The red and green branding is distinctly recognisable as Telegraph Hill but just quietly you might be surprised just how extensive their product range is. With shelf space in supermarkets and some speciality food stores at capacity, even established food producers find it challenging to get new products in store.
Telegraph Hill Olivery was my first stop visiting local food producers in and around Hawkes Bay in early February and I was lucky enough to get Adrienne’s expert knowledge all to myself. Had I called in during the afternoon, a large tour party would have been vying for her attention. I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Adrienne explain the rich history of Telegraph Hill - she’s been involved with Telegraph Hill for many years. And of course tasting an extensive range of oils, olives, chutneys and much more.
Telegraph Hill was New Zealand’s first olivery back in 2001, and Hawke’s Bay is New Zealand’s biggest olive region, with more than half the country’s production. The Telegraph Hill main grove has 2000 trees and utilises local contract growers to provide fruit to keep up with production demands. What started as a cottage industry in Rose Gresson's (a dietician) home kitchen and selling with the assistance of her friend Jackie at the Hawke’s Bay Farmers Market, now operates from a purpose built Olivery, complete with viewing window. The business is now owned and run by Geoff Crawford who has been involved for many years and is incredibly passionate about the New Zealand olive industry.
But for me, the hardest decision was deciding what to take home. In the end, I settled on: Flowering Oregano and Lemon Olives - perfect for a nibbles platter; Olive Zing - a fabulous versatile seasoning combining olive powder, organic flaky salt, pepper, chilli and lemon; and a bottle of Wasabi Vinaigrette, a smooth Asian style dressing with a peppery finish, perfect for salads, fish and chicken or drizzled on warm potatoes. And my new favourite - Manuka Smoked Tomato Pesto – absolutely loving it by the looks of the half full jar!
To find out what other products are on offer or for great recipes and ideas visit www.telegraphhill.co.nz or drop into the Olivery next time you’re in Hawke’s Bay. I will definitely be back.
ps keep an eye out for a more posts on New Zealand food producers as this becomes a regular feature on The Foodie Inc blog. And if you think of a product or person to include, let us know.