About The Real Olive Company

About The Real Olive Company
The Real Olive Company began life in 1993 in Cork’s “English Market”, when Toby Simmonds, at the age of twenty, took a small stall at the Princes Street end of the market. The stall began with just ten varieties of olives and a few other Mediterranean foods. The Cork public were equally suprised and bemused by this addition to the market, and a common enquiry was “what kind of grapes” were we selling! However the arrival of the Olive Stall into the market coincided with a number of other diversifications from the traditional fare, including two cheese stalls and the charcuterie of On The Pigs Back. Cork, and Ireland in general was opening up to an array of new foods and tastes.



                                            EARLY DAYS AT THE REAL OLIVE COMPANY

The following year, The Real Olive Company lauched its first van, a fifteen year old battered Toyota Hiace, onto the street markets of Ireland. Starting in Galway’s St Nicholas market, The Real Olive Company set about bringing olives to the rest of the country. We have participated in over 35 markets nationwide.


The first supplier of the olives, back in 1993, is still our main supplier, and has instilled values that are the cornerstone of the business today. He is also an extensive market trader in the South West of Germany and Eastern France, and only works with independent market traders. His, as well as our experience is that the markets offer the best place to sell foods that are outside of the mass produced industry foods that line the supermarket shelves. He has long held connections to communities all over the Mediterranean, that he has been dealing with for over thirty years. This has been absorbed by The Real Olive Company, and over the last few years we have also gone direct to a number of producers, and have significantly extended our range of produce.
                                                      “WHAT KIND OF GRAPES ARE YA SELLING?”

We strive to present our customers with both value and the best quality. We go to huge lengths to source products that are natural and not packed with additives. We never use refined oils on any of our products, and have only dealt in extra virgin olive oils from regional producers or cooperatives. We pride ourselves on being able to sell olives that the supermarkets could not sell, and have introduced Irish palates to many foods that could only ever have been found in their native countries. We have diversified over the last few years into other related projects, but our core business is still the importing and sale through markets of the finest Mediterranean foods that we can source.