CARL Woodhead and Nikki Hill went shopping for a cat collar… and finished up buying what is now Uppermill’s newest retail outlet.
But the newcomers to the High Street, Carl and Nikki, are no strangers to business or Saddleworth.
They started Oliviccio 10 years ago as a wholesale enterprise, based in Delph, with emphasis on selling their Greek-produced olives at farmer’s markets.
Customers locally include Albion Farm, Bed, Terra Nino and Aurora Caffe Bar in Mossley.
Ironically, Aurora owner, Georgina Buckley’s grandfather, Sam Jackson, was a shopkeeper on the same Uppermill site.
Carl and Nikki first began to think ‘expansion’ when they visited Pet Pals of Uppermill.
“It turned out to be an expensive cat collar,” laughed Carl.
“While we were there we noticed there was a ‘to let’ sign on the shop next door (Rip Van Winkles).
“We had toyed with the idea of a shop a few years ago but nothing came of it,” explained Carl, who is a building surveyor by trade.
“So, we thought it probably wouldn’t happen…a nd now it has happened.”
The couple have transferred most of their business from their base at Gatehead Business Park into Uppermill.
“It’s enabled us to have a prep room at the back of the shop,” said Carl, whose quality control checks include personal inspection of every olive before it is sold to the customer.
“But with pallets of olives coming in that weigh over a tonne, it makes sense not to block the High Street unloading them!”
Unsurprisingly, given their unique name, Oliviccio’s sell lots of olives – up to 50 kilos a week.
Hummus and pesto are also big favourites with their customer base, built up over the last decade.
Open Wednesday to Sunday, Oliviccio, which opened its doors for the first time last month, stocks a variety of other food products including milk and eggs, bread, continental meats and cheese, cakes, coffees, apple juices, and even trifles.
“Everything is sourced predominantly from throughout the North West,” added Nikki, a former graphic design artist.
“And a lot of the products come from small producers who we have dealt with through the years at farmer’s markets.”
Visit Oliviccio at 109 High Street, Uppermill or go online their website: www.oliviccio.co.uk