OPG Franko Mateljan
A love of their natural surroundings inspired the Mateljan family to carry on the traditions of their forebears, bringing up their children according to the same principles.
The family has cultivated olives and used the local medicinal plants throughout many generations in the village of Zastražišće. Bees have gone about their business, flitting from flower to flower with their gentle happy buzzing, over countless decades. So in modern times the family have founded a family-run agricultural enterprise, (called on OPG in Croatian, which stands for ‘obiteljsko poljoprivredno gospodarstvo). Its aim is to continue the long-standing work of the previous generations in order to reveal the amazing riches which Zastražišće has to offer to the world.
Children in the family have learned the art of making cosmetics from the earliest age in each succeeding generation. The knowledge handed down has been nurtured and developed over the years, and all the products are made exclusively from natural ingredients. The family has beeswax from its own apiary, oil from its venerable olive trees, and autochthonic etheric oils made from local medicinal wildflowers. Only organic, hand-picked ingredients are chosen for the balsams which have delighted people from all over the country and the world.
In the products crafted by the Franko Mateljan family firm there are absolutely no additives or bought-in raw materials, and they are all made on the premises, so the user can be certain that they are totally natural and of the highest quality for skin care. There’s no need to worry about allergies or adverse effects – Nature is the best doctor, and the best of Nature is on offer here.
Being out in the fresh air is a wonderful stimulus to creativity, and the family is inspired to new ideas on a daily basis. Their aim is to show visitors all the good things that Hvar has to offer, and above all to enhance the visitors’ health. Currently, their prime healthcare products are balsams based on beeswax and olive oil enriched with some of six autochthonic Hvar plants: immortelle, lavender, rosemary, laurel, oregano and sage. Some of the balsams are made of only one etheric oil, some contain oils in combination. They are recommended according to the health needs of the client. They are not only cosmetics, but also help to revive one’s body and spirit.
Alongside the health-giving balsams, there are hydrolates, soaps, macerates, massage oils, mosquito repellents, exfoliants, beeswax candles, lip balms, not to mention the anti-aging ointments and St. John’s Wort balsam which are among the most sought-after products. Summertime hits include the suntan ointment and the mosquito repellent spray, which give the visitor freedom to enjoy the blessings of the outdoors, with a healthy tan, and without the inconvenience of mosquito bites!
All the family’s products help the visitor to get to know the benefits of the Mediterranean’s natural resources, which so many people have described as therapeutic. Good health is Hvar’s gift to its visitors. The products are perfect souvenirs to remind visitors of Hvar’s special beauty and health benefits, and make fine gifts to take back to friends and family who may or may not have had the chance to experience the island for themselves.
Although based in Zastražišće on Hvar, every summer the family also presents its products in Bol on Brač, besides participating in various fairs in Jelsa and elsewhere throughout the year.