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Telecommunications to Olives

May 16, 2011 Uncategorized

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Olivo is the oldest commercial olive grove in the Wairarapa valley, located in Martinborough about an hour out of Wellington, New Zealand. It was planted by Robin and Ian Lockie in 1991 and reluctantly sold by them in 1998 to Tim Day and Rose Percival. The Lockies were pioneers of the olive industry in the Wairarapa and New Zealand. Olivo first started producing awarding winning extra virgin olive oil in 2001.alt

On the birth of their daughter in May 2003, Tim and Rose sold the grove to Helen and John Meehan. They are supported in the business by their son, Nicholas when he is in New Zealand.

It’s been said that Nicholas carries out the best olive grove tour, I can’t speak first hand for that but I have done the tour with Helen and found it fascinating and informative. Sophie the Beagle sometimes tags along and sees her primary role as keeping the rabbits at bay in the grove, but my memories of Sophie are seeing her lounging around the tasting and sales room….it’s a dog’s life! Cool

altThe first time I met Helen and John I was impressed firstly by the magnificence of the grove and the surrounding gardens along with the welcoming family style rural business setting. That’s to say nothing about the excellent infused olive oils and other products. The oils include infusions with Fennel (my favorite), Smoked Paprika, Orange, Lemon (try it on ice-cream they said…not bad actually!), Porcini, and more.

The outward appearance of serenity and ideal lifestyle I’m sure masks the incredible hard work and care that the Meehan’s and their team put into producing their high quality products.

Helen formerly worked in the information/IT industry for 20 years and wanted a complete career change – she certainly achieved that. John provides financial and business acumen to Olivo Ltd with his PricewaterhouseCoopers background.

Their lifestyle transition from the corporate world into rural Martinborough is a great story and supports a common observation of lifestyle business owners – Passion, patience and persistence. The passion for their business and brand comes through from the instant you talk to anyone involved with Olivo. That passion extends to exemplary customer service and an obvious pride in their brand. Their patience and persistence has enabled them to succeed as specialist exporters in this unique business sector.

Their knowledge of olives, growing techniques, processing and brand management showcase their abilities as professionals who have clearly researched, planned and are now living their lifestyle business. Grove management is maintained to a high standard as are the surrounding gardens. As a lifestyle business I think Helen and John epitomize the term.

Olivo is definitely worth a visit if you in the Wairarapa and their Olive and Olive oil products are magnificent.

I hope to bring you an interview via the podcast program soon. – Stay tuned. In the meantime you can find Olivo at