Story and photo Eve Jeffery
Antoine Quezel’s range of olives, sweet pickled garlic, antipasti, tapenades and cheeses at the Byron Bay Olive Co, brings the taste of France to the Northern Rivers, using as many local and organic ingredients as they can.
Produced in their kitchen in the Byron Industrial Estate, the inspiration for the recipes comes from Antoine’s family’s authentic traditions back in Sanary-Sur-Mer, a beautiful village in the South of France.
‘Since 1989 my parents have had a daily market stall where they sell a variety of olives, garlic and spices at the Sanary Farmers Market.
‘I grew up in my parents’ stall working for them when I could. My first job at the market was to scoop the spices for customers when I was just five years old.’
Antoine says he first arrived in Byron Bay in 2014. ‘It was one of those perfect days where the water glistened and the surf was pumping. I visited the markets in the area and noticed that none really offered olives or Mediterranean flavours. I opened our first market stall at Bangalow in June 2015. We sold out all of our stock and realised how much the local area desired quality olives and other Mediterranean products.
‘From there we grew the number of market stalls, and in 2018 we opened La Cuisine, our deli shop, out the front of our kitchen.’
Antoine says his customers love Byron Bay Olive Co products. ‘The support from the local community as we’ve grown as a business has been great. We are extremely grateful for the relationship we have built with our customers – the result of our hard work throughout the years.’
Antoine says that Australians have introduced many Mediterranean recipes into their diet for health reasons. ‘Our customers value the quality of our products because they know we select them carefully to create amazing recipes.
‘We have customers who visit us every week. Some of our customers have bought from us for years, and are always willing to try new flavours’.
Antoine says that the Byron Bay Olive Co is registered as a COVID Safe business and they have taken the necessary measures to provide quality service to their customers and a safe environment for their staff.
Antoine says he is not alone anymore and is very grateful for his staff. ‘I want to acknowledge and give thanks to the support of my amazing team. We will keep trading at our markets in the region, offering our products and sandwiches at our deli shop, online and to various retail shops.
‘We are also looking forward to soon releasing our 100% organic, NSW-made Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.’
And Antoine’s best seller? ‘The sweet marinated garlic. It doesn’t give you bad breath or an after-effect and has an amazing flavour. It’s great as a snack, sliced up in a salad, on top of pizzas or pasta, or on some sourdough bread with some of our tapenade. We know your taste buds will love it, and it’s healthy too!’
You can find the Byron Bay Olive Co and La Cuisine Deli Shop at 2/29 Brigantine Street, Byron Bay and online at: byronbayoliveco.com.