Community, city officials celebrate future olive oil business, expansion of art program
Director of the Rainforest Art Project Dan Evers (center) cuts a ceremonial ribbon to mark the grand opening of the Rainforest Art Center of Imperial on Thursday. (FERNANDO ACOSTA JR. PHOTO / June 28, 2013)
“We are excited to celebrate art, innovation, creativity and business here in Imperial,” said Marlene Best, city manager.
At the opening, community members had the opportunity to tour the center’s facility, take in the art and sample olive oil from the Temecula Olive Oil Company.
The company recently announced its partnership with local farmers and took the opportunity to meet residents, city and county officials at the grand opening.
“We are very excited to be a part of Imperial,” said Thom Curry, of the Temecula Olive Oil Company. “I think the olive oil industry will be a real dynamic change for a real dynamic community.”
Curry said he has been working with local farmer Doni Barioni for about three years and is excited about the city’s future mill, Imperial California Olive Mill.
“We’re working on setting up the mill now and hopefully it’ll be done in the fall,” Curry said. “We hope to be producing olive oil soon afterward.”
Barioni said he is also excited about the future of the business and what it will bring not only to Imperial, but the Valley as whole.
“I’m looking forward to bringing a premium product with long-term business and a growth in jobs,” Barioni said.
Mayor Rick Breland said it was great to see the city expanding and looked forward to the product and creations brought by the olive oil industry and the art center, respectively.
“Dan Evers (director of Rainforest Art Project) approached us about six years ago with his project and it’s been great to see it expand,” Breland said. “He’s worked with at-risk youth and gotten great results. Our trash cans aren’t just trash cans, they’re art. We’re excited about the future of Imperial.”
Staff Writer Karina Lopez can be reached at 760-337-3439 or firstname.lastname@example.org