Robert Armstrong purchased his remote high country grazing property in the Abercrombie wilderness area of the Great Dividing Ranges near Crookwell NSW in 1999, and subsequently established a certified olive grove encompassing 20,000 trees and 15 different oil and table olive varieties.
Since the first harvest in 2003, the Extra Virgin olive oils produced from this pristine place have been consistent trophy winners at major olive shows including the prestigious New York and Los Angeles International EVOO Competitions, Olive Japan and Sydney and Melbourne Royal Fine Food Shows.
Robert Armstrong is an active participant in the Australian olive industry, and has regularly served as panel Chairman at major industry shows, including the Australian Olive Association National Show as well as selected capital city and regional shows. His organoleptic and table olive training was undertaken with international experts including Professor Stan Kailis, Judy Ridgway and Dr Richard Gawel.
Robert is passionate about refining horticultural regimes, utilising sustainable principles and honing the prestige award-winning quality of the ALTO Extra Virgin Oil and Table Olive portfolio.
Depending on the day, you might find Westerly Isbaih either wandering through the ALTO olive groves, cooking up a storm with her son in her own kitchen, or managing ALTO Olives sales and marketing. Some days it’s all three.
Born in Australia, Westerly spent her formative years in South East Asia, which instilled a deep-rooted curiosity and appreciation for all things edible. She is a qualified Cordon-Bleu chef, and worked in the kitchens of a hatted Sydney restaurant before transitioning her attentions to wholesale food distribution, firstly with Nicholas Foods and then Australia on a Plate, connecting Sydney’s chefs and retailers to great Australian farmers and food producers.
During this time she first came across some excellent Australian extra virgin olive oil, which led Westerly to pursue her love of the noble olive by focusing on the family olive business.
For 12 years Westerly has contributed as a highly regarded extra virgin olive oil and table olive judge and is a long-standing contributor to the Australian Olive Association (AOA) Consumer Awareness Education Committee. Westerly is an olive oil educator and regularly hosts EVOO tasting and appreciation masterclasses for the foodservice industry and consumers.
Influenced by US advocate and author Michael Pollan, Westerly’s own philosophy around food is pretty basic: source the best and freshest produce available, know where it comes from and what is in it, and treat it simply. And always use high quality, Australian extra virgin olive oil joyously, with abandon. On everything!