Rob & Pam Marsden, the founders of OliveOlive, sold their first bottle of olive oil on a market stall in Cambridge in 2014, and have since gone from strength to strength. The Woodhurst-based company sells beautiful extra virgin olive oil and traditional ‘Cyprus Village’ halloumi cheese, which are both produced in Cyprus, and is a real family affair.
Rob had reached a point in his career where he wanted to do something different to his 9-5 office job and with Pam’s family hailing from Cyprus where they run their own olive farm, he saw the perfect business opportunity. With the support of nursery manager Pam, he gave up his job in recruitment to set up OliveOlive and the couple hasn’t looked back since.
The olive variety used to make the golden oil is known locally as the ‘Cyprus’ olive, which is handpicked and pressed in the family’s own mill within 24 hours. The olives are harvested once a year between late October and early November and the couple are usually on hand to help with the process. Once the oil has been extracted it is bottled onsite and transported back to OliveOlive where the labels are added before it is distributed to homes, restaurants and shops across the UK.
The extra virgin olive oil, which has been praised by top chefs including Tom Kerridge and James Martin, won gold stars in the prestigious Great Taste Awards 2020 and 2021. It’s used in the kitchens of Cambridge’s St. Catherine’s College and The Moller Institute and is available to buy online and in a variety of local indies including the Bushel Box Farm Shop, Radmore Farm Shop and The Cambridge Cheese Company.
You will also find their fantastic halloumi cheese under their own brand ‘Cyprus Village’. Handmade the traditional way by friends of the family in Cyprus The Stephani Cheese Co. using 100 percent goats’ milk. Yet another Great Taste Awards gold star winner, Cyprus Village halloumi cheese was described by Pam’s mum (no less) as ‘the best halloumi in Cyprus’ (and as Rob says, “You don’t argue with your Greek mother-in-law!”), you can find Cyprus Village halloumi cheese on their online shop too.
Along with Pam’s son Stefan, at the weekends the couple attend various food events and markets – just check out the ‘Events’ section on their website for full details and sample the Cypriot flavours for yourself.