It has all started in Sanary-sur-Mer… Small fisherman town in the 50’s, it is today emblematic of the South of France, Mediterranean coast, heart of Provence. The daily Farmers Market there is a must seen, elected last year via the channel 1 news survey as Most beautiful market of France!
Antoine’s family created their stall in Sanary Farmers Market in 1989 and has built ever since a reputation of quality, whether it is for their products, with unique taste and diversity, or their highly skilled customer service.
With more than 100 spices & herbs, along with a wide range of dried fruits and all sorts of other Provençal products available on the stall, it is a delight just to look at! Marinating and seasoning olives is the number one activity and you’ll find there more than 50 different recipes! Also their range of tapenades and homemade veggies dips, born from personal creations out of families recipes, has the reputation to be the most diverse and tasty of the mediterranean coast.
Growing up in this special market’s atmosphere, helping out his family business most weekends and holidays, Antoine developed skills and knowledge over the years, allowing him to run the business by himself when required.
Today “Cocktails du Midi” is one of the most notorious stalls of the Côte d’Azur and has become over the years a “must stop” highly recommended by locals, tour guides or tourists customers.
In Australia, the story begins in the Northern Rivers area. In December 2015 Antoine arrived from France with the objective of travelling for a year before going back home to take over the family business.
After a few trips along the East Coast, it appeared very clear that Byron Bay was the place to be. He already had few French friends living in this area too, and amongst them, Céline his longtime friend from Sanary, who had established herself in Byron Bay 2 years earlier and married an Oz man. Now back in the area, Antoine was doing various casual jobs around, nothing really exciting…. He also realised that no one was offering marinated olives or tapenades on locals markets at the level of quality he was able to make.
After a little survey, he decided to invest all his savings (less than a AU$ 1,000) and start a little olive stall on local community markets. Céline came along, willing to partner, help out with investment and be involved in this crazy exciting project! Unfortunately she had to leave very soon after the company was created, to follow her husband down Sydney and welcome their baby girl that was on the way
In May 2015, Antoine did his first market in Bangalow, the stall, originally named « Detour en Provence » SOLD OUT! Customers feedbacks were so positive and encouraging that Antoine decided to go seriously into this new adventure, even without Céline. And the business kept growing for the next 3 years on local markets and casual events, building the great reputation of his little business.
In 2017, Céline came back in the area and started working with Antoine as admin and they realised that this trading name was not really representative of who they were, so it was renamed « Byron Bay Olive Company » in May 2018.
Byron Bay Olive Co has now a production facility located in Byron Arts & Industrial Estate, producing some of the best Marinated Olives, homemade Tapenades, the popular pickled Sweet Garlic and others Mediterranean products such as marinated Feta, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Artichokes, Preserved Lemon, etc. All with an authentic taste comparable to the one you could only find in the south of France.
Now operating in 12 different markets, 6 weekly and 6 monthly – Bangalow, Bundall, Burleigh, Byron, Channon, Currumbin, Kingscliff, Lennox, Lismore Car Boot, Palm Beach, Uki and Yamba.
Last year, in June 2018, Byron Bay Olive Co opened a Deli Shop attached to the production warehouse. You can find there all their regular products, along with a sharp selection of French cheeses, cured meats, terrines, as well as beautiful gourmet sandwiches, homemade soups and slow cooked dishes from Provence.