Thursday, October 30, 2014

Mother/Son duo hit homerun with prime corner location in new UTC Sarasota mall


Name: Scott Palmer & Kandy Kaak
Opening Date: Oct. 15, 2014
Territory: Central Florida; central-southwest coast
Address: University Town Center Sarasota
Local Community: Sarasota, Fla.
Phone Number: 314-374-2004

Mother-son duo Kandy Kaak and Scott Palmer make a great team opening their first business, an Oil & Vinegar franchise, at Sarasota’s much-hyped and brand new mall — The Mall at University Town Center.

Kaak first came across the gourmet retail franchise while working as a host and tour operator for a cruise line in Alaska. Kaak lived in an apartment in downtown Anchorage near the Fifth Avenue Mall. One day in May 2013, she wandered in Oil & Vinegar, and in her words, “fell in love.”

“As soon as I walked in that store, I knew I wanted to be a part of Oil & Vinegar,” said Kaak. “The health-minded eating atmosphere, the great product, the visual aesthetics of the store and the passion of the employees all gave me a fantastic experience.” 

Kaak, who said that she always knew she wanted to own a business, recruited her son, Scott, for advice on the business potential. After calling him and asking for his thoughts, he called back within five minutes and told her that he was on board. The mother and son spent the next summer figuring out the logistics and decided to make Oil & Vinegar a joint venture.

Palmer, who has worked as a commercial real estate sales associate, and also served in the Marine Corps Reserves from 2003 – 2009, says he will bring logistics and business experience to the back-end of their business. Kaak, on the other hand, who has built her résumé in customer service, will be building relationships with clients and managing operations at the family’s store.

Their choice of location — the Mall at University Town Center — is a significant one; it is the only two-story luxury mall in the United States that will be completed and opened this year, and the mall (as anticipated) has been extremely popular since opening on October 16th. “Oil & Vinegar has a huge target demographic here in Florida,” said Palmer. “There are plenty of people who have a passion for cooking, fitness and healthy living, as well as a lot of people who can afford our gourmet products. It’s a great market for us.”

What attracted you to Oil & Vinegar?

SP: I was in favor on the logistics side. From the beginning, I was a fan of the Oil & Vinegar structure — they had a very informative online presence. It was incredibly professional and their branding was great. I knew this was a concept that you could have more than one location of and still be successful. Also, Matt Stermer really sold me after several conversations and spending day and a half visiting various store locations. Matt’s background, the company’s history as a European brand and their international growth into nine countries all helped sell me on the decision.

What are your expansion/development plans? Number of units? Timeframe? What is your end goal?

We signed a multi-unit agreement, so we’re planning on opening a second store in Orlando within the next two years, then a third store Tampa within the next five years. 

Jim and Dave ready to set the Colorado Foodie Community on fire!


Name:  Jim Doman and Dave Setter                       
Opening Date: October 2014
Address: Flatiron Crossing Mall, 1 W Flatiron Crossing Dr. #2253, Broomfield, CO 80021   
Local community: Denver Metro
Phone Number: 303-589-2870 (Jim); 303-956-0627 (Dave)                                            

Jim Doman, 58, and Dave Setter, 58, join the Oil & Vinegar franchise equipped with extensive managerial, franchise and business ownership experience. Promptly after graduating with a degree in finance from the University of Denver in 1980, Doman started his first business: a hot air balloon charter flight operation. Doman operated morning champagne cruises for a few years before extending the business to include rooftop balloon advertising, a concept that he pioneered in the Denver area. Serendipitously, one of Doman’s initial advertising clients was Subway, which was a young franchise at the time. After witnessing the success of the sandwich chain, Doman bought his first Subway restaurant in 1988. He eventually owned seven Subway locations, one of which recorded the highest weekly sales in the nationwide franchise system in 1992. After 12 successful years with Subway, Doman sold his stores and went into semi-retirement to spend more time with his children, who were 10 and 8 at the time. For the next 10 years, Doman worked as a part-time commercial real estate developer and landlord, leasing two of his commercial buildings to Subway corporate. However, when the recession came, commercial real estate development took a hit and Doman moved on to paralegal title work for an oil and gas company, which he has been doing for the past four years. Doman first met Setter in the seventh grade when the two became science lab partners. Setter graduated with honors from Drake University Law School in 1981 retired as “of counsel” from his legal practice in February 2014 after 33 years.  Setter started his legal career with a 20-year stint at a Denver law firm, at which he was the managing shareholder/owner before he left to open his own firm with a couple of partners in 2001. In 2008, the firm merged with another, and Setter became a branch manager for the 400-strong company.   As the duo develops their Oil & Vinegar franchises, Setter will be able to tap into his legal expertise when working on the legalities of franchising, developing business plans and commercial real estate leases. Moreover, Setter has primarily practiced as a product liability attorney, which required an in-depth understanding of how a product worked, how it was supplied, and other intricacies. His skills and interest in meticulously analyzing products and their consumption will be helpful with marketing and developing the Oil & Vinegar brand in Denver.  Moreover, his experience in managing 30+ employees at the law firms will come in handy as the duo expands their territory. 

