Houston Oiler Strikes

Brian and Larita Moorhead are living the dream in Houston, Texas and just opened their vomFASS store in Rice Village.  We caught up with Brian for an interview just after the official opening and just before his Grand Opening, Thursday, November 20th.

Houston Franchