An Out-of-this-Store Kind of Experience at Christkindlmarket

While vomFASS prides itself on being a premier foodie experiential retail adventure, there are many opportunity to participate “outside-the-shop” in community events.  Franchisees are encouraged to participate in local food, beverage and cultural events where they can gain additional exposure to other groups of potential customers.  And, more importantly, those customers have the opportunity to LOOK, TASTE & ENJOY the epicurean oils, vinagars and artisanal spirits.

Mike Aldrich, new owner of the Naperville vomFASS, recently did just that.  Although, he opened his business at the happiest time of the year and brought the first vomFASS to the Chicago area, Mike was eager to introduce his shop to the community. He quickly signed up to participate in the annual Naperville Christkindlmarket.

Toni Jakovec:  Thanks for taking time out of your busy holiday schedule.  I know your shop has only been open a short time.  When exactly did you open?

Mike Aldrich:  We opened on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving.

TJ:  Wow, that’s an auspicious day to begin.  Have you had your grand opening yet?

MA:  No.  I’m actually not planning our official grand opening until January.

TJ:  That makes perfect sense.  What is your location?

vomFASS Naperville, IL, 121 S. Washington Street, is now open

MA:  The shop is at 121 S. Washington Street, Naperville, Illinois.

TJ:  Is Naperville considered a suburb of Chicago?

MA:  It is.  It’s about 35 miles west of downtown Chicago.

TJ:  Why did you choose Naperville?

MA:  Naperville is a very vibrant commercial community.  It is a charming mix of a lovely old time retail district, yet it supports many major national brands, such as Sur La Table; Williams-Sonoma and Apple.  Naperville is a major destination for shoppers, especially those who are interested in branching outside of the typical shopping mall.  My vomFASS shop fits in perfectly.

TJ:  Now, let’s talk about this exciting “outside-the-shop” event you have been involved in.  What is the name of the event?

MA:  It’s called the Christkindlmarket, fashioned after the German and European tradition.  It was inspired by the 16th century Christkindlesmarkt in Nuremberg, Germany, which was one of the first holiday markets of its kind.  Chicago presents this popular open-air Christmas festival and now there is also an important Christkindlmarket here in Naperville. Christkindlmarket is famous for its vendors’ high quality gifts and food, holiday cheer, and for being the ideal place for families to create their own holiday traditions.

TJ:  Sounds like the ideal venue for vomFASS.  How long does this festival last?

MA:  It’s open from November 25 through December 24, each Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Although some vendors are there throughout the entire festival, they also offer “pop up” vendor booths, which is what we are doing.  My vomFASS shop was there for the first weekend in December and we will be there for December 23 and 24.  Of course, I would have loved to participate throughout the event, but it was impossible for me to staff both the event and the new store.

TJ:  So what exactly did you do at the event to promote your store and products?

Naperville vomFASS associates share product samples and good cheer at their first outside-the-shop venue

MA:  We gave out samples of the products and we held tastings to introduce vomFASS to event goers.  Additionally, we prepared a variety of gift packages in advance for sale at the market.  This gave us an important opportunity to inform customers about our new shop and to hand out coupons to encourage them to visit the shop.

TJ:  This is a long day outdoors in northern Illinois.  However do you stay warm?

MA:  Well, the vendor booths are heated, so my staff was comfortable.  The festival goers bundle up and enjoy the many sites and events in their coats and mittens.

TJ:  Aside from the vendor booths, what events does this festival feature?

MA:  Primarily it’s a vendor’s market.  But, the Christkindlmarket also offers a variety of seasonal events and entertainment for strolling attendees.  There are Alpine Brass Bands; a beautiful light display; various choir groups; the Chicago Civic Orchestra; a booth offering eco-friendly gift wrapping; German chocolates and delicacies; performing arts groups with dancers and even Renaissance costumed madrigal carolers. There really is something for everyone.

TJ:  Where is the Naperville Christkindlmarket held and how close is that to your vomFASS shop?

MA:  It’s held in an area of town called the Naper Settlement.  It’s an historical section of town with lovely old homes and buildings.  It’s a short half mile to my shop, an easy walk.

TJ:  Christkindlmarket sounds like the perfect venue to present your new vomFASS to Naperville.  Thanks, Mike.

Christkindlmarket Naperville Background

Christkindlmarket in Naper Settlement

The Christkindlmarket Naperville joins the Christkindlmarket Chicago this holiday season. Since its inception in 1996, the Christkindlmarket Chicago has become a holiday staple for Chicagoans and visitors alike.  The market, organized by German American Events, LLC, a subsidiary of the German-American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc., is one of the largest and most authentic of its kind outside of Europe.

“The Christkindlmarket team is thrilled to announce that this year’s suburban Christkindlmarket will be at Naper Settlement,” said Maren Biester Priebe, General Manager of German-American Events, LLC. “This new location offers an exciting opportunity for the market, which is free and open to the public, to expand and grow.  Visitors will experience the traditional wooden huts with candy cane-striped canopies filled with goodies sold by some new and some popular vendors who are seen at the Chicago market on Daley Plaza. The Christkindlmarket Naperville will provide visitors with the festive atmosphere and charm that can be found at the original Chicago market, just a bit closer to home.”

Egg Nog is undoubtedly the most traditional of winter holiday drinks. As Charles Dickens might have said, this creamy concoction evokes warm memories of holidays past; is joyously imbibed during the holiday present and always eagerly anticipated when planning a holiday future. This recipe serves 2, but can be doubled or even re-doubled for a party

vomFASS AGED RUM EGG NOG

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 ½ T. sugar (divided)
  • 4 oz. whole milk
  • 2 oz. heavy cream
  • 1 oz. vomFASS Aged Rum
  • 1 egg white
  • ½ t. vanilla

Directions:

  1. Using a large bowl and hand mixer (or stand mixer), beat egg yolk until light in color. Gradually add 1 T. of sugar and continue to beat until dissolved. Add milk, cream, vomFASS Aged Rum, nutmeg and vanilla; stir to combine; set aside.
  2. In another bowl beat egg white to soft peaks. Gradually add remaining ½ t. sugar and beat until stiff peaks are formed.
  3. Whisk egg white mixture into egg yolk mixture. Chill and serve.

Recipe may be doubled or tripled

 
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