Supporting local is the very core of the Bindle business. Every element of our Bindles is Australian. From the packaging to the products within to the hands that wrap and send them.
Bindle has many wonderful suppliers, and within my travels I have discovered some incredible stories about how the delectable products within our Bindles came to be. We are excited to introduce you to the inspiring people behind the brands.
Introducing you to Peter and Marlies Eicher – Swiss engineers who fell in love with the regional Victorian town of Boort and found themselves surrounded by over 2,000 olive trees. Thus, Salute Oliva was born.
Can you give us a brief bio on your self and how you came to own/start your own business?
Marlies and I are both engineers from Switzerland. In 1988 a job opportunity arose in Melbourne and we thought it could be a great opportunity to learn English and explore Australia for a couple of years before returning to Switzerland. We loved to hang glide and in touring the countryside with our hobby we fell in love with the people and way of life in rural Victoria. We decided to stay in Australia and although there were no job opportunities for us in a small rural town, we eventually purchased 30 acres of land just near Boort in North West Victoria in 1998. This town felt different to the others – the locals had so much enthusiasm, spirit and positivity.
So we stumbled into olives. With a little research we thought yes, that could work for us as a business and lifestyle. In 2000 we planted 2,150 olive trees for extra virgin olive oil and table olives and initially ran the farm from Melbourne. In 2004 we built a house on the property and made the move to regional Victoria whilst still maintaining our engineering roles in the city. By 2009 both Marlies and I had resigned and were working full time on our farm.
What is it about your product that is uniquely Australian?
Everything we produce is made on the farm by Marlies and me. We do the harvesting together, make the extra virgin olive oil in our processing plant, hand pick the table olives and cure them in barrels. All the products are packed at the farm and we coordinate all the sales and marketing and distribution. We are very environmentally conscious, and our farm is certified organic.
Describe your product in three words.
Amazing, healthy, organic.
If you could look into a crystal ball, what does the future hold for your business?
Unfortunately, this year we’ve had a poor harvest due to a hot weather event during flowering. However, we hope to continue our award-winning ways in both national and international competition. Our latest award was winning the champion trophy with our semi dried olive at the Australian/International Olive and Olive Oil competition, held by the Australian Olive Association in October last year.
Who has been your most influential mentor and why?
My wife Marlies, she is the calming, steady, rational influence when I am getting frustrated, impatient or worried about things which are out of my control.
Do you have a personal philosophy or motto that you live/work by?
I want to achieve the best possible outcome for whatever task I am doing. Because of our engineering background nothing is left to chance – it is all about the planning and executing accordingly.
Moving away from business and celebrating our great land, what is your favourite memory growing up as a kid in Australia?
Growing up in Switzerland I always looked forward to the winter with plenty of snow and skiing. Bust since we moved to Australia I now look forward to the Australian summer and the nice warm weather.
Favourite places to holiday without a passport? Give us a ‘save’ and a ‘splurge’ option.
Travelling into the outback, like the Flinders Ranges in South Australia or crossing the Simpson Desert. But also camping in the Victorian Alps are some of our favourite spots.
If you could invite three great Australian’s (past or present) to dinner who would they be?
I am not so much for celebrities or states people. I would invite a couple of our customers who we have made great friendships with over the past few years.
Which book have you currently got your nose buried in?
I have just finished ‘Where the Crawdad’s Sing’ by Delia Owens – one of the best books I have read.
Most importantly, where do you go for a reliable caffeine hit?
At home I have an Expobar Brewtus coffee machine. A very important household appliance which gets used every day!
And lastly, as we’re in the gift giving business, is there a notable gift that you can recall receiving or perhaps a particular occasion in which a gift was received that stands out?
I am more for practical gifts. I remember my kids giving me an automatic darkening welding mask a few years back, or the wok I received for my birthday which I am using all the time for my cooking adventures. During the recent lock down gifted ourselves a table tennis table and I play everyday with my son who is now working remotely from home.
To find out more about Salute Oliva and their wonderful range of beautiful products, click HERE!