Written by Nicholas Semelak, firstname.lastname@example.org Saturday, 30 August 2014 00:00
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.
Thursday, 30 October 2014 00:00
It’s been more than 50 years since the Farmingdale High School class of 1964 roamed the halls of their beloved high school, but that doesn’t mean that the memories have faded. The class—the first to graduate from Farmingdale High—came together on Saturday, October 18 at the Marriott in Islandia to celebrate all of the good times past and make new memories as a class.
Wednesday, 29 October 2014 00:00
Despite the national media attention about Ebola in recent weeks, there is one virus that is actually affecting Long Islanders, Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68), with one of the first cases identified in North Hempstead on Sept. 18 and a recent case on Oct. 15 in Suffolk County, which school officials called for the closing of school, as a health precaution.
In Farmingdale, school district officials have been vigilant in their efforts to combat the virus.
Thursday, 30 October 2014 00:00
The Giants and Jets met for the 2nd time this season, with the Giants again getting the victory over the Jets. Jalen Gordon scored late into the 1st half for the Giants, which turned out to be the only points in the half. The Giants shut the Jets down for both halves, keeping the offense off the board. The Jets strong point this weekend was the defense, with Kyle June and Jake Kuller picking up the weekly William June Foundation awards. In what is turning into a rough offensive season for the Jets, these awards continue to remind the boys of the perseverance and determination of the award’s namesake and his “never say quit” attitude.
—Submitted by Paul Caputo
Thursday, 30 October 2014 00:00
William Merola, a member of the Farmingdale School District’s wrestling program, was recently selected to attend the third annual U.S. Marine Corps Summer Leadership and
Character Development program, which is limited to 150 sophomores and juniors throughout the nation.
Over the summer, from July 20-26, Merola attended the third annual Marine Corps recruiting command summer leadership and character academy at the USMC base in Quantico.
The SLCDA (Summer Leadership and Character Development Program) educates high school leaders about Marine Corps Officer Programs by participating in classroom academics, ethics training, accelerated college prep, physical fitness training, a field exercise, a community service component and a field trip to Washington, D.C.