The Clerkenwell electrician who gets rave reviews...for selling olive oil
- Credit: Archant
For Murat Mehmet and his business partner father, selling olive oil from an electrical shop is as natural as the family’s organic production farm in Cyprus. Georgie Conway reports.
Not many electrical supply shops attract the attention of New York magazine for selling “England’s best olive oil”.
Electrical Embassy Supplies, in Clerkenwell, run by father and son Mehmet Murat and Murat Mehmet, is an exception.
“We’re not very creative with names in this family,” laughs Murat, known to his customers as Mo.
He pours himself half a shot glass of Murat Du Carta extra virgin olive oil and casually knocks it back.
“I have one every day. Here, have one – it’s much healthier than cod liver oil.”
Murat’s father imports the organic olive oil, produced from the family olive groves in Cyprus, to the shop in Compton Street.
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From this unassuming electrical store, Murat Du Carta is used by the likes Gordon Ramsay and Jamie Oliver, with orders for bottles coming from around the world.
“My grandparents first planted the olives in the village of Louroujina in Cyprus in the 1950s,” explains Murat. “When my grandfather died in 2002, we started bringing the olive oil over here to sell.”
Contrasted with the unremarkable electrical products, the Murat Du Carta range in the corner certainly stands out.
In addition to the green bottles of oil, there are wicker baskets of wild sage, sumac, grape syrup and pomegranate molasses.
The family olive groves produce about 5,000 litres of oil a year – which is only sold in the shop that Murat’s father, an electrician by trade, bought in the 1980s.
“I’ve learnt about the electrical side just from being here all my life,” says Murat.
“When we lived above the shop I used to sit down here as a kid and I just picked everything up.”
Murat studied philosophy, history and psychology in 2000, and worked as a psychiatric nurse until deciding to return to the growing family business.
“We started getting orders from around the world after we featured on the Gordon Ramsay cooking programme and Jamie Oliver put us on his website.”
Since then, they’ve won global recognition as orders come in from as far out as America, Puerto Rico and Hong Kong.
Murat is hardly fazed. To him, it’s just olive oil.
And in this electrical shop, he’s just as happy to discuss extra virgin as light bulbs. “A lot of people come in here just to taste the olive oil so you have to try and build a relationship with them,” he says. “Otherwise, what’s the point?”