We are three years since West Country Olives was born, a lot has happened over this past year.
This year has seen a new flavour, more product awards, agricultural shows, trade shows, local Christmas events and lots more Wholesale Customers too.
The Farmshop and Deli Show - NEC Birmingham
We decided to give The Farm Shop and Deli Show a go this year, this one abit further afield for us but a huge trade show to be apart of.
We stayed in Birmingham for the three days, so as well as the cost of our stand we also had travel and hotel costs (as well as Nando’s for dinner!)
We met some other fantastic businesses and we got some good leads, one of these was from TK Maxx one of the buyers contacted us and was keen to get a very large order in with us.
We gave them a time frame and most of the staff were happy to help with a bit of overtime, we scheduled in the flavours we would be doing each day and the production all went very smoothly. We had to then box all of the olives into seperate boxes per flavour and there was very complex instructions for booking in the collection and making sure we had labelled everything correctly.
The order was for around 5,000 packs of olives, so it was a really important order for us. We were really pleased to have our olives on the shelves in many TK Maxx stores including our very own local store in Exeter.
Most importantly this order covered our costs for the actual show!
More Taste of the West awards
We entered 2 flavours into the Taste of the West awards this year, Garlic and Chilli and South Devon Basil Pesto Basil Pesto was a brand new flavour which we hadn’t even launched yet.
Both flavours came away with Gold awards which we were thrilled about, we entered Basil Pesto with an un finished label but the flavour we had was complete and we were really happy with it.
The Judges obviously thought the same and awarded our newest flavour a big fat Gold!
Launching South Devon Basil Pesto
We launched our newest flavour South Devon Basil Pesto in May, launching a new flavour with an award being won already felt really good and received really positive feedback.
We have teamed up with the lovely Janey from Feast Kitchen based in the South Hams, she produces the most amazing pesto for us which is vibrant, tasty, nut free and vegan.
We launched this flavour when we attended Devon County Show for the first time in May this year, we had the pesto out for sampling and the feedback was incredible, we sold out of Basil Pesto every day of the show.
A great start for our newest flavour, the feedback for Basil Pesto has been fantastic, always positive and has always lead to lots of sales of our pre packs.
First year for Agricultural Shows
We decided to attend and give some of our local agricultural shows a go this year, some lets say were better than others!
We decided to book a stand at Devon County Show quite late on, but we ended up getting a really good spot in the Food and Drink hall.
It was a massive success, never expected the 3 days to go as well as they did.
The weather was really good which is always a massive part of how well these shows will go.
Being the most local show it was only right to attend and support this show, we have already booked to attend again next year and we have managed to get our same spot again.
Mid Devon Show was the complete opposite which was a real shame but it just shows it really does come down to the weather with these events.
We were in the Food Drink Zone which was a new zone for 2023 but it was outside and it decided to rain all day (good old British weather!)
It was a bit of a washout and a real shame as Devon County Show had gone so well, but we now know to always go in the Food Drink marquee to cover all over weather.
The third and final show we attended was Totnes Show,
We have had a busy November and December with Christmas events, we were involved in two new and exciting opportunities which we would have been silly to turn down!
Food Drink Devon had the brilliant idea of having a shared chalet at the Exeter Christmas markets, we got asked to be involved and we couldn’t turn it down it was a roaring success with 18 local brands from across Devon showcasing the most amazing food and drink.
We were all put into a rota where we all did 4 or 5 days each covering the stand on the days you were there you sample your product but customers can purchase all products throughout the whole 5 weeks.
The olives did really well, selling well on sampling days but selling consistently on other days too.
The cost of the chalet was split between everyone, keeping the cost really reasonable and being able to share manning the stand was just brilliant for everyone as all with businesses to run as well.
I thoroughly enjoyed doing the market and really hope that we will be taking part again next year.
The cafe in John Lewis closed early every Thursday of late night shopping to make way for lots of local food, drink and craft brands making up a local christmas market all are products available at Greendale Farmshop too.
It was the first year for this event, so not well known about yet but hopefully if it happens again next year there will be more talk about it and more people will be there.
Attending both of these events has completely made me shop local this Christmas, with quality local products at my finger tips well over 50% of my gifts to others this year were local which i absolutely love!
2024 – We are already booked in to do Devon County Show again in May, we are also going to be at The Source Show Exeter as part of the Orchardlea Foods wholesale food stand.
There will be plenty more things coming up, keep an eye on our socials and newsletters for upcoming news and events.
Thank you to everyone who has supported us this year, for buying West Country Olives whether online, in your local shop/farm shop, at our show thank you we hope you continue to enjoy our olives please spread the word!