We’re bouncing off the walls here at Olive Branch HQ as we find out we’ve won the silver prize in the Prix les Épicures, a French fine food awards scheme, similar to the Great Taste Awards in the UK. The French gastronomic world is home to some of the world’s most esteemed judges and each year, the leading French industry publication Le Monde de L’Epicerie Fine hosts this competition, to seek out top food products, category-by-category.
Our French distributor Sophie’s Store entered our ‘Sweet Olive, Fig & Almond’ relish to this competition which has a judging panel made up of France’s top chefs, food critics and fine food buyers. The competition has 15 categories in total and differs from the Great Taste Awards in that only 3 prizes are awarded per category, Bronze, Silver & Gold. We are the only British brand amongst the winning companies and our silver prize is a sign of near perfection under the close French examination.
Speaking about the award, Sophie Lion-Poulain, owner of Sophie’s Store, “When I first tasted Olive Branch’s products earlier this year, I knew I had found something special and we have had some excellent feedback from all the shops we’ve visited as we build the brand and distribution around France. The Sweet Olive is a delightful product, especially for cheese which the French famously consume in large quantities, so following this award, we expect the Sweet Olive to become a key condiment in the cheese category.”
Since its launch at the Speciality Fine Food Fair in September 2013, the ‘Sweet Olive, Fig & Almond’ relish has gone through an incredible journey. It is now available at delicatessens and fine food shops around the country including the prestigious Daylesford Farm Shop. Its fans include the trendy chef Yotam Ottolenghi, who even sells it on his online shop. Speaking from Olive Branch, co-founder Maria Koinaki “Words can’t describe how excited we are to receive such recognition from a French fine food awards scheme. The French gastronomic world is one of the most discerning arenas and meanwhile the culture of sweet accompaniments for cheese is very well established in France, so to hear that our humble product achieved the silver award made us feel as though we were suddenly near the summit of a high mountain!”