Bringing a taste of Italy to the USA

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People of all ages come to the farmers’ market to get their fresh produce for the week ahead. Photo by Jesse Pagulayan

BERKELEY, Calif.—Of the many stands set up at the weekly downtown farmers’ market, one that stands out is Enrico Bariani’s.

Bariani, who is originally from Italy, sells olive oil and cosmetic products, and has been setting his tent up at the farmers’ market since the 1990’s.

He came to the United States with his family in 1989, and it was difficult for him to get a job because of immigration issues. His unemployment inspired Bariani to begin selling olive oil, made from olives grown on his family’s farm. “We decided to sell the oil that we made because it was more than we could use,” Bariani said.

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In addition to selling olive oil the Bariani’s sell organic honey, which comes in different flavors, such as wildflower. Photo by Jesse Pagulayan

The business started out small, and they only produced four gallons of olive oil their first year. However, as time went on and they gained more experience, they began to produce more oil each year. Now, they sell many different sizes of olive oil, and they sell cosmetic products made with their olive oil.  

They have other products, too: “We also have beehives on our farm so we also have organic honey,” he said.

He and other vendors have been coming regularly and numerous customers frequent the market each week, too. Nancy Newman, a local shopper, said she has been buying produce from the farmers’ market for years. She said she sees friends while doing her shopping and enjoys crossing paths with people she knows.

“There’s a great atmosphere here,” Newman said.