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Interview with Ms. Park, Vice President of La Chinata Oil Library of South Korea

She graduated in Art History and Archeology and has been working as an art director in the development of housing and hotel projects for more than 10 years with an interest in artistic changes and development processes of the time such as painting and architecture. She is the president of Lavalse Hotel, located in Busan as well. 

Where exactly is the La Chinata Oleoteca located?

La Chinata City Hall Brach is located a 3-minute walk from Busan City Hall Subway Station, the administration and transportation center where Busan City Hall is located. Busan is the second largest city in South Korea, a similar place to Barcelona in Spain. It is the third store in Busan to open after the Lavalse Hotel and Jungang stores.

Tell us something about the surroundings of this place. If it is touristy, famous… What does the tourist find here?

Since City Hall Branch is a residential area rather than a tourist area, employees of various government offices are regular customers.

When was this La Chinata Oleoteca inaugurated?

City Hall Branch opened in July 2020 and is the third store in Korea, after the Lavalse hotel store (January 2020), and the Jungang store (June 2020). Since Korean customers are not familiar with EVOO derivative products, we designed it as an exhibition hall, to expand the EVOO experience space for residents.

We also opened a new store at Pangyo branch of Hyundai Department Store in September 2021. Hyundai Department Store is known as the most fashionable food hall and is a place where you can find various famous foods from all over the world.

Have you carried out any campaign or activity?

We actively participate in marketing and sales activities, changing the theme each season. As for offline activities, we have been doing subway announcements, radio announcements, newspapers, and sponsor announcements.

For online activities, we have been holding events including 'Olive Oil Day' every 5 days to provide benefits and discounts to our regular customers. And also posts and ads continuously on Instagram and other social media channels.

What kind of customers does the store receive?

In the case of the City Hall`s Branch, there are resident clients and employees of government offices. Especially, the number of visitors is higher during lunch time. To increase the clientele, we make Olive Leaf Tea for free and sell Tea as well. In the case of the Lavalse Hotel in Busan, we receive tourists from other areas.

What are the best-selling products?

The 500 ml EVOO bottles and balsamic creams are the most popular. Recently, celebrities in Korea showed dishes cooked with truffles, and interest in truffles has increased. After the truffle syndrome, the demand for truffle oil and truffle balsamics has increased. In particular, the La Chinata truffle EVOO seasoning has a very intense aroma, which is why it is of more interest to customers looking for gourmet products.

On the other hand, Lavalse Hotel offers a line of miniature amenities for each hotel room, so guests tend to shop at the store when they check out.

What is the perception of Spanish EVOO in the country?

People tend to think that Italy is more famous and has a better quality EVOO than Spain. Active public relations provide customers with a good knowledge of Spanish olive oil.

And about the products?

It is famous for being a brand that offers a bag full of essentials when traveling in Spain. Some customers have bought some products while traveling in Spain and ask us if we can also import the product.

What do the clients of La Chinata appreciate the most?

I don't think there is such a wide variety of brands in the world that have a collection of gourmet and beauty products made with EVOO. It seems that they like this even more because they can be eaten, they are good for the body and, in short, they take care of health and beauty together. Also, as a gourmet country, the variety of jams is impressive.

[The new guarantees the quality]

Just as the raw materials are important for the preparation of the main meal, it is impressive to use flavoring oils and everything from the most famous localities. For example, Modena, famous for its balsamic, and Tuscany, famous for its truffles, seem to be the secret to La Chinata's popularity.

Why did you decide to start a La Chinata franchise in the country? What was it that made you take the plunge?

I think I fell in love with the products made with EVOO.

While planning the amenities for the rooms and the MD of Lavalse Hotel, I found a miniature La Chinata, a beauty product with EVOO, and I think I fell in love with a product made with EVOO, an ingredient that I eat and drink.

The products of all the cosmetic and food lines are excellent. In addition, since the price is reasonable, it seems that he has no problem being able to buy it casually. I decided to start with La Chinata for countless reasons, to be more beautiful and even healthier, with quality cosmetics and gourmet food.

Do you want to add something else?

Olivita, which was first launched on the Korean market last fall, is an excellent beauty product that has received an organic certificate, so we strive to actively promote it so that it can advance as a leader in the Korean beauty market.

Similarly, although the Korean beauty market is very strong, active support from head office is needed to succeed in marketing and sales activities.

On the other hand, since La Chinata started with amenities from the Natural Edition line, we are planning to promote the La Chinata brand in Korea by focusing on the supply of resorts and rooms of prestigious hotels.

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