Pompeian Olive Oil reinvests in Baltimore headquarters and workforce

06/12/2023| Amanda Winters

Pompeian Olive Oil reinvests in Baltimore headquarters and workforce

06/12/2023 | Amanda Winters

While many companies struggled throughout the pandemic, one Baltimore manufacturer boosted its sales and nearly doubled its workforce to meet the growing demand for its products.

Pompeian  – which has been based in Baltimore since 1906 – is the nation’s largest brand of olive oil, best-selling vinegars, and various cooking sprays. It’s no wonder they are known as The Olive Oil People .

In 2020, Pompeian experienced an unexpected boost when the demand for olive oil went through the roof. With so many people cooking at home, the sought-after product was flying off the shelves. And while other olive oil companies were caught in the mix of supply chain issues and couldn’t meet the high demand, Pompeian was able to thrive.

“We source our oil from different regions around the globe allowing us to maintain consistency and source quality oil year-round. Because we are one of the only olive oil brands completely focused on the U.S. market, we bottle our oil in the United States, and we have product distribution centers strategically located throughout the U.S., making it easy for us to provide oil to our customers with very short lead-time,” says Pompeian’s Vice President of Operations, Salim Benjelloun.

Now, to further its commitment to doing business in Maryland, Pompeian is renovating its headquarters on Pulaski Highway by adding 1.2 million gallons of storage and expanding production capacity, with an estimated completion date of 2025. Pompeian also has 2 million gallons of storage at the Port of Baltimore and is investing another 1 million gallons at the Port. The company has also nearly completed reworking its office space and Olive Oil Visitors Center; renovating its lunch and locker rooms; and adding modern features with additional windows to allow more natural light throughout the facility.

“We’re making a campus on Pulaski Highway,” said Mackenzie Brown, corporate communications and corporate social responsibility manager.

According to the company, there has never been a reason to leave its Baltimore home. The company’s commitment to the state and the community has grown strong over the past century and shows no signs of slowing down.

“We are very devoted to growing and staying in Baltimore—we’ve been here for over 100 years,” said Brown. “Having easy access to the Port (and creating storage there) lets us do what we need to do quickly. Easy rail access, and training grants from the state, have also been very helpful.”

Staff of Pompeian Olive Oil

Furthermore, in August 2021, Pompeian opened a new 400,000 square-foot facility at Tradepoint Atlantic to serve as its main East Coast distribution hub. The expansion significantly increased the company’s capacity in the Baltimore region, and brought more than a dozen new jobs to the logistics center.

“We’ve hired across the board. Some positions are remote, but they are mostly all located in Baltimore,” said Renee Evans, vice president of human resources, who tells us employment went from approximately 125 to over 180 workers over the past few years. From administrative and corporate positions, to warehouse and operations, employees have been added in every division of Pompeian. In fact, nearly 90 percent of the company’s workforce is located in Maryland.

To build on its recent growth, the company is releasing a new group of products called The Made Easy Collection  featuring specific olive oil blends used for baking, frying, sautéing, and drizzling. The company hopes the new line will educate U.S. consumers on how to use olive oil for each cooking occasion and encourage U.S. households to incorporate more olive oil into kitchen routines, instead of butter and other cooking alternatives.

Pompeian also recently announced that its Sunrise Olive Ranch in California has received a Sustainably Grown Certification®  — the gold standard of sustainability for many agricultural crops. That makes Pompeian the first olive oil brand in North America to receive this certification, challenging the industry to make this the standard in olive oil production.

With a global network of farms in over 10 countries, across 3 continents, the company aims to have each of its farms certified by 2030.

“At Pompeian, there are a lot of great things on the horizon as we work internally and within the community to promote sustainable practices. We’re excited to see where we’ll go in the next 3-5 years as a company,” said Brown.

The company is working to build out its Environmental, Social and Governance roadmap prioritizing programs and initiatives involving sustainable farming and supply chain, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and continuing to be an employer of choice.

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