Popular German Travel Program Features Award-Winning Producer in Dalmatia

Ivan Pfeiffer, the producer behind MI Olive, shared the tragedy of his wife’s passing and the triumph of his award-winning extra virgin olive oil.
Ivan Pfeiffer
By Nedjeljko Jusup
Jul. 31, 2023 13:32 UTC

The phone rang while Ivan Pfeiffer was mow­ing the grass in the fam­ily olive grove.

On the other end was Ivana Bošković, direc­tor of the Cultural Center in Bol, the old­est town on the island of Brač.

Since word got out about our award-win­ning oil, I don’t even have time to look at all the mes­sages. They arrive from Europe and America. From every­where.- Ivan Pfeiffer, co-owner, MI Olive

Ivan, there are jour­nal­ists from the German tele­vi­sion sta­tion WDR,” Bošković said. They would come to you.”

The lat­est episode of the pop­u­lar inter­na­tional ARD travel show fea­tured the south­ern Croatian region of Dalmatia, which stretches for 400 kilo­me­ters along the coast of the Adriatic Sea.

See Also:Croatia’s Brač Olive Oil Receives PDO Status from European Commission

Editor and pre­sen­ter Ramon Babazadeh trav­eled with the team along the coast and islands between the dream” cities of Split and Dubrovnik.

There are hun­dreds of islands, of which they first vis­ited Vis and then Brač, the largest Croatian island.

Bošković, who was the team’s guide, offered var­i­ous rec­om­men­da­tions on Brač, includ­ing Pustinja Blaca, where her­mit priests lived for four cen­turies in a monastery carved into steep rocks until the death of its last direc­tor, Nikola Miličević, in 1963.

They also vis­ited Vidova Gora, which, at 780 meters, is the high­est peak of the Adriatic arch­i­pel­ago. It offers a phe­nom­e­nal view of the sur­round­ing islands. On a clear day, see­ing Italy from the sum­mit is even pos­si­ble.

Pučišća is a stone­ma­son cen­ter with the only pro­fes­sional school in Croatia (founded in 1906) near a famous quarry.

The island gained world fame for its white Brač stone. Many world-famous build­ings were built from it, such as the Reichstag in Berlin, the Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna and the White House in Washington, D.C.

Finally, two kilo­me­ters from the already men­tioned Bol, where the German jour­nal­ists arrived, is the Zlatni Rat beach, also called Paradise Beach, because it is one of the most beau­ti­ful, if not the most beau­ti­ful, peb­ble beach on the Adriatic.

Despite these iconic land­marks, the German tele­vi­sion team first chose the olive grove of Pfeiffer and his father-in-law Nikola Boldović to wit­ness its award-win­ning olive oil.

Located between the town of Bol and Rajska Beach, Pfeiffer is the pro­ducer behind MI Olive, which earned a Gold Award for its indige­nous Levantinka mono­va­ri­etal at the 2023 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

There is also an unusual story about the cre­ators of this suc­cess, Pfeiffer and his late wife, Magdalena.


Pfeiffer, who came to Brač 20 years ago from the con­ti­nen­tal Croatian plain of Slavonia, fell in love with the island, olive trees and Magdalena, the beau­ti­ful daugh­ter of Boldović.

Unfortunately, fate inter­vened. Magdalena fell seri­ously ill and, unfor­tu­nately, died in October 2022. Inconsolable Pfeiffer, in the name of eter­nal love, ded­i­cated his NYIOOC award to Magdalena upon receiv­ing news of the award on April 25th.


The award and the arti­cle fur­ther increased the inter­est of [Babazadeh] and his team,” Bošković told Olive Oil Times.

At the same moment that she told Babazadeh about the arti­cle, they vis­ited the olive grove, where Pfeiffer and his father-in-law warmly wel­comed them.

As a wel­come, they were offered Orahovac, a tra­di­tional liqueur made from green wal­nuts pro­duced by Pfeiffer’s mother-in-law, Mirjana.

Ooo, mama mia,” Babazadeh responded with sat­is­fac­tion. They all toasted together once more. Then they tasted the award-win­ning oil: Oh, how nice. Harmonious. Fruity,” he said with sat­is­fac­tion and, together with Pfeiffer, con­tin­ued to dip the home­made bread in the award-win­ning oil.

Then Pfeiffer revealed the secrets of suc­cess­ful olive prun­ing and cul­ti­va­tion in front of the cam­eras. No rain is best dur­ing flow­er­ing because it can wash the pollen off the flow­ers and harm fer­til­iza­tion. When the tem­per­a­tures are high and dry in the sum­mer, it is nec­es­sary to water. His groves have a drip irri­ga­tion sys­tem.

He told the German tele­vi­sion chan­nel the same story he pre­vi­ously told Olive Oil Times about how he came to the island, got a job in tourism, and fell in love with the Dalmatian peo­ple, the olive trees and Magdalena.

Together, they forged plans for the future, improved the cul­ti­va­tion and pro­cess­ing of olives, preser­va­tion and brand­ing of oil. The first two let­ters MI Olive are the ini­tials of their names, Magdalena and Ivan. Next to the olive grove is a house with a tast­ing room and a shop sell­ing olive oil.

Since word got out about our award-win­ning oil, I don’t even have time to look at all the mes­sages,” Pfeiffer said. They arrive from Europe and America. From every­where.” Numerous inquiries also come to the edi­to­r­ial office of Olive Oil Times.


I can tell you that Olive Oil Times had more than 6,000 vis­i­tors from Germany in just a few min­utes that the show was on the air, and we received many e‑mails ask­ing where to buy the oil,” an Olive Oil Times spokesper­son said.

The show, which pre­miered on the German pub­lic tele­vi­sion WDR on July 23, achieved a record view­er­ship – 91,931 views. On YourTube, the video has received 138,000 views.

I ded­i­cated the award to my beloved wife Magdalena, who is most respon­si­ble for our suc­cess,” Pfeiffer repeated in the show.

Unfortunately, his beloved Magdalena did not expe­ri­ence the suc­cess of the fam­ily brand MI Olive, which they cre­ated together.

After a brief ill­ness, she died sud­denly in a hos­pi­tal in Zagreb, the cap­i­tal of Croatia, on October 24, just when the har­vest in the fam­ily olive grove was com­pleted, and the fruits were processed the same day at the Arnerić Oil Company in the town of Supetar.

Before leav­ing for treat­ment in Zagreb, Magdalena told her fam­ily not to worry about her, to devote them­selves to the har­vest and ensure the olives were processed so that the oil was top qual­ity, Pfeiffer recalled.

The har­vest lasted four days. In addi­tion to fam­ily mem­bers, Pfeiffer’s friends also helped and man­u­ally har­vested 7.5 tons of fruit from 260 olive trees, from which 1,200 liters of extra vir­gin olive oil were obtained.

In those days, we expected the return of Magdalena to cel­e­brate a suc­cess­ful sea­son together,” Pfeiffer said.

On the day he had decided to visit her, the worst pos­si­ble news arrived from the hos­pi­tal in Zagreb that Magdalena had passed away. After the surgery, she suf­fered a pul­monary embolism, which was fatal.

Awful, awful, don’t ask me how I felt. I would pre­fer to have died together with her,” Pfeiffer said.

However, he knows that life must go on and finds sal­va­tion and com­fort in work. If Magdalena were alive in the olive grove, they would have already built a tra­di­tional house with a tast­ing room and devel­oped oleo­tourism.

Now, after the tragic event, all that has stopped. The shock is too great, but all those who know Pfeiffer believe that he and his inlaws will per­se­vere. Magdalena’s brother, Stipe Boldović, also helps him with this. He really sup­ports me in all the work in the olive grove,” Pfeiffer said.

Boldović works from morn­ing to night. From 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., as the head of the Bonaca restau­rant in the Bluesun Holiday Village in Bol. And from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the tast­ing room and shop in the olive grove.

Pfeiffer repeated to the ARD travel show what he pre­vi­ously told Olive Oil Times and said the quan­tity of oil he pro­duces would be deter­mined by nature.

Despite the tragedy, he con­tin­ues to live and work as if Magdalena is still phys­i­cally with him, although he misses her immensely.

But he car­ries her in his soul; he ded­i­cated the award won at this year’s NYIOOC to her. Next year, Pfeiffer said he will likely pro­duce an oil that will bear Magdalena’s name.

He hopes to enter this oil to the NYIOOC and said win­ning would be his great­est sat­is­fac­tion and con­fir­ma­tion that love lives for­ever.


Related Articles