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In 1991 Billy and Akaisha Kaderli retired at the age of 38. Now, into their 3rd decade of this financially independent lifestyle, they invite you to take advantage of their wisdom and experience.

The True Olive Connection

Gourmet cold-extracted, fresh organic, extra virgin olive oil and Balsamic Vinegar

Santa Cruz, California

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli

I had never heard of the idea. An olive oil and Balsamic vinegar tasting room?

My youngest sister gushed over her previous experiences with her tasting, letting us know that there was even Balsamic vinegar that one could put over fruit or even ice cream!

The idea rattled my brain, but I decided that we had to go!

This would be a brand new experience for me and I was excited.

The sign at the entrance of the Aptos store

We were prepared to "taste, try and buy!" just as the sign advertises and we walked into the store.

Angela, the knowledgeable store worker

Large jars and bottles of all sizes lined the walls as we entered the True Olive Connection in Aptos, California.

Not knowing what to expect, Angela came to our rescue and introduced us to the procedures of tasting and showed us the display locations of their many products.

Mustards, BBQ sauces, jams, jellies, honeys, pastas and more

To the left of the cashier counter one will find various mustards, BBQ sauces, marinades, jams, jellies, honeys and beauty products.


Here in the photo you see a couple of rectangle boxes which display the products you can taste. If you are a foodie, you will love this place. How many jams, jellies, honeys and BBQ sauces can you taste without buying something?


After our various tastings, products started to find themselves lining up at the cash register counter.

Olive oil and Balsamic vinegar tasting table

In the center of the store, one will find the flavors of oil and vinegar with dipping bread that are being offered for tasting that day.

The first dip I tried was the Butter Olive Oil and Maple Balsamic Vinegar.

I literally stopped in my tracks!

I know it sounds ridiculous, but the flavors just knocked my socks off. I had not expected anything so distinctive and delicious, especially from oil and vinegar.

A little chunk of sourdough bread dipped into one of the tasting bowls

Balsamic vinegar is a vinegar originating from Italy and is made from a reduction of cooked white Trebbiano grape juice. This condiment has been produced in Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy since the Middle Ages. A document dated 1046 mentions aceto balsamico to prove this claim.

These bottles and tubs of olive oil lined the walls

Here you see a variety of "fused" and "infused" olive oils for sale, along with the origination of the olives for producing the oil.

"Fused" olive oil (or oil also referred to as agrumato in Italy) is made by crushing ripe olives with whole, fresh fruits, herbs or vegetables at the time of crush.

 "Infusion" is the process of adding flavor to olive oil after it has been made.

Another wall of olive oils

There were just so many to try; fused, infused and extra virgin olive oil.

Balsamic vinegars

Here you see the wondrous Maple balsamic vinegar I spoke of earlier, and the Black Cherry was incredible as well.

You would pour a few drops of the flavored vinegar into the cups placed on the side as pictured here, and then sip the liquid.


One could always go and clear out their palate by drinking some water from the water dispenser in the corner, or by eating some sour dough bread.

After reducing the Trebbiano grape juice, the resulting thick syrup is then aged for a minimum of 12 years in wooden barrels. These barrels can be of different woods such as chestnut, cherry, oak, mulberry ash or juniper. The rich vinegar, deep brown in color has a complex flavor coming from the cooked grape juice and the woods of the casks.

Suggested combinations for dipping bread

The True Olive Connection had a list of suggested oil and vinegar combinations for dipping bread. Take a look. One could certainly plan a tasting party of one's own with these flavors!

A list of various oils offered

Here you see the list of oils offered at True Olive Connection. You will see the size of bottle, region of the olives, price and whether or not they are fused, infused or extra virgin olive oil.

List of Balsamic Vinegar

Here is the same kind of list of the Balsamic Vinegars as well. You can make tasting notes for future reference, and know which ones you preferred or have tasted previously.

If you have never had such a variety of olive oils or balsamic vinegars to choose from, this tasting room is a must-see.

Friendly, family and food oriented, check out The True Olive Connection. 2 locations.

The True Olive Connection

7960 Soquel Dr, Aptos, CA 95003

Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10AM – 6PM, Closed Sunday

Telephone: 831-612-6932 Website: 


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About the Authors

Billy and Akaisha Kaderli are recognized retirement experts and internationally published authors on topics of finance, medical tourism and world travel. With the wealth of information they share on their award winning website, they have been helping people achieve their own retirement dreams since 1991. They wrote the popular books, The Adventurer’s Guide to Early Retirement and Your Retirement Dream IS Possible available on their website bookstore or on

Retire Early Lifestyle appeals to a different kind of person – the person who prizes their independence, values their time, and who doesn’t want to mindlessly follow the crowd.

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