Our Family History
The story of Ellouze 1870 began in Rougga, an ancient Roman-African city near the Mediterranean coast of Tunisia, where Hassan Ellouze planted his first olive trees, many of which are still growing today, over 150 years later.
Hassan Ellouze laid the foundations of what is today Ellouze 1870 when he established an olive grove and mill in Rougga, a town in southern Tunisia. The town is located on the site of an ancient Roman African city and to this day is home to numerous beautiful ruins of the Roman era.
Hasan planted the olive trees in the traditional way at that time, giving them plenty of space, with 24 meters between each tree. This allows trees to grow bigger with broader canopies and more extensive root systems. Today, we reap the benefits of this as the trees are robust and disease resistant and thrive without the use of chemicals.
Under the watch of Hassans's son Mahmoud, the farming and milling activities developed significantly. Mahmoud was known for his hard work and physical strength,
earning him the nickname “the Lion”. During the harvest season, from October to January, he would work in the mill around the clock. In those days, olives were crushed by two large, rotating stone wheels driven by a traditional watermill. One day, Mahmoud’s robe got stuck between the wheels and he was almost crushed. His remarkable strength allowed him to single handedly stop the wheels by forcefully pulling his robe. He always attributed his strength to his Mediterranean diet - rich, of course, in olive oil.
Mahmoud was also known in the community for his generosity and for the care he took of his employees. He built the local school and hospital and also incentivised his workers by granting them plots of land within his olive groves.
The Three Cousins
Over the following years, the Ellouze family continued to develop the farm and the olive mill, with most of the oil sold to large scale exporters. However, the family would always keep some of the best of the olive oil for friends and family.
In 2020, three visionary cousins (Hichem E, Hichem C & Mohamed E), great great grandsons of Hasan, decided to join forces to take the next step for the family business and make their exceptional olive oil available to a broader audience.
They are passionate about their family legacy, and share a love of the beautiful olive groves where they spent their childhood, as well as a keen interest in sustainability and technology.
The cousins are committed to preserving long-standing traditional methods, whilst leveraging modern technologies to ensure sustainability in production. They now share their exceptional harvest with those who also appreciate quality, fair trade and sustainability.
Thank you for being part of our family’s journey and we hope that you love our olive oil as much as we do.