I was born and raised in the Ouzoud region of the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. This mountainous region is incredibly picturesque and gets its name from the Ouzoud Waterfalls, the tallest in Morocco.
The word ouzoud/auzoud means “olive” in Berber, my native language and that of the indigenous people of Morocco and North Africa.
Ouzoud’s waters contribute to the region’s fertile agricultural land, which is dotted with many small, family owned olive farms. These families still use traditional methods to harvest their olives every year.
Like many of the farmers in this region, my grandfather has a small olive farm that was passed down from generation to generation...it has been in my family for as long as anyone can remember.
Now ninety-four years old, my grandfather still lives off the land and the olive grove is still producing. As a child, I spent part of each year helping family and neighbors pick olives by hand during the harvest season. We would quickly move the olives to a small mill to press this extraordinary olive oil that we all loved for its full flavor and aroma.
After moving to the U.S. I became inspired by my childhood memories and my connection with my ancestors’ land to help the communities I left behind.
I also wanted to share the experience of quality olive oil, which is so much a part of life in Morocco, with my American family and friends. I want people here to be able to experience an authentic and flavorful olive oil of the kind that is often difficult to find in the U.S. But just as important for me is the ability to help others prosper and improve their lives, and to honor the hard work of my grandfather and the local farmers from our region.
Now we have expanded and are working with three cooperatives in Morocco.
All cooperative members are low-income farmers, many of them single mothers and young people hoping for a stable income to help their families.
We hope you enjoy our products and share them with your family, as we do, and that you understand Auzoud to be an offering which unites our regions, languages, cultures and religions. As such, Auzoud's logo is the dove carrying an olive branch - a universal symbol of hope and peace - in reflection of this wish for shared prosperity and peace between our communities and across the world.
All my best,
Japanese Gardens in Portland, Oregon (my home for the past 10 years)