Written by Nicholas Semelak, email@example.com 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.
Friday, 24 October 2014 00:00
At a recent meeting of the Farmingdale Board of Education, school district superintendent John Lorentz discussed New York State’s proposal to invest $2 billion into districts statewide
through the Smart Schools Bond Act.
If approved by voters in the upcoming general elections, the act would allow the state to borrow $2 billion in the form of a capital bond to provide students with access to classroom
technology and high-speed internet connectivity, with the goal of equalizing opportunities for children to learn, adding classroom space, expanding pre-kindergarten programs, replacing classroom trailers with permanent instructional space and installing high-tech security features in schools.
Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00
Over the weekend, thousands of Long Island residents flocked to the Village of Farmingdale for its 26th annual Columbus Day Weekend Fair and Fireman’s carnival. Running from Oct. 9
to 13, the five-day affair featured live music from Farmingdale’s own Electric Dudes and Long Island party band Superbad, a Fire Department barbecue, food vendors, a street fair, fireworks, carnival rides, games for kids of all ages and, of course, the Columbus Day parade.
Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00
Last week, officials with the St. Kilian Saints baseball team inducted John Lombardi and Aaron Powell into their Hall of Fame.
—Submitted by Farmingdale PAL and St. Kilian Baseball
Thursday, 23 October 2014 00:00
The 2014 Reilly Cup finals featured the two most successful OTHG teams over the last 9 years. Sal’s Place and Singleton’s have had 11 finals appearances and 7 championships between them during this period of time. They split 2 games during the regular season and Singleton’s became the winner’s bracket representative in the 2014 Cup by beating Sal’s deep in the tournament.
Sal’s took the first game 14-7. The game was close until the 8th inning when Sal’s broke it open with some timely hits and taking advantage of a Singleton’s miscue or two. Sal’s held
Singleton’s to 7 runs with outstanding all-around defense, which was particularly impressive given that some of their significant contributors were visibly fighting through late-season injuries.