Recent Positively West Virginia guest, Mark Oliverio, owner of Oliverio’s Peppers, keeps his grandmother’s passion alive through her recipes by selling their products all over the United States.

You’ve probably seen the Oliverio label at your local grocery store and hopefully tasted them too. This family company started back in 1972 when Mark’s father, Frank Oliverio, worked with his mother to send their unique recipes to market. The company was born in Mark’s grandmother’s basement, but shortly after moved to a Clarksburg facility in 1976 and has been growing ever since.

Mark’s role in the business began as a child when he and his siblings and cousins would be the Oliverio production line’s labor team. He later began to watch and then facilitate the massive growth of their company. Today the Oliverio product line includes several types of peppers, sauces and other delicious items you can find at the grocery store. 

The reason that the Oliverio name is so well trusted is primarily due to their commitment to quality. The production team hand pits each pepper before they are jarred, so you know you’re getting the best of the best. In fact, the products are so trusted that the Oliverio company partakes in something called “private labeling,” which gives other businesses the chance to use the Oliverio products but with their name on the label. 

Mark boasts that he has purposely never changed his grandmother’s recipes throughout the years of business. The product line grows and becomes more efficient, but the recipes don’t change. This is an essential detail to the family and the reason they have become so successful. However, while Mark is true to tradition, that doesn’t stop him from dreaming up new products to add to the line. 

The biggest challenge for the Oliverio’s has been food safety. It takes a lot of patience and persistence to make a product that is as meticulously produced as it must be to attract large distributors’ business. While Mark admits it is sometimes difficult, he realizes that his work’s persistence, patience, and meticulous nature pay off. 

Mark says that you should be doing two things to be successful in this industry – take advice from every colleague you possibly can and work every day to build your business. Mark finds new ways to be efficient by talking with people and going to trade shows that have modern takes on the processes they use every day. Mark really enjoys giving advice and helping other businesses grow, so you might want to take his advice and ask him a question or two on your way to growth. 

Listen to Mark’s whole podcast here:


  • RECOMMENDED RESOURCE: Visit trade shows.
  • PIECE OF ADVICE: “Get all the knowledge you can get from anyone and everyone,” said Mark.