The story behind us at Otway Olives by Maluka Estate

Tell us a bit about the history of your business and what led you to where you are now.

After a career in manufacturing and engineering, we bought a view, with an olive grove, and ended up with an olive grove with a view! We never really intended to take our olives seriously, and we had no plans to start another business, but when the product is so good, there is really no choice. Plus, it keeps us occupied, busy, and reasonably fit and healthy.

What project are you currently working on?

In 2018 we look forward to harvesting our first Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which we planted in 2015.

What philosophies/ethics/inspirations guide you in your business?

We are a truly local business. Our products are 100% grown and made in The Otway Ranges.

We are a family business that makes clean locally produced products for real people. We rely on the helping hands of family and friends to produce our amazing Extra Virgin Olive Oil – so we say “Thank You” to all of our helpers that make this possible.

Although we are not fully organic, we don’t use pesticides, and we fertilize organically, with fish and seaweed.

What do you love about owning a business in the Otways?

The Otways region is a mecca for great food and wine. The environment is clean and the people are so friendly. The environment and the community are the best parts of being in The Otways.

What is a typical day for you?

Olive groves demand a lot of “hands on” care and attention. In May-June we hand harvest our olives by individual variety, with the help of many of our friends and family. For the 2017 harvest, we had 57 helpers, over a 59 day harvest period! We process our olives on site, within hours of harvest. Bottling and labelling is also a done manually. As soon as the harvest finishes, we commence pruning. This continues right up to Christmas. Being in The Otways, we have a lot of mowing to do, so we are seriously considering employing some sheep to help us out!

What is the most challenging aspect of your business?

Otway Olives is a tiny business with no opportunity to gain economies of scale, while staying true to the concept of clean local produce. Our ambition is to do what we are doing as well as we can, to support the other members of The Otway Harvest Trail, and to keep ourselves fit and healthy in the process.

What products do you specialise in? Where can customers find your products?

Our Otway Olives Extra Virgin Olive Oil and Table Olives, are available from many members of the Otway Harvest Trail. We do not do on-site sales.

Which social media outlets can customers and fans find you on?

@malukaestate on Instagram

On a day off, give us 3 things you love to do in the region

Who gets a day off?

The Otways is famous for its birdlife, the beautiful National Park, and The Great Ocean Road. Any spare time is spent enjoying all the wonders that our great region has to offer. Sometimes we treat ourselves by just sitting and soaking up the serenity.