Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Richmond home to 2nd Virginia franchise location

As the Oil & Vinegar brand continues to grow in the US market, our most recent franchise location opened in the Richmond Virginia area earlier this month.  A local market rich in heritage and a wealth of gourmet taste.  Just down the road from one of our most successful store locations in Charlottesville VA, the new Short Pump Town Center location is sure to gain an immediate following from the foodie community and guests seeking those healthy culinary gifts options we are known for.   The 1200 sq ft box-shaped space makes for a beautiful presentation and shopping experience for our guests.


Name: Robin and Rick Gouckenour 
Store Opening Date: July 19, 2013
Address: 11800 W. Broad Street, Short Pump Town Center, Richmond, VA 23233
Local Community: Glen Allen, VA (part of greater Richmond)
Phone Number: 859-967-3109

Robin Gouckenour grew up in western Kentucky and graduated from Midway College in Midway, KY. She worked for Ashland Inc. for 24 years, primarily in information technology, 6 years for AT&T as a Director of Sales in the Signature Client Group, and 6 years for Tempur-Pedic as the Director, Global Infrastructure. Rick grew up in West Virginia and Ohio, and graduated from Western Kentucky University.  He worked for General Electric Credit Corporation, Ashland Inc. and the University of Kentucky.  In April 2013, Robin & Rick relocated to Richmond after 31 years in Lexington, KY.

Q&A with Robin & Rick

How did you learn about the brand?
Several years ago, we began planning for a move to Richmond to be close to our daughter and her family.  At that time we started seriously looking at business opportunities in the area. Rick discovered Oil & Vinegar; and, as we love to cook and are always on the lookout for very good olive oil, this is a good fit. We started talking to Matt Stermer, President/CEO of Oil & Vinegar USA, about 18 months ago and finalized the location in April 2013. 

Why did you choose an opportunity with Oil & Vinegar?
We were looking for something that we would enjoy and would give us an outlet to be with people. The more we looked at the model, the more we liked it. We found it was a solid franchise opportunity plus the different selections the brand offers – on-tap, packaged products and the whole array – made it even better. We found the quality of the product amazing, so we knew we’d really enjoy it and feed our passion for cooking.  

Are you involved with any charities or do any community outreach with your business?
We are planning to – but as we just relocated we haven’t yet. I’ve previously done work at God’s Pantry Food Bank in Lexington and at the Foster Care Review Board. We are interested in supporting the local Food Bank.

What challenges have you overcome to get where you are now?
One of the main things was finding the right location as we are new to the area.  We reached out to many people to get settled here and get information to help us out.

What are your staffing plans looking like?
Outside of Rick and me, we envision we’ll have eight to 10 employees, mostly part time and sharing our passion for cooking and entertaining.

What are your expansion or development plans? What is your end goal with Oil & Vinegar?
Our goal is to develop the brand in this part of Virginia. We talked about potentially expanding beyond Richmond, but haven’t made any decisions.  

What are some of the publications you read? Local? National? What is your goal publication with your business?
Richmond Times-Dispatch, Richmond Bizsense, The West End’s Best, Henrico Monthly – basically anything on the area we can find. We also read the Washington Post.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies or passions?

We love to cook, and try new recipes – Rick is quite creative!  Also, I was a big gardener in Lexington; and, we love to travel within the US and abroad. We’re both avid readers, and just enjoy being with family and friends