How did you learn about the brand?Doman: I was keeping my eyes open for other opportunities while working at the oil and gas company. My daughter introduced me to the concept of oil and vinegar sampling after she had visited a competitor’s store in Minnesota. She brought back some samples and shared them with us and it blew us away. I had never heard of a store with oil and vinegar samples, so I started researching if any existed in Denver.

What was appealing to you about joining the Oil & Vinegar franchise system?Doman: There were a few competitors already in the Denver area, but from a business standpoint I felt that Oil & Vinegar was positioned to be the most successful. Oil & Vinegar has a very classy, European atmosphere, which no other stores have. Also, their concept is not just about oil and vinegar; it’s about gourmet foods and gifting. People are becoming more interested in expanding their taste horizons, and Oil & Vinegar provides that opportunity. People are also looking for alternative gift solutions, which we offer.
 Setter: It’s intriguing because it’s an up-and-coming business with lots of potential. From a conceptual standpoint, Oil & Vinegar has no real competitors in the Colorado area. We think there will be great reception from the people from the Denver and Colorado arena. It’s a good market from a lifestyle standpoint and a cooking viewpoint.

What are your expansion or development plans?Doman: We purchased the rights to Colorado and have committed to opening six stores. The contract calls for us to open them over a 10-year period but we see that happening much sooner – we’re planning on opening at least one store a year. We also have the right of first refusal for New Mexico and Utah, so we may eventually become a multi-state operation. 
 Setter: We’re currently focusing on developing in the Denver Metro Area. We want to build in well-known malls that people from all over go to visit so that they see Oil & Vinegar and then recognize it in another location. That way, the brand markets itself.

We are looking to develop several locations in the Metro area, primarily at high-end shopping centers such as Flatiron Crossing and Park Meadows.   We are also looking at outdoor lifestyle districts such as Cherry Creek North, Aspen Grove, and high street locations in lower downtown Denver.  A location in Boulder, Fort Collins and in one or more of the mountain resort towns are opportunities we intend to pursue once our brand position is firmed up in the greater Denver marketplace.

Brand presence in the greater Houston market grows with new Memorial City location


Name:  Gabrielle (Gaby) Moidel              
Opening Date: October 2014
Location: Memorial City Mall, Houston, TX   
Phone Number: 281-221-5392                                   

Gaby Moidel, 50, originally from South Africa, has grown accustomed to relocating.  In the last 12 years, she has lived in four different cities for her husband’s career. However, tired of moving, and with her 10-year-old daughter in mind, Moidel is confident that her Oil & Vinegar business will provide more stability for the family. 

After spending the past 10 years as a stay-at-home mom, Moidel is ready to return to the business community. Prior to the birth of her daughter, she held business development  positions with the South African Foreign Service for nine years and then at Deloitte for another nine years. While at Deloitte, Moidel was transferred to work in Dallas, which is how she met her husband, Alan, in 1999.

Moidel's store is located close to the Energy Corridor, where Moidel will focus her efforts on running the store as well as marketing to businesses in the area. With an 9-year-old Oil & Vinegar store located in the Woodlands, TX, Moidel has the advantage of pre-existing brand awareness in the region.

How did you learn about the brand and what was appealing to you about joining the Oil & Vinegar franchise system?
I was starting to get bored and was looking for something to do. I thought franchising was a good idea because of the  assistance that is provided from the franchisor. I enjoy cooking and eating healthily, and the Oil & Vinegar concept looked interesting. At the time, we were living in Portland and went up to Seattle to meet with Matt Stermer, the franchise President. We toured his store, tried the products, and were impressed with the way the store was merchandised and the products tasted. If you want to sell something, you have to believe in the product; Oil & Vinegar is something I am excited about and can see myself being dedicated to every day.”

What areas have you looked at for your location?
In addition to Memorial City Mall, we have looked into Highland Village, Sugarland, and La Centerra  in Katy.  The close location to our home and the shopper demographics at Memorial City made it our first choice.