This is now the first blog as a kind of a photo report in which Spicy Artworks will present small, regional handicraft or service companies - settled in the region called Lake Constance in South Germany. Companies, which have a special flair, have set extraordinary goals, offer rare products or work with love and passion. We would like to make a contribution to support these enterprises in a way that they can become a little more well-known in the public than they already are and help them to remain sustainable on the market. The "very special" should be the focus here. Because pictures and photos speak for themselves as everyone knows - framed by a few informations and reportage text. Spicy's profile in the social media as well as the one or the other photo exhibition with a selected format of some of these pictures can of course also help. Let's start now.
We are starting today with a small company from Ravensburg called "the oil cooperative". The founder and sole owner is Frank Hellmond, who and his "oil mill" (which is not really a mill in the strict sense) we were allowed to visit in May this year. We met him for the first time at his stand at the IBO 2017, a big spring fair in Friedrichshafen (at the Lake Constance).
Through a romantic-weakened garden we´re following the oil press master of the "oil cooperative" in Ravensburg to his "sacred halls", where finest organic nut and seed oils are produced in loving handwork. It smells incredibly of something nut-like or something similar. And here we can see it: From the Omega-3 miracle linseed oil and the all-connoisseur coconut oil to the specialist hazelnut oil you will find here in really small and slightly larger dark brown bottles the wonderful fresh, natural and delicious extracts of nature. Well kept in refrigerators. And we always thought oil should generally not to be stored in this kind of household appliances.
Asked about the rare name of the company Frank tells us that four years ago he was looking for a perfect company name together with his former business partner, but had not found anything suitable. Then they refered to older names of such small businesses as e.g. Cooperative. From cooperation, mutual support and joint responsibility the "oil cooperative" finally emerged.
As already mentioned above it is not ground, but pressed. With a so-called cold press. Even more precise: With a water-cooled screw press, always guaranteed below 37 degrees Celsius, comes out about 1/3 of what is poured above - drop by drop. As an oil. Without any chemical-physical treatment. The valuable and heat-sensitive vitamins and enzymes thus remain intact.
You can learn a lot at this place here. Did you know that hemp is a type of a nut, sesame and flax are a seed ?? So we do not ..... How do you get the idea to specialize in the production of the finest cooking oils? And all this still handmade? And in smaller and smallest bottles? What an effort?! In addition to the interest in food the starting point was a blue-bound book with the name "linseed oil makes happy". Once he had read it Frank was catched on fire: He wanted to produce oil (in the beginning linseed oil) in small quantities, which is very healthy and should make many people happy. And so both partners started to work.
Today over 20 resellers are supplied within a radius of 50 km from the "oil cooperative". All the beginning was hard in the first two years. The expenses were higher than the revenue. But sometimes is that normal if you´re a new member of the market and the competition? Teeth gagged and through! And now he is through with his own "oil cooperative". The Swabian shops are now coming to Frank Hellmond with the request for delivery. And the turnover is right. The profit also. And there is an additional special feature: If after one month the oil in the store is not sold, it is returned free of charge by the oil cooperative or replaced. It is always fresh when it comes to the home-made salad, home-made with green leaves, carrots, salt and pepper.
The second oil mill, fexcuse me please I mean oil press, has already been ordered. The operation increases. But always so far that the oil press master can do everything himself and keep an overview: "Less is more," Frank tells us. So its genius oils remain always pure, natural, fresh and tasty. A 100% healthy pleasure for a balanced diet. His company shall be distinguished from the "large market of commercial, industrially produced cooking oil" now and in the future.
The next project ideas are already there: black cumin oil for example and ....... No, no - thats a secret at this moment. It's supposed to be exciting. Frank Hellmond's motto for his work with his oil cooperative is: "Ways are created by walking!" He can be proud of that. Many further information and an online shop and much more can be found on the inviting website at www.hellmond.eu. Come on and explore it! We definitely loved Frank and his liquid gold! And at home in the fridge are now always a few bottles of his wonderful oil.