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. 


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