Wednesday, May 20, 2015


Currently in Goodyear AZ (Low 64 Partly Sunny High 96)

We recently took a day trip to the Florence Arizona area. Our first stop was the Queen Creek Olive Mill in Queen Creek Arizona.

What started out as a warm getaway from the chilly Detroit winter for a couple in 1997 turned into an empire. While visiting they were surprised to see the number of olive trees in the area. Being of Italian descent and knowing the goodness of olive oil they decided to move to Queen Creek and started out with a few trees as a hobby selling the olive oil locally. That quickly caught on and they added more to the product line in their gift shop and a small cafe. They now supply the Valley and its surrounding cities with farm fresh, local food and of course Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the Queen Creek location and three retail stores across Arizona.

We started off with breakfast and it was really good food from their small cafe. 

Bob got the mushroom omelet and Jo got the peach waffles, sorry no pictures. We then bought some great olives from the gift shop. But we have to go back, the food was excellent and we need to try the homemade gelato and their other desserts looked yummy. We also want to do a tour but we had more things planned so we moved on. We then went to the Pork Shop, a local butcher shop for some excellent sausage that we blogged about earlier here

Then it was off to Florence for the Tom Mix Monument, the sight where Tom Mix was killed in a car wreck.

Then it was off to downtown Florence for a rare urban state park, McFarland State Park. We toured the visitor center and learned that POWs were held in the area.

We walked around downtown Florence, here is the tree planted in the movie "Murphy's Romance". 

A Catholic Church.

We then had some great homemade ice cream. Then it was off to the prison outlet store.

Prisoners create all the artwork and items in the outlet store by hand and some of it is amazing. 

The rest of the story about the prison outlet is that it self funded and employs nearly 2,000 inmates. They produce products for business, institutions, schools, and more in addition to the outlet store. This operation returned over $2 million dollars to Arizona's General Fund last fiscal year and contributed more than $195 million dollars to the Arizona economy. For inmates in the program the repeat offenses rate is reduced by over 30%. The money they earn is kept for them upon their release to help their transition back to society with a marketable skill. Amazing story, amazing products. We bought a roadrunner to place outside. Here is the metal roadrunner that we bought staked out under our grapefruit tree.

On the way back to the park we ate at Rudy's BBQ and Country Store for some incredible Texas brisket.

It was a great day trip. The weather has been cooler than normal here in the Valley of the Sun recently and we are not complaining. But the heat is on its way.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

1 comment:

  1. I love olives...Paul not so much.

    Thanks for the tour of Florence. Next time we are out that way, we need to see it for ourselves.