Meet The Owner
Deborah Olson’s entire life has evolved, and revolved, around cherries. She was born in the Santa Clara Valley at the peak of the California Bing cherry season the busiest time of the year for her cherry-producing family. As the first grandchild of her generation, Deborah knew early on that she wanted to carry on her family’s tradition and leadership in the cherry business.
As a youngster, she spent every summer working side-by-side with her grandmother at their family fruit stand selling Bing cherries. In the off-season, she learned how to cook with her Lebanese grandmother, Rose, who sparked her continuing interest in good food and cooking. Pies, of course were Deborah’s speciality and a Bing cherry pie was her masterpiece. She earned a B.S. Degree in Food and Nutrition from Long Beach State University and a culinary diploma from LaVarenne, the renowned French cooking school in Paris.
Over the years, Deborah has apppeared on numerous television programs discussing and promoting the upcoming cherry harvest, and demonstrating how to make cherry pies. These appearances and her love of life helped her befriend luminaries in the culinary world including Martha Stewart, Julia Child and Jacques Pepin.
While she continues to maintain her family’s traditions of quality and manages the C.J. Olson Fruit Stand in Sunnyvale, Deborah has brought her own vision and innovations to the business. Operating in an ever-changing business climate, she developed and introduced a mail order operation in 1988 that resulted in shipping Bing cherries and food products to customers across America, including top restaurants that have come to depend on her quality products. She expanded the cherry season by establishing relationships with Bing cherry growers in the southern hemisphere so that her customers can always get the best cherries that are available.
Deborah has been an active member of the San Francisco Professional Food Society since 1981 and has served many times on the Board. “I have learned so much and made so many friends by being a member of the society,”says Deborah. Over the years, she has also served on the boards of the California Cherry Advisory Board, American Institute of Wine ( Northern California Chapter)
and Western Ballet.
Between cherry seasons, you can find Deborah enjoying the good life. She loves to dance, travel the world and is always focused on learning more about fine food and wine. Her cherry bowl is always full!