Our Product - ADHARA EVOO
In this series of blog posts I focus on the products found in my pantry. All have been carefully chosen, keeping in mind our motto for the shop - supporting local farmers, small businesses and the home cooks who have a great product to offer.
Virgin Farmers, Virgin Territory, Extra Virgin Olive Oil…
Husband and wife team Juergen and Venishree Mayer's South African adventure began in late 2015 when they bought Fraaigelegen Farm in Tulbagh, Western Cape. Both had decided earlier that year to leave the corporate world behind and be selfless and do something different, i.e. run a guesthouse, live life, redirect and rejuvenate. Owning and working a farm was never on their list of things to do, but alas fate had pushed them here.
In the last 4 years, much time was spent on restoring the run-down farm, the vineyards and olive groves. Quality over Quantity became their motto and driving force. By 2017, an exclusive deal was signed with Paserene Wines (Franschhoek) for the grape producer and the focus turned to extra virgin olive oil (in case you were wondering what EVOO stands for). In 2018 the brand ADHARA EVOO was launched and subsequently won an award from SA Olive. Venishree broke the glass ceiling in the industry...she is the first female person of colour to win an award from the SA Olive Association for ADHARA EVOO, as owner and producer!
But why ADHARA?
The name takes inspiration from the binary star Adhara, one of the brightest stars visible in the starry sky during the time of the olive Harvest. Adhara can be seen in both the Southern and Northern hemispheres representing Venishree and Juergen’s places of birth; their relationship being a union of different continents, cultures and languages. Venishree is third generation Indian born in South Africa (SA) and Juergen hails from southern Germany. They also wanted to honour their daughter and wanted part of her name incorporated into the brand. Sudarsha happily consented to this!
The little Springbok (on the ADHARA EVOO label), a South African national emblem, represents the South African origin of ADHARA EVOO, a proudly South African product. The Mayer family have been constantly entertained with wild, naughty and elusive springboks who take shade in the olive groves but also sneakily indulge in some of the vine buds in their early budding stage!
On the 30th July this year ADHARA EVOO design has won the BEST DESIGN IN AFRICA AWARD at the International OLIO NUOVO 2020 Competition in Paris and Abu Dhabi.