Published: 10:00, 24 October 2014
When Tunbridge Wells woman Joanna Pope went travelling for a year with her husband,
she was hoping for an adventure.
She wasn’t expecting to discover a new passion that would shape her future. But when she first tasted olive oil Dehesa de la Sabina, she was so blown away she contacted the producers to start distributing in the UK.
Joanna came across Dehesa de la Sabina in New York, and hopes to eventually sell the product nationally.
She said: “After years of working in London, my husband and I decided it was time for a change, so we went travelling for a year.
"Our adventure led to us discovering Dehesa de la Sabina and from the first taste, I knew I had to give people in the UK the chance to enjoy it.
"I have never run my own business before, so my initial adventure travelling is now taking me on a whole new adventure as an importer and entrepreneur."
Joanna, who studied nutrition at college added: "I was hooked from the first taste, with its mouth-wateringly delicious grassy tones and robust flavour that has won Dehesa de la Sabina a gold taste award.
"But when I found out about the health benefits, I knew I had to promote it.”
"Our adventure led to us discovering Dehesa de la Sabina and from the first taste, I knew I had to give people in the UK the chance to enjoy it" - Joanna Pope...
Dehesa de la Sabina is produced by a co-operative in the Sierra de Cazorla and has an unusually high level of anti-oxidant polyphenols, which are thought to help improve cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of stroke.
“You can tell how high the anti-oxidant levels are in Dehesa de la Sabina by the taste: in particular its peppery sensation indicates a high polyphenol content.
“The producers, whom I have got to know really well, are committed to the very best production techniques.
"They only use fruit harvested directly from the tree (rather than picking up olives that have fallen to the ground), cold milling and oil from the first pressing.
"All of these steps preserve the polyphenols to maximise the taste and the health benefits.”
Dehesa de la Sabina won a gold award at the NYIOCC Index of the World’s Best Olive Oils.
Joanna is now selling Dehesa de la Sabina through her website www.PerfectTree.co.uk and atmarkets, she added: “My plan is to make it available nationally, but for the time being I am concentrating onpromoting it across the South East.
"It’s ideal for anyone who loves good food or who is interested in health – it would make a fabulous stocking filler for the foodie in your life.”