About Us

susan_and_mikeIn 2010, Susan Pappas was looking to start a business in Santa Cruz where she could combine her passion for food, family, and meeting new people. Her “Eureka” moment came when she and her husband Mike discovered an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting room in Belmont, California. Four months later, with their partners Mona and Guillermo Silva they opened their own tasting room and retail boutique, the True Olive Connection, in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz. Ever since, the love has been flowing.

When you visit the True Olive Connection, you’ll be treated like family and introduced to the wonderful world of extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegar.  Susan, Mike, and their friendly staff love to share knowledge about these exceptional products that not only enhance your cuisine and are fun to cook with, they are good for you.

Mona Susan and Joanna

Building Community

Known as the “Human LinkedIn” among some of her friends, Susan is a natural net-worker who thrives on meeting people and connecting them with others. A Santa Cruz Mountains local, Susan not only connects individuals, she loves to foster connections between Santa Cruz businesses.

The Santa Cruz Downtown area allows her to flourish creative ideas and link businesses in new ways that build the local economy.  “We’re all about connecting, participating fully in the Santa Cruz community, and giving back every day.  That’s our true calling,” says Susan.

 The Joy of Giving Back

mailTrue to their mission of giving back every day, the True Olive Connection makes hundreds of donations every year to a wide variety of local charities, schools, and non-profits.

Beneficiaries include hundreds of local groups such as Sisters Share Santa Cruz, Save Our Shores, Walnut Women’s Center, and CASA many more. Susan receives thank you cards every week. “These cards remind me why I’m here and warms my heart,” she says. Giving back to organizations that form the fabric of community is just the right thing to do.”