In Greece, the olive tree has played an important part in shaping its history and culture It has been considered as a multi-faceted symbol stemming from being a tree of wisdom to a tree of fertility. Tradition says that the olive tree was gifted to from gods to people. Thus, the symbol of goddess Athena beside the owl symbolized an olive branch. In folk tradition of Greek medicine, the olive oil is considered to be aphrodisiac. People offered to new couples bread in oval shape were they previously purred the first oil of the year, as an antidote to sterility. Even Irena, the god of peace, daughter of Zeus and Themed, was always depicted with an olive branch in her hand. Later, in periods of war, the couriers of peace were sent holding a symbolic olive branch in their hand.
Thus, evo3 has a personal respect for the olive tree and its history. However, on a more personal level, founder Stratis Camatsos based his idea to bottle a good quality, honest, and socially responsible olive oil from his family history.
Stratis comes from a family of farmers — his grandfather harvested olives and made olive oil, as was his father, who also returned to Greece after emigration to the United States, to pursue and continue his passion of olive farming.
evo3’s story actually begins on the island of Lesvos during World War II, where Ioannis Kamatsos, farmer and father of five, and Stratis’ grandfather, bore the winters and fought off starvation to produce olive oil, his most precious commodity. He would load his oil onto a small fishing boat in the middle of the night, crossing the Aegean Sea to the mainland, evading German and Italian soldiers, risking his life for his family, to trade his valuable olive oil for enough food and supplies to keep them alive during the harsh times of the war. The oil had saved himself and his family.
His son, George Camatsos, bore his own journey, immigrating to the United States by himself when he became of legal age, trading his father’s olive trees for knowledge in medicine. After 27 years in the United States, his return to his native island brought an intense desire to pick up where his father had left off. George put every ounce of his passion to reinvigorate his olive trees and to continue producing the valuable juice of the olive. Transforming the production to organic cultivation using sustainable methods, he also continued to use the traditional methods that he had learned from his father. This knowledge is now being passed on to his youngest son, Stratis.
Stratis’s own journey has involved keeping the traditional family methods, focusing on quality, and taking the family olive oil to another level by establishing the brand evoᶾ olive farms, which is olive products with a heart. The motto “taste love, give life” encompasses all these ideals.
evoᶾ is different from the rest of the brands in the market, not only because of their high quality and innovative products, but also because of the environmental and social cause behind it. The heart of evoᶾ is its concept. For every product sold, a tree will be planted in a deforested area in Africa – specifically in Ethiopia and Madagascar.
The aim is for everyone to share the passion and love for the olive tree, olives and olive oil. However, Stratis not only wants everyone to be a part of his story of buying one product and planting one tree, but also to be a part of our greater journey.