A Tale of Two Cities

Cindi Hunt and Greg Calhoun have very recently joined the vomFASS franchise family.  This charming couple bring a wonderful combination of enthusiasm, athleticism, culinary curiosity and business acumen exemplifying the very best attributes in the vomFASS franchisee.  Taking time out of their busy schedules, we had a chance to get to know Cindi and Greg.

Cindi Hunt and Greg Calhoun

Cindi Hunt and Greg Calhoun

Toni Jakovec:  So, tell me, how did you two find out about vomFASS?

Greg Calhoun:  We were visiting some family friends in Scottsdale, Arizona.  We found ourselves wandering around the river front area and happened upon the vomFASS store on our way to the Fashion Mall.  We took one look at it and knew we wanted to go in and see what it was all about.  We went in on a kind of uninformed customer visit and fell in love with the store, the staff and the products.  We bought 100 and some odd dollars’ worth of products and loved every one of them.  Immediately we started to investigate the origins and opportunities vomFASS offered for us to open a store in Bend, Oregon or perhaps even Palm Springs, California.

TJ:  The store you visited in Scottsdale, that’s owned by Melisa and Louis Conti.  Did you have a chance to meet them?

GC:  Yes we did and we were waited on by their lovely daughter, Reina.

Reina Conti, vomFASS, Scottsdale

Reina Conti,
vomFASS, Scottsdale

TJ:  You mentioned two locations.  Are you currently in Bend, Oregon?

Cindi Hunt:  Yes.

TJ:  So are you contemplating moving to California?

CH:  No, not at this time.  We would certainly prefer to open the store in Bend, but there are concerns over the liquor licensing.

GC:  We would ideally like to open a full service vomFASS with the complete range of wines, spirits and liqueurs.  As the laws stand right now in Oregon, it is very tricky reselling spirits.

TJ:  I heard that there was some current legislation pending that might loosen up those legal restrictions.

CH:  As it stands, grocery stores can’t sell liquor in Oregon, however, we fall into another category called “specialty retail,” so we will be applying under that distinction.  We spoke to a well-established local distiller who believes that’s the way to go.

GC:  To answer your question, there is a ballot measure coming up this November on the Oregon legislative schedule that would allow grocery stores and big box retailers to sell liquor.  Very similar to what happened in Washington state.

TJ:  I hope that law passes.  Now, tell me a little bit about Bend, Oregon.

CH:  Bend is a thriving city in Oregon with a population of about 100K with about 3M visitors per year.  We have a tremendous amount of tourism.

TJ:  What is there about Bend that makes it such a tourist attraction?

CH:  Bend is a very desirable destination for outdoor sports enthusiasts.  There are extensive biking, hiking, and water sports opportunities.  There are lots of lakes for rafting and fishing.  Winter skiing, snow-shoeing are very popular activities.  All of this in some of the most beautiful natural settings in the country.  Also, we have a lot of breweries and we’re located right in the center of the state.

TJ:  So how far along are you in the process of becoming a vomFASS franchisee?

Greg and Cindi at Yahara Bay Distillery during their vomFASS Experience Day

Greg and Cindi at Yahara Bay Distillery during their vomFASS Experience Day

TJ:  I see Cindi that your background is in Human Resources, Tourism and Recreation and Greg, I see you are in technology sales.  Could you explain that a bit?

GH:  Yes.  I work for a cloud-based software company called Kronos in the field of “work force management.”   This is mainly an administrative tool for managing work time collection, labor forecasting and labor efficiency.  The statistics are compiled into a database giving companies information and tools for better implementing their labor assets.

TJ:  What about your unique backgrounds do you think will enhance your new challenge in running a vomFASS store?

CH:  I think I’ll let Greg go first.

GC:  She always does that.  That’s the sign of a polite partner.  To answer your question, I have about 25 years of software technology sales, but I also have 12 years of running a gourmet dessert manufacturing business.  Well, first and foremost, I have always been a foodie.  I love food.  I’m interested and intrigued by really good, high quality food that’s wholesome, natural and healthy.  The most important thing I bring is my enthusiasm and understanding of these outstanding products, as well as the incredible band width of this line.  Just like software sales, I think the success rate will be dependent upon your ability to communicate and interact with customers through highlighting items you think they’ll enjoy and educating them on products you think they’ll like.  This can be achieved through sharing outstanding recipes, dinners or store events where customers can experience the products.

CH:  We both fell in love with the concept of vomFASS.  I’ve been looking for something I could be passionate about and I definitely found it with vomFASS.  The products, the set-up and then finding out it was a franchise was exactly what I was looking for.  With about 15 years in Human Resources, and the last 6 in tourism, as well as experience in retail, I am confident that I can bring passion and enthusiasm to vomFASS all of which pairs perfectly with Greg’s selling and food background.

TJ:  Now Greg already touched on this in a previous question, but do you, Cindi, consider yourself a foodie?

CH:  Absolutely!

TJ:  Great to hear.  Have you had a chance to discover a favorite product at vomFASS?

CH:  We definitely fell in love with the Maletti.  In fact, last night we had my son and daughter in law for dinner and we had vomFASS Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil over ice cream and then finished it with a drizzle of Maletti.  My son was actually adding the Maletti to just about everything on the table.

GC:  I love the vomFASS FassZination Styrian Pumpkinseed Oil .  A very intriguing, very incredible seed oil that has been developed into a fabulous product.  All of the products that we have tried have been spectacular, but the Maletti and the Pumpkin Seed Oil are our favorites right now.

TJ:  By the way, the Pumpkin Seed Oil is also wonderful on ice cream.

GC:  We’ll have to try it.

TJ:  Are you both planning on working at your new store?

CH:  Yes.  Initially it will probably be just me, but I am sure that Greg will be implementing outside sales as well.

TJ:  So do you see vomFASS as a second career for you both….perhaps retiring from your current positions?

GC:  For me, absolutely.  This will be something I can enjoy passionately and enthusiastically for at least the next 10 years.  It will be fun to come to work and share the pleasure with other people who have similar interests.

TJ:  We talked about tourism earlier, so how do you see your vomFASS shop….as a tourist attraction or more as a service to the community?

CH:  We are in such a unique area here.  We hope to locate the store in the Old Mill area which has about half and half traffic from locals and tourists.  Of course, we are expecting to serve repeat local customers, as well as the many tourists coming into the area.  Plus, of course, we’d like to stay close to where we live.

TJ:  Well thank you both very much.  This has been a wonderful interview, and I know you will find great success with vomFASS.

Although Cindi and Greg have not had a chance to develop any recipes yet, we do know what one of their favorite vomFASS products is. Here’s a super easy recipe highlighting vomFASS Maletti di Modena.

Grilled Vegetables with vomFASS Aceto Balsamico di Modena Meletti

grilled-vegetable-recipe

Ingredients:

Directions:

  1. Place prepared veggies in a large bowl. Toss with vomFASS Extra Virgin Garlic Oil. Sprinkle with vomFASS Salt & Pepper to taste.
  2. Grill until tender.
  3. Place cooked veggies on a platter and drizzle with vomFASS Maletti di Modena.

Recipe may be doubled or tripled

 
PRINT RECIPE

 

Disclaimer: This information is not intended as an offer to sell, or the solicitation of an offer to buy, a franchise. It is for information purposes only. Currently, the following states in the United States regulate the offer and sale of franchises: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. If you are a resident of one of these states, we will not offer you a franchise unless and until we have complied with applicable pre-sale registration and disclosure requirements in your jurisdiction.