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Naturally Simple Quality: Joan Magri’s Divine Olive

There was a time when people knew what they were eating. Frozen meals, fast food chains and ingredients impossible to pronounce were non-existent. Instead, simple ingredients and meals were all made from scratch.

Joann P. Magri, owner of The Divine Olive, is keeping this way of eating alive. Offering hungry customers with a choice in quality foods and ingredients, Magri encourages customers to make their own meals. With shelves stocked full of 18-year-old vinegars straight from Modena, Italy, to extra virgin olive oils infused with various herbs and flavors, the Divine Olive features a variety of organic and vegan products, all 100 percent natural. It even has handmade spaghetti and fresh bread, which perfectly pairs with all of their other products.

But, running an olive oil store requires an enormous amount of knowledge of product and business. With the help of a close friend, the necessary connections were made and startup plans began. "[Farmingdale] is an up and coming town," she explains, "it's being revitalized."

Without any formal background or education in the culinary arts, Magri said an extensive knowledge their product was key. Since then, Magri has become an expert.  

“If you have a passion for anything, you [do your]research and become an expert.”

The Divine Olive offers extra virgin olive oils and vinegars that you can sample with fresh bread. They also offer tapenade, bread, crackers and spaghetti with the option of a gift basket. More recently, the storefront added an outdoor dining area with the options of soup and salad. When ordering a salad, you can choose from any olive oil or vinegar in the store, making over 100 different combinations.

In order to remain recognizable and keep up with competition, quality and authenticity is placed in the products. There are balsamic vinegars available that are aged over 18 years, compared to one in a supermarket aged three months. Olive oils are also infused with natural flavors, such as oregano, citrus, and parmesan cheese. Vegan products are also available, such as a smoked bacon olive oil and organic lactose-free butter. No extra sugar is added as well. Instead, the Divine Olive ages grapes and apricots to produce a natural sugar that occurs during a reduction process. Certificates of authenticity are even available through independent labs that break down ingredients to prove authenticity.

Unlike the manager at a chain store, Magri loves educate the public on her products and how they’re made. Even if you don’t buy something at the Divine Olive, you will always be able to sample and have meaningful conversation.

In order to gain new vendors, Magri said she attends the "Fancy Food Show," an event only open to eligible businesses, in which she can choose through thousands of vendors. This is where most the products available derive from. Currently, The Divine Olive has a vendor that grows grapes in Argentina, which are then sent to California for the infusion process, before finally arriving in Farmingdale. Rather than use pesticide, the vendor surrounds the vineyards with olive trees. The olive trees attract and grab bugs, preventing destruction of the vineyards and providing a natural pesticide. Natural methods like this are far more favored for the Divine Olive.

The Divine Olive not only supports natural foods and ingredients, but even recycling as well. Customers who bring back empty bottles receive two dollars off of their purchase. Students who present school ID will even receive a complimentary 15 percent off of their purchase.

Eventually, Magri hopes to achieve international success through their gift basket service Already, they are growing and even advertising online, becoming more popular with their Facebook page and online website. It’s refreshing to see a business with good ethics and products that are able to be guaranteed and backed up by word of mouth. The Divine Olive keeps culture and tradition alive by providing better choices to the public.

Nicholas Semelak is a Professional Communications Major at Farmingdale State College.

News

Holidays Increase Daily Congestion 

While parking around LIRR train stations is typically a challenge, even on a regular work day, the holidays create more of a struggle for commuters in search of parking spots. LIRR spokesman Salvatore Arena said that ridership between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day increases by at least 10 percent; last year it was by 12 percent. Though the MTA is adding more trains to the schedule, that doesn’t ease the parking situation, which is operated not by the LIRR, but by individual municipalities in each town. 

 

“Every station is different,” Arena said. “A good part of our parking is in the hands of the locality. They set the rules essentially.”

In celebration of Veteran’s Day, the Farmingdale Breakfast Rotary chose to mark the occasion by welcoming Lieutenant Colonel Gary Dolan, a heralded U.S. Army Ranger and Vietnam War veteran, to its ranks.

 

Vice President Dan Aldieri said that his fellow members feel he is “a worthy representative” and that he “posesses qualities that exemplify the true spirit of Rotary in public, business, social and private life.” 

 

Lt. Col. Dolan was inducted into the U.S. Army Rangers Hall of Fame for his heroism, acts of bravery and exemplary military service. His experiences were recounted in his book Of Their Own Accord. 


Sports

At a special “wrap up “ meeting for the 2014 Marcum Workplace Challenge, Greater Long Island Running Club Vice President and Event Director Mindy Davidson of Farmingdale, presented a special plaque to Winsome Foulkes, team captain of the Farmingdale-based Telephonics Corporation.  Winsome is retiring from Telephonics after a long and successful career and has led the Telephonics Corporation in the Marcum Workplace Challenge since its inception.  

There is simply no better way for runners and their families to celebrate the Holiday Season than by being part of the fun at the Carter, DeLuca, Farrell & Schmidt Holiday 5 Kilometer Run, and on Saturday morning, Dec. 20, the Run will be celebrating its 27th anniversary edition at the John F. Kennedy Middle School in Bethpage. The run will start at 9:30 a.m. on Broadway in Bethpage.


Calendar

Les Miserables - November 21

The Wedding Singer - November 21

Holiday Parade - November 22


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com