` Interview with Señorios de Relleu's Eduardo Palacio and Hugo Quintanilla

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Interview with Señorios de Relleu's Eduardo Palacio and Hugo Quintanilla

Apr. 1, 2012
By Olivarama

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Eduardo Pala­cio, Sales and Mar­ket­ing Man­ager
Hugo Quin­tanilla, Tech­ni­cal Direc­tor of Señoríos de Relleu

Apart from qual­ity, our extra vir­gin aims to trans­mit emo­tions”

Eduardo and Hugo are as dif­fer­ent as they are com­ple­men­tary. One comes from the world of mar­ket­ing, while the other is spe­cial­ized in med­i­c­i­nal plants. Both, together with Eliseo Quin­tanilla, a phar­ma­cist by pro­fes­sion and the father of Hugo, have set them­selves the goal of rev­o­lu­tion­is­ing extra vir­gin through their very own olive oil project. And to judge by the results they have achieved in such a short space of time, they appear to be meet­ing their objec­tive with­out much dif­fi­culty.

Señoríos de Relleu, is a fam­ily com­pany that is not only recov­er­ing the olive-pro­duc­ing tra­di­tion of the Ali­cante region in which its multi-vari­etal autochtho­nous olive trees grow, it is also deter­mined to help more and more con­sumers to learn how to appre­ci­ate this prod­uct. How? Well, the pro­tag­o­nists of this inter­view know exactly what they’re doing. After per­fect­ing an impec­ca­ble organolep­tic pro­file, it’s now time to sur­round it with sen­sa­tions. On this ambi­tious mis­sion, the orig­i­nal pack they have just launched onto the mar­ket rep­re­sents the com­mon thread.

In a world as tra­di­tional as that of olive oil, in which any attempt at break­ing away from the norm tends to be observed with the crit­i­cal eye of those who believe there is lit­tle room for more inno­va­tion in this field, it is very easy to pin­point those peo­ple will­ing to leave the most rad­i­cal con­ven­tion­alisms behind.

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They are betrayed by their ges­tures, the sparkle in their eye, their insa­tiable curios­ity, the pride the express when talk­ing about their work and, above all, the fresh­ness and excite­ment they man­age to trans­mit.

These are the exact traits that define Eduardo and Hugo, with whom we had the plea­sure to talk to per­son­ally at the last edi­tion of Madrid Fusión.

They them­selves con­fess that they are not yet experts in olive oil. Nor do they need to be. Because since they started sell­ing the first Señoríos de Relleu coupage they have proven that their work is on the right track. And it’s not that they say so them­selves. The excel­lent reviews received and the two pres­ti­gious inter­na­tional awards received demon­strate their already promis­ing future.

But these two men are not happy to sit back and rest on their lau­rels. Now they aim to find new ways of con­nect­ing with the con­sumers and all of them chan­nel emo­tions.

In pre­vi­ous con­ver­sa­tions, you told us that none of the founders of Señoríos de Relleu had any rela­tion­ship with the world of olive oil. So what brought you to take on this adven­ture?

Eduardo Pala­cio (E.P.): Señoríos de Relleu is an ini­tia­tive of Eliseo Quin­tanilla, Hugo’s father. His fam­ily has always been linked to the agri­cul­ture sec­tor, specif­i­cally in the con­text of Mur­cia.

Although Eliseo stud­ied phar­macy, he never lost sight of his ori­gins, which is why he focused his pro­fes­sion on med­i­c­i­nal plants. With time, he was offered the pos­si­bil­ity of buy­ing some estates in Relleu and that is how this story began.

Hugo Quin­tanilla (H.Q.): My father has always been inter­ested in the active ingre­di­ents that many med­i­c­i­nal plants con­tain. He con­sid­ers them an added value. That is why he bought these lands and decided to pull up the almond trees grown here and replace them with olive trees. By doing so, he was seek­ing pre­cisely that added value that the olive tree offers through its oil and, even its leaves, from which oleu­ropein is obtained, a car­dio­pro­tec­tive and antibac­te­r­ial agent. These were the main rea­sons which led him to choose this crop.

For my part, I also spe­cial­ized in med­i­c­i­nal plants within the field of agri­cul­tural for­est engi­neer­ing. In short, we are a fam­ily group that cov­ers a num­ber of fields.

E.P.: In my case, my life has always been and still is a con­stant re-inven­tion. I have always worked in mar­ket­ing and sales, first in the world of build­ing renowned Span­ish and inter­na­tional brands, and then in sus­tain­abil­ity and the envi­ron­ment which is where I met Eliseo and Hugo, who took me into the uni­verse of olive oil.

I have always worked towards the search for dif­fer­en­ti­a­tion, inno­va­tion and the re-inven­tion of every­thing we do, so that we become renowned wher­ever we go.

What do you think that your expe­ri­ence from other fields con­tributes to a sec­tor as tra­di­tional as the oil sec­tor?

E.P.: I think our main advan­tage is that we have no prej­u­dices. That allows us to face new sit­u­a­tions from a totally dif­fer­ent point of view. It is true that we have not inher­ited a tra­di­tional oil cul­ture, and that enables us to adapt to the new demands of con­sumers from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive com­pared to the con­ven­tion­alisms. In this case, we inject a lot of fresh­ness into this sec­tor.

Before talk­ing about your oil, we would like to know about some of the most rel­e­vant aspects of your com­pany. How would you describe the set­ting in which you put all your excite­ment and effort into prac­tice?

E.P.: Both the estate and the instal­la­tions of Señoríos de Relleu are located 10 kilo­me­tres from the Mediter­ranean, at the foot of the Aitana Moun­tains, which reach a height of 1000 metres. Although there are some ves­tiges of the olive grove in the area, really there has not been any real olive pro­duc­ing tra­di­tion, the local farm­ers are mainly involved in almond pro­duc­tion.

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