Meet our founder

img_sandy_01Growing up on Texas area ranches, Sandy experienced the type of childhood that sets the horizon as the only limit for one’s dreams. Thus, after graduating from Weatherford High School, she went on to obtain her B.A. at Austin College in Sherman, Texas, her M.A. at Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth, and her Ph.D. at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

In between her various academic achievements, Sandy followed other dreams. She lived in Germany, teaching school and traveling widely around Europe every time the opportunity arose. On her return to this country, she moved to the Bay Area of California to teach, and then went on to Ft. Worth to attend graduate school at TCU. It was there that she met her future husband, Dr. Stephen Winokur. After marrying and obtaining her Ph.D., fate allowed Sandy the pursuit of yet another dream: her lifelong love of art. When Stephen’s career took them to Chicago, she enrolled at the prestigious Art Institute of Chicago. Later, when she and Stephen moved to New York City, Sandy honed her artistic talent at the New York Academy of Design, The Arts Students League, and the School of Visual Design.

Following Stephen’s untimely passing in 1988, painting proved Sandy’s most abiding comfort. After studying art in Tuscany and traveling around the Mediterranean, as well as other distant parts of the world, she often found herself thinking back to the picturesque old olive trees she’d seen in Italy, Greece, and Spain. Back in her Manhattan apartment, she would set aside the illustrations she worked on for children’s books to draw thumbnail sketches of trees, imagining herself in a lovely Mediterranean olive grove.

Not one to live merely in the shadow of dreams, Sandy decided the time had come to return to her native Texas. Not only would that allow her to live closer to her family, but also in Texas, she could establish her own olive orchard. Today, Sandy’s dream is a thriving reality. ¬†Through hard work and sheer grit, those old thumbnail sketches came to life in the rows of lovely olive trees that grace Sandy Oaks Olive Orchard.