The first samples we received from M. Blanvillain, the owner of A L’Olivier in 1988, included L’Huile de Tortue amongst the olive and nut oils. There were some other strange oils too, and we never quite were able to understand what they were for. Their inclusion in the box of samples at least reflected what they sold in their shop in Paris, which had been founded in 1822 by a M. Popelin as a medicinal as well as culinary oil establishment.
We did know what to do with their olive and nut oils, though, and we are happy to continue to deal with the French herb-producing company, Daregal, which bought out the Blanvillains last year. They still have retail outlets around France, and some abroad, but the main hub of the business is in Carros, just outside Nice. It is to the bottling plant here that the olive oils arrive from French producers, and from other countries as well, and the nut oils arrive from their own press in Poitiers.
The range of products continues to grow; there are now fruit vinegars, wine and balsamic vinegars, Provencal pastes, honeys and mustards. The packaging evolves too, to incorporate brightly-coloured tins for flavoured oils and elegant labels for bottles.