As I promised you, I want to share with you the second part of the Prima Mensa story, a small dream that we made come true, not without much effort ;)
If you missed the first part, you can read it here: Prima Mensa, a love story.. .(I)
Three months after that call, I went to see Migue and Ricardo. I had to convince them that bringing that wonderful oil that I tasted that November afternoon to you was possible. It was not an easy task, in the case of the 4th Generation of Olive Growers and some purebred pontanenses, hehe.
- Migue, Ricardo, we have to take that oil to Mi Oliva Gourmet. I think that if we show the value that it has, there will be people who know how to appreciate it. In the beginning, the same thing happened with Spanish wine, but decades later people really appreciate the differences between one wine and another. He understands that small, more careful productions, from the vine to curing in barrels, he knows that it is a great reserve, a reserve, a tempranillo... In oil we still have a long way to go. It is true that in Spain few people know what verasion is, the yield of the olive, the difference between collecting an oil directly from the tree and not from the shaking... They are all Extra Virgin Olive Oil, but where do they end? . Do you remember what the Master of the Mill told us the day we were there? - “Look at that tanker truck, the olive oil it carries is extraordinary. They take it to Italy to mix it with much worse ones and improve its quality and flavor.”
Then Migue said, almost indignant - Of course, they lower the acidity and sell it as Extra Virgin Olive Oil...
Of course Migue, - I told him - it’s time for someone to raise their voice. We will be the first and they will call us crazy, but I think it’s worth it. Also, if we don’t get it here, I can help you put it on Amazon and sell it in the UK, France, and Germany. There they do appreciate Extra Virgin Olive Oil. The bottle of oils worse than this is sold at €30.
Actually, I didn’t tell them anything. I was scared. Fear of failing. Of not being able to transmit the value of such an Oil. Fear that they would trust me and lose a lot of money... But if you don’t overcome your fears, dreams never come true.
We talked a lot more about it. They had lots of questions. Many of them knew the answer. Not many others, but I got out of the way as I could. I tried to instill confidence in them. I know that with effort everything is possible.
The first step was already done. Migue and Ricardo joined my dream :)
But there was still a long way to go. My mission was clear, I had less than nine months...
Then I started researching prestigious oils. They all came in original and beautiful packaging. So I thought: I’ll have to find a nice container, if everyone sells it like that, it will be the right thing to do...
In my search I ended up in Italy, they are the big glass manufacturers.
I ran into a wall.
It turns out that, in addition to being expensive, they require a minimum print run of 10,000 bottles so that the price is not even more expensive than the oil it contains. What madness! How was I going to tell Miguel and Ricardo that they had to spend such an amount for a dream?
Then I remembered that bottle without a label or anything next to my seat... It seemed to me the most precious thing in the world and it wasn’t an extravagant container, it was just a bottle. The important thing was inside, not outside. What if I took it out in that same jar?...
And so it has been ;)
I kept researching the prestigious oils.
They all had prizes.
So I started researching the prizes.
And do you know what I found?
They required closed tanks of at least 3000 liters! And our production was going to be very select, only the best area of the olive grove. At most 1000 litres... I also had to forget about the prizes. They were for large productions, very far from the idea of getting the best oil we could.
I only had the name left.
I called my friend Jose María, from Al Margen. It was his specialty. He told her the story. I made him part of our dream. I told him that the name had to be conceived so that it would sound good both in Spain and in Europe.
A week later he sent me his four proposals: p>
- Fundum lares, farmhouse of the gods, farm of the gods).
- Prima mensa, main course, first course.
- < em>Penus Baetica, pantry of Andalusia.
- Fundum Baetica, fund of Andalusia.
I talked about it with Ricardo and Migue and we decided on the second one. I hope you agree with me that it was a good decision ;)
The last obstacle was the boxes. We wanted a box that wasn’t expensive either. After the experience with the glass bottles, I decided not to waste time imitating the “Prestige Oils”. The value of Prima Mensa would be on the inside, not the outside.
Still, again I ran into the same problem. The damn minimum run. All the cartoners told me that the minimum run should be between 6,000 and 8,000 boxes! I also contacted some online cartoners, which allowed smaller runs, but the price was prohibitive.
We were already at the end of November and I was running out of time. Miguel was nervous. Ricardo called me two out of three days to see how everything was going. They had already collected the olives and ground the Oil in its first pressing. The only thing I had going for me was the success of Arraigo.
Suddenly and, as if it were a play, chatting with Jose María, from Al Margen about the subject of the photos, I told him about the problem I was having. He then he told me to let him make a couple of calls. Perhaps it would get some cartoner to agree to a smaller print run.
And so it was! We began to design the box, simple, practical, elegant, resistant and, above all, inexpensive. At the end of December we already had everything in order.
The goal was met! We wanted the price of Prima Mensa to be 80% Oil and 20% the rest. In an Oil of this type, the normal is 60% Oil, 40% the rest. Not only had we made it, we had overcome it!
In the price of Prima Mensa, 85% was Oil, the purest Olive Oil from San Miguel.
We were excited!
Since we put it on the web and I wrote you the first part of this Story, a third part has already been reserved!-- wp:paragraph -->
I’ve already tried it. I was at the end of December with Migue and Ricardo, to take a photo (the one you’ve seen above) with Arraigo and Prima Mensa at the Olivar and they gave me a little bottle. It is a delight, it is intense in flavor, full of nuances, much smoother than Arraigo in terms of spiciness and bitterness, but with a greater final aftertaste, if possible.
It’s a gem!
I have it only raw. I have already invited three groups of friends to try it, alone, without further ado, with a piece of bread.
Well, I hope you liked learning more about Prima Mensa. This article has been very long, and I have left many things behind. Some inconveniences in the Olive mill, the fear of drought, the harvest week, the incredible results of the analysis, the wait to see the yield...
Maybe I’ll get up the courage and write a third part of the Prima Mensa Story ;)
Or am I too much of a pain?...
In any case, thank you, really thank you for reading me, for supporting us and for the comments on the web...
A big hug!