By Caroline J. Beck
On August 24, industry website leader The Olive Oil Source will introduce a new on-line store, www.oliveoilsource.com/catalog, as the first phase of a full website renovation due to be completed by the end of 2009.
“Since purchasing The Olive Oil Source a year and a half ago, we realized how important it was to provide better ways for our audience to get at the massive amount of information that had been compiled by the website’s originators. No other site contains as exhaustive a range of industry knowledge and educational reference information on the subject. We wanted to take it to the next level and make it even easier to use,” said Antoinette Addison, VP Business Operations for The Olive Oil Source.
“Creating an expanded on-line store -- something completely customer friendly -- was first and foremost our goal, and the technology exists now to do just that,” added Addison.
To support burgeoning interest in olive oil production in California, www.oliveoilsource.com was born in the 1990’s. The homegrown site was nurtured into a compendium of information about olive growing and oil production over the years by John and Lisa Deane. It was the first site of its kind to cater to the growing olive oil industry in the United States.
Recognizing an outstanding business opportunity, olive oil producers Shawn Addison and his wife and partner, Antoinette, purchased the business in 2008. They hoped to expand the site with a wider breadth of products, offer a more streamlined purchase experience and make the growing library of information easy to navigate.
It has been a challenge to keep up with the rapidly expanding industry. “The scale and scope of the project was daunting,” said Antoinette Addison. “We relied on the very best professionals to help redesign the website’s architecture. Project leader Mary Dautricourt, and her husband, Jean-Pierre, who handled the programming, were absolutely fabulous. Michaela Kalff and Laurel Segel of KS Creative supplied the new look and overall design.”
While the Addisons have a vision for the full website to be the primary olive oil industry source of information and support, it won’t happen all at once. The first phase of the re-branded store, launching on August 24, focuses on the needs of professional customers in the olive oil business. Later phases will include improvements to the library of industry research with ongoing contributions from industry experts, and retail products geared to the home enthusiast.
The new website, www.oliveoilsource.com/catalog offers support products for every aspect of the production process through to the retail shelf, or “EVERYTHING but the OLIVE”, as the company’s new positioning statement declares.
Bulk quantities for new lines of gourmet extra virgin olive oils, widely-popular flavored and wine vinegars, milling and testing equipment, and bottling and labeling devices are all available for purchase on-line. Containers and accessories for small to medium-sized growers will all be found on the site. A new offering, five Tasting Bar Kits, supports retail marketing visibility in a unique and educational way. The site hopes to continue to expand offerings based on customer interest and feedback.
“Much of what we have changed about the site and the store has come directly from our customers. More and more people wanted to manage the purchase process purely on-line and avoid the handling fee that direct sales phone support requires. We see it as our responsibility to make it easy to do just that,” said Addison.
To acknowledge the support they have received from customers over the years and to celebrate the introduction of the new on-line store, The Olive Oil Source will be offering discounts during the first few weeks of the site’s launch.
“This project is huge and has been very challenging, but the development team has made it a pleasure. We can’t wait to unveil it to our customers. We are appreciative of all the support and believe they deserve the best experience we can create,” said Addison. “Our hope is that we have done just that.”