I have recently written here about how food evokes nostalgia, and how nostalgia evokes emotions. …
“The big love we have for both Italy and the UK shaped our biggest dream and gave us the motivation to turn it into reality: offer our British friends the possibility to taste the real Italian excellences at home and experience Italy like a local on a holiday to remember.”
Daniele & Eleonora grew up in a small city in the centre of Italy, in an area called Umbria, well known for its peculiar medieval hamlets, its hilly landscape covered by vineyards and olive groves and its delicious food. A place away from the buzz of the big cities where you can savour the pleasures of a slow paced lifestyle and experience a deep connection to nature and tradition.
They have known each other forever but then they met again in London 10 years ago, where Daniele had moved for work and Eleonora was on holiday… “And here we are! The big love we have for both Italy and the UK shaped our biggest dream and gave us the motivation to turn it into reality: offer our British friends the possibility to taste the real Italian excellences at home and experience Italy like a local on a holiday to remember.”
When did you start the Olivocracy project?
We started Olivocracy four years ago, with a range of organic and biodynamic single estate extra virgin olive oils from Italian small producers and then we added Magna Mater, a range of biodynamic condiments: balsamic vinegars, apple cider vinegar, white condiment and Saba that is cooked grape must. Single estate in most cases or single origin. Mostly, pillars of traditional Italian cuisine.
We work with organic and biodynamic small to medium scale producers as they are more connected to the agronomic heritage and the rhythm of mother Nature. Two of our extra virgin olive oils come from a FAO GIAHS, a Globally Important Agronomic Heritage System, “outstanding landscapes of aesthetic beauty that combine agricultural biodiversity, resilient ecosystem and a valuable cultural heritage”.
For us there cannot be excellence without sustainability, for two main reasons: first, we believe that in a product that is considered excellent there should be no undesired substances. Second and not less important, one of the points that make a product excellent, together with an amazing sensory and chemical profile, is the impact it has on the environment.
We believe that farming can have a positive impact on the environment if farmers work in harmony with Nature, nurture biodiversity and prioritize revitalization of the soil.
We support short supply chain and maximum traceability, products straight from the farm to our customers, certified, tested in a lab and with no additives whatsoever.
Where does your passion come from?
A few factors came together: our love for Italy and London, our deep connection to nature and to tradition, a strong will to stand up for more environmentally friendly practices and a passion for discovering niche, outstanding products. We love networking, we love collaborating with like-minded people, we love waking up in the morning with a sense of scope and feeling that we are part of a constantly growing movement of people thinking and acting differently.
Doing everything by ourselves, learning things we had never done before and not all listed in the famous 20% of the Pareto Principle :D, starting a business without external funds, a highly competitive market, make audience understand the real value of our products, the fact that we pay the producers more than fairly and how much this affects the final price.
However, every difficult step, led us here and we are learning a lot about business, our sector and about ourselves, as individuals, as professionals and as a couple working together. It just feels great and all this resonates so much with what we are and our values that even in the most challenging days, we know where we want to go and who we want to be.
Our goal is doing something we love which makes us grow as both professionals and individuals while having a positive impact on the society. Offering people the option of shopping with an eye (or both) to the environment, to their health and to real quality. Keep on learning, evolving and expanding. Having a great work-life balance and a job that is also a passion that fulfills us and gives us energy to invest with people we love. Stay present to ourselves and in connection with nature.
Be the best version of ourselves and a source of good energy for people we meet!
Advices to someone who wants to start a business.
Find out what your mission and your core values are and live accordingly. Everything will be much easier and enjoyable. Be humble and see a teacher in everyone and every situation, but at the same time be self-confident and trust your ability to do well what you already know and to learn what you don’t. Network with genuine interest with like-minded people and welcome debate. Keep on learning, reading, watching videos, listening to people, feeding your brain and soul. Try not to let the business take over your personal life, find time for yourself, meditate, exercise, do yoga or whatever you like to take care of yourself and stay healthy. Find time for your loved ones, love and life are a great source of energy and inspiration.
Projects for the future.
At some point, we would love to be flexible between London and Italy, so to have more time to enjoy our families and the Mediterranean weather that we love so much! Widen the range of products and the circle of people we collaborate with. Create more and more synergies with other sectors of sustainable manufacture. Work on connected projects. Being able to delegate and allocate our working time to that aforementioned 20% of things that we really love doing.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
We don’t inherit the world from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children.
Keep calm… and call Batman!