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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

Last year, U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer stopped at Moby Drugs in Farmingdale to highlight the launch of a drug take-back program, which was designed to help residents remove addictive prescriptions out of their medicine cabinets. 

 

Yet, despite studies conducted by the Center for Disease Control—which found 70 percent of those addicted to prescription drugs get them from home, family or friends—federal regulations have prevented pharmacies in New York State from hosting the take-back program. 

Lt. Matt Komorowski of Farmingdale was recently honored with the first annual American Heroes award, for showing bravery when faced with impossible odds. 

 

On Sept. 11, 2001, Komorowski was one of  six FDNY firefighters with Ladder Co. 6, called to the World Trade Center just a short while before the tower collapsed. Arriving at the scene, Komorowski and the members of his ladder company rushed inside the building. As they rushed up the stairs the men of Ladder 6 stopped to assist Josephine Harris, a then 60-year-old Brooklyn grandmother, who was stuck in the stairwell of the building. 


Sports

 

The 2014 Farmingdale Flag Football season kicked off with a blast on Sept. 7.

 

3rd Grade Division

 

The Texans and the Jets played a great opening weekend game, with the Texans getting the victory.  For the Texans, touchdown pass from Joseph Spano to Jaxon Parisi with 20 seconds in the half broke a tie that the Jets never came back from.  The Jets were led by Brendan O’Keefe, who had two rushing touchdowns and Jimmy Caputo, who picked off a pass at the goal line.

 

Farmingdale State College’s women’s tennis team opened the 2014 season with an 8-1 victory over John Jay College (0-1) on Sept. 3. The Rams (1-0) held a 2-1 advantage after doubles play before sweeping the singles matches.


Calendar

Board of Education - September 17

A Town of the Taste - September 18

Evening with Jeffery Wands - September 19


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