Our Story


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How it all started

The company started by accident in 1996 when these two friends pooled
resources to buy a small ruin by the sea as an escape from the stress 
of their professional lives. But to restore the property legally, they 
had to acquire several additional adjoining parcels of land, all of 
which had olive trees growing. Which were the start of the ‘AVLAKI 
GROVES’ oil.

‘AGATHERÍ GROVES’ came later because the fields were too beautiful 
not to buy: ancient fields, long left uncultivated and at 600 metres 
above sea level with a view which stretches for ever.

As they started to produce olives and olive oil, Deborah and Natalie 
were horrified by what they observed of local farming practice: fields 
poisoned by chemicals, trees wrecked by aggressive harvesting, newly 
harvested olives dumped and crushed into massive sacks and processed in 
insanitary mills.

So AVLAKI immediately took control of every aspect of production: the
olives harvested by hand, blemished fruit removed before being taken to
the clean mill in shallow crates to avoid bruising. AVLAKI also 
converted to strict organic farming: now the fields bloom with all kinds
of wild flowers and teem with wildlife in the many bushes and trees 
that are left for cover.

  • About Our Oils

    • Organic, Extra Virgin, Unfiltered and from single terrains.
    • Bottled fresh from milling the fruit.
    • The olives picked only in December when at their optimum for taste, milled within 24 hours, the oils bottled unfiltered within weeks.
    • Verified ‘Extra Virgin’ with extensive chemical and organoleptic testing by an International Olive Oil Council accredited laboratory.
    • Product of organic farming on Lesvos Island, Greece.
    • Bottled in the UK.
    • AVLAKI is a British company.
  • About Our Soap

    • Hand Made Soap from AVLAKI’s organic extra virgin olive oils, with only water, saponifier and a dash of salt in the mix.
    • Naturally gentle and moisturising for all kinds of skin,
    • Eco-friendly for the planet
    • VEGAN
    • NO additives, NO chemicals, NO preservatives, NO perfumes
    • Low suds, no scum
    • All packaging recyclable

“I was delighted to meet the producers of the “Avlaki” olive oils. I like the whole story of the olive oil, where and how it was produced, it’s the kind of ingredient I like to work with. These oils are of highest quality – great flavour and texture in the mouth. They are up
there with the best. I now use the oil as my personal choice for home, and at the Seahorse we use it as a finishing oil for seafood mixed with just a little lemon juice and salt. I am really pleased to have discovered the oils which are now part of our cooking.”

Review by Mitch Tonks of The Seahorse, Dartmouth


Voted “Best Seafood Restaurant in the UK” – Good Food Guide 2013 & “Reader’s Restaurant of the Year – South West”

Our Team

AVLAKI is owned by the painter Deborah MacMillan and Natalie Wheen, the writer and one-time broadcaster. They are both trained Olive Oil Sommeliers and personally source the highest quality of organic olives for the AVLAKI oils. Their names on the labels guarantee the provenance, authenticity and quality of the oils.

AVLAKI is a Business Partner of the UK Craft Guild of Chefs.

Deborah MacMillan

Deborah MacMillan is a painter, exhibiting frequently in London. She trained at the National Art School in Sydney, before coming to London in 1972.

She is the widow of the choreographer Kenneth MacMillan and spends much of her year supervising revivals of his ballets in major theatres around the world.



Natalie Wheen

Natalie Wheen is a writer and broadcaster on the Arts and classical music, who for many years was a regular presenter on BBC Radio and latterly on Classic FM.

She now entertains audiences with her engaging talk on ‘What makes a virgin ‘Extra Virgin’- the secrets and scandals of Olive Oil’ which audiences enjoy whether ‘after dinner’ or at food festivals. She also gives ‘talk and tasting’ events for people to have a practical experience of the varieties and differences with good olive oils – and bad.

She also gives ‘talk and tasting’ events for chefs, young professionals entering food service and for foodie enthusiasts to have a practical experience of the varieties and differences with good and bad olive oils.


    Current season & Gift sets

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  • SOAP

    Handmade from an ancient recipe. Nothing added; not tested on animals.

  • NEWS

    Read the latest blogs, offers and events

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