Recently South Wairarapa Mayor Adrienne Staples hosted a morning tea and presented the two South Wairarapa Gold Awards Finalists Certificates to Schoc Chocolates and The Olive Press. Both were finalists in Emerging Services, and both from Greytown – not bad for a town with population 2202 (2013 Census).
Both businesses were Finalists in the Emerging Gold – Products category, which focuses on businesses with 10 or less full time employees.
The Gold Awards are the Wellington region’s business awards and they have been celebrating inspiring Wellington businesses since 1999. This year 1,000 business people including the Prime Minister John Key attended the black-tie dinner at TSB Bank Arena to celebrate the finalists and applaud the winners.
Adrienne commented on how both businesses further demonstrated the disproportionate wealth of entrepreneurial energy in the Wairarapa.
Wairarapa olive oils had a massive showing at this year’s national awards.
The region scored exponentially more medals than any other region with 29 medals going to Wairarapa, 8 each to Hawke’s Bay and Nelson, 7 to Kapiti, 5 each to Auckland and Northland, 3 each to Canterbury and Waiheke Island and 1 to Bay of Plenty.
TOP was also named Best Processor for the second year in a row.
The Head Judge, Peter Olson from Australia, commented on the quality of the oils entered in New Zealand’s top olive oil awards. He said “I have been involved in the assessment of olive oils from Australia, California and New Zealand this year. The oils entered in the New Zealand Extra Virgin Olive Oil Awards are some of the best Extra Virgin Olive Oils I have tasted this season.”
Named “The Olive Market @ The Olive Press”, the shop provides a specialist retail outlet for our shareholders and pressing clients. It has long been the dream of TOP MD Bruce McCallum and on Friday 9 October it became a reality.
The shop stocks branded Wairarapa extra virgin olive oil, a range of infused oils from our local producers, table olives from Hawke’s Bay, olive oil body products and some stainless steel storage containers. We will be adding to the product range regularly.
All olive oil for sale at The Olive Market has been pressed on the premises.
A feature of the new retail store is the tasting table where free oil tastings are available. A weekly roster of two or three brands will be on display and there’s a good chance our growers will be available to discuss their products from time to time.
Another Olive Market initiative is the provision of ‘fill your own’ bulk oil. Unbranded oil from some of the local groves we manage and pressed at The Olive Press will be available in 5 litre quantities – bring your own container or we have some for sale.
TOP Managing Director Bruce McCallum says “it’s another part of what the company is doing to drive the industry, to educate the public that quality olive oil should be part of our diet.”
The retail shop is part of The Olive Press complex at 14 Arbor Place, off Bidwills Cutting Road (the road to Martinborough) at the south end of Greytown.
VIPs at the opening of our new facility in Greytown
Our new pressing facility and retail shop in Arbor Place, Greytown was opened by the Minister for Primary Industries, Hon Nathan Guy, on Sunday 25 May 2015.
Other VIPs in attendance were the Minister’s family, along with MP for Wairarapa, Alastair Scott, Olives NZ President Andrew Taylor and Chair of Greytown’s Papawai Marae, Paora Ammunson.
A large turnout of local growers as well as visitors from Hawke’s Bay and the Kapiti Coast were treated to a ‘live’ demonstration of TOP’s press, from loading of freshly-picked fruit through to the finished product from the separator.
Olives NZ coordinated a series of visits in New Zealand by two eminent American professors who are on international sabbatical studying the chemistry and health benefits of olive oil. Pat O’Hara is Professor of Chemistry at Amherst College, New England. Her husband Richard Blatchly is Professor of Chemistry at Keene State College in New Hampshire. Their sabbatical has involved visiting olive groves in the Mediterranean, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia.
While in New Zealand Pat and Richard visited The Olive Press – Wairarapa, The Village Press – Hawke’s Bay, The Olive Place – Auckland and Rangihoua Estate and The Waiheke Olive Oil Company – Waiheke Island.
Olives New Zealand wishes to acknowledge appreciation of the hosting of Pat and Richard by these processors, especially as many are already involved in processing 2015 harvests. Pat and Richard enjoyed their visits and said these have added to their knowledge of the international olive industry. While in Wairarapa and Auckland they had the chance to meet with local growers and this was also worthwhile from their perspective. Thanks to Bruce and Mary McCallum and Ross and Margaret Legh for hosting these meetings and accommodating Pat and Richard.
Pictured above are Pat and Richard with Bill Hey at The Olive Press, Wairarapa.
(Reprinted from Olives NZ newsletter – see the whole newsletter here.)