Young company scrambles following Food Channel mention

[caption id="attachment_21472" align="alignleft" width="171" caption="Smoky olive oil taking off, says maker"][/caption]

SANTA ROSA – The Smoked Olive, a tiny startup gathering lots of kudos from foodies is looking to grow its operation, according to founder and partner Al Hartman.

Attention from the Food Channel and its celebrity chefs has created demand that his company can't keep up with in their current quarters, said Mr. Hartman, who declined to give an address.

He and his partner, wife and Smoked Olive CEO Brenda Chatelain are looking for about 2,000 square feet suitable for food production with room for expansion in Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Healdsburg, he said.

"We have 100 percent growth. It's crazy. I have inventory in warehouses all over the Bay Area. I have a warehouse full of bottles in Benicia."

His patent pending method of wood smoking California premium olive oil was developed over a three-year period and is the only operation of its kind in the U.S., he believes.

Launched at the Santa Rosa Farmers Market, the oil is now available in about a dozen specialty food stores, wineries and also on the company's website at www.thesmokedolive.com.

He and Ms. Chatelain and three employees do all the smoking, bottling and labeling themselves.

The product line includes Napa Smoked Olive Oil and Santa Fe Chili Smoked Olive oil. The partners are developing more flavors, Ms. Chatelain told the Food Channel.