
One of the most common is, "Do you guys make that here?" I think our clientele is a mixed bag of everything Fair Oaks has to offer. There’s a plethora of all different walks of life here. People are just looking for good product. I feel like we have 500 chains, coffee shops, restaurants, and everything else within 5 miles of here.
There’s not a lot of small, local, run- from-scratch, product-driven restaurants. I know because I’ve been searching for them living up here for a long time. You can find them, but most of the stuff for all these restaurants come off the same truck. Same company, wholesalers are the same, retailers are the same. That’s probably the biggest thing.
On the drink side, our most popular is our honey lavender latte. It’s oat milk steeped with local wildflower honey from Woodland and local lavender and a shot of our espresso from Chocolate Fish Roasters out of Sacramento. They're an incredible roaster if you haven’t heard of them.
The most prevalent food item would be the croque madame, which is a ham and cheese sandwich basically with Béchamel (light cream) sauce spread on top of the bread with melted gruyere cheese, baked, and a poached egg on top. My chef’s been honing in on that recipe and dialing it in for a year or two.
What's the biggest compliment you've received?
A lot of my regulars have been waiting for a spot like us to open in our neighborhood. They'll say, "Hey, I"m glad you’re here and this is such a nice addition to the neighborhood." They're happy we didn’t just put a Starbucks next door to a Starbucks or a craft coffee place next door to a craft coffee place.
They've been asking for more of something midtown-ish in terms of environment. I spent $30,000 on my coffee machine, and I say that to stress that we invested in nice amenities for our customers to feel comfortable.
When did you open? What can people do to help during these uncertain times?
We opened the end of March, so the second week of COVID (the initial shelter in place). I was already two months behind at that time and decided to just go for it. We had to do something here. Things are extremely difficult. Nobody is doing well in restaurants unless they’re lying. We did OK at first and then we got really hammered after the second lockdown.
We closed down for five weeks just to retool and re-strategize what we were doing and have since reopened. Now we're doing great. Our local following is incredible. The speed of growth I’ve noticed right now is so different.
To be honest, sharing on social media has been the most effective tool I’ve seen so far in getting the name out there—more than ever before.
People aren’t visiting and finding new spots like they used to before. Not in that same intensity and frequency. Sharing on social media and leaving a review is extremely helpful, but really, the biggest thing is just coming out.
Are you involved with or do you support any local nonprofits, community organizations or causes?
We have not dipped into anything other than FOVEC. We do a lot of work to try to update the restaurant—beauty and overall.
Do you have any upcoming events, specials or new products/services that people should know about?
New items right now, we just started offering a chai latte from North Fork Chai Company out of New Castle. We’ve also been featuring a watermelon gazpacho.
Anything else you’d like to add or anything you’d like to say to the community at this time?
We love this community.
I want to personally say "thank you" to everybody who’s come in and the unbelievable support of us being here. We are so lucky to open in such a great spot.
There are so many cool people who love this neighborhood, who want to see us and businesses around here thrive. They are really just sweet people. We are all really grateful for the great regulars who come in everyday and help keep us alive.