About Us

We are Kathryn Tomajan and Robin Sloan. We operate Fat Gold in Oakland, California, down by the railroad tracks.

We are on a mission to de-commodify extra virgin olive oil and elevate its place in American food culture.

Shipment by shipment, we help our subscribers get to know the nuances of olive oil, which can be as varied and interesting as wine, beer, or chocolate. We think great olive oil is for everyone to use every day.

We get our olives from a few different sources. First and foremost, we lease and manage a small, three-acre olive grove in Sunol, California, about forty minutes south of San Francisco. This grove is planted with six different varieties of olives. Beyond that, we also collaborate with other growers to find and mill California's best, most interesting olives.

Most people don't have any idea how olive oil is made. The process is actually pretty simple, but it's also nuanced, and there are a lot of ways to screw it up! Kathryn is a professional olive miller, so we're particularly focused on this stage of the process, and we take great care with our olives as they move from the field, through the mill.

Our backgrounds

Kathryn is an olive miller, taster, and educator. In 2012, she graduated with a master’s degree in food culture from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy. Her master’s thesis research, focused on the opportunities and challenges for New World oil, took her from Italy to Australia and back to her home state of California.

In 2015, she was elected to the California Olive Oil Council’s Board of Directors with a special focus on marketing and outreach. She also serves on the California Olive Oil Council Sensory Panel to taste, grade, and certify extra virgin olive oils. She regularly develops and lead training seminars for the olive oil industry, food professionals, and regular folks alike.

Previously, she spent two seasons milling with Camilo Olives in Victoria, Australia, and one of the oils she produced there won Best of Show at Olive Japan. She’s currently working with Enzo Olive Oil Company in California’s San Joaquin Valley.

Robin is the author of the novels Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, a New York Times Best Seller published in 2012, and Sourdough, a novel about the mysteries and opportunities of food, published in 2017.

Between 2002 and 2012, he worked at the Poynter Institute, Current TV, and Twitter, always thinking about the intersection of technology and media. It turns out he can also handle the intersection of technology and olive trees.

Press

Edible East Bay wrote a lovely feature about Fat Gold in its Winter 2017 edition.

Berkeleyside wrote about our launch back in the spring of 2017.

You can sign up to receive our quarterly Field Report, with grove pix, olive oil intel, and maybe even a coupon code from time to time: