Everyone knows that a healthy outside starts from the inside. Putting this into practise however is another matter entirely, which is why independent wholefood shops like The Olive Branch in Clonakilty have such an important role to play in the health of the community. Recently undergoing massive change itself — the shop has had a complete renovation both inside and out, as has its co-owner Olive Finn, who is celebrating her brand new hip — it’s new beginnings for this shop with the healthy attitude.
After literally bouncing back from hip-replacement surgery, Olive has huge energy and enthusiasm and is full of ideas and plans for upcoming events at the shop, the first of which on Thursday, May 5, will celebrate the shop’s expanded skincare section with the launch of Trilogy Skincare and Waters+Wild Perfume.
“There is such a beautiful array of choice with Trilogy,” says Olive. “Their Rosehip Oil is particularly gorgeous, along with the antioxidant plus. Everyone has different needs and sensitivities, this is why it’s vital to give people choice.”
Something that Olive is very excited about is that the Olive Branch is now stocking Waters+Wild perfume. “This is the first organic chemical-free perfume in Ireland and it’s made in West Cork. I’ve known June Housden for years and I was delighted to hear of her passion for this project that she and her business partner Joan Woods have embarked on. Their perfumes are sensuous, earthy and wild, with three glorious scents to choose from.”
Olive was given the news six years ago that she would need hip replacement surgery. Through nutrition and exercise, using the resources readily available to her in her own shop, combined with an exercise programme, Olive prepared herself in the best way possible for the operation. The result has been a speedy and trouble-free recuperation. She highlights the importance — for anyone undergoing any kind of surgery — of a daily intake of Omega Oils, anti-inflammatory roots Turmeric and Ginger and starting the day with a high protein breakfast. Under the advice of in-store Olive Branch Nutritional Therapist Karen Ward, she also supplemented her diet with Magnesium, which assists with nerve and muscle function. “I found this hugely beneficial,” says Olive “it also helped me to wind down in the evenings and sleep better at a time when we were busy and stressed with completing the renovation of the shop on time.” Olive also swears by her daily homemade smoothie and is eager to share the recipe with anyone who’s interested — just ask the next time you’re in the shop.
For those of you that want to start work on the inside, Viridian Nutrition, a company with a very strong ethic in purity, has a beautiful programme of supplements and skincare. Viridian’s supplements are used to treat all kinds of skin problems and conditions.
With lots more light and space in the newly renovated premises, Olive, Andy and the team are very excited about the bigger and brighter shop which, as well as making room for a dedicated children’s section, has also made possible the expansion of the skincare range. Dr. Hauschka Skincare, Simply Soaps, Weleda, Kinvara, Saaf, Green People and Trilogy are just some of the lovely selection available now in the shop. The Olive Branch also stocks holos, an Irish brand of plant-based aromatherapy skincare products, which recently obtained investment from Eleanor McEvoy on Dragon’s Den.
Olive is especially passionate about sourcing her skincare ranges from clean, fairly traded companies. “There is nothing wrong with taking care of our skin, or treating our skin to luxury products but firstly it’s important to know what is in the product and where it came from.”
She is also zealous about supporting independent local shops and keeping small town centres thriving. “I grew up in a pub on the main street of Clonakilty where the local-shopkeepers were a huge part of my childhood. We spread our shopping around and all supported each other. This community spirit is still strong in Clonakilty town today and it’s this support for small local shops that really keeps a town alive and vibrant.
“In my opinion, West Cork has some of the best independent health food shops in the country; we all carry vast amount of stock and we all live the life we endorse. This is a rapidly changing industry — people are really on top of what is going in to their bodies, inside and outside, and we love to talk about it…so don’t be afraid to ask.”
The launch of Trilogy Skincare and Waters+Wild Perfume at The Olive Branch in Spiller’s Lane, Clonakilty takes place on Thursday, May 5, from 7-8.30pm. The evening will include much chat, wine and nibbles, sampling, a gift with purchase, and a one-to-one consultation (pre booked only through the shop) with Lorna, a skincare consultant from Trilogy. Olive and the team look forward to welcoming you to an evening that marks new beginnings for The Olive Branch.
Find the shop on Facebook: The Olive Branch Health Food Emporium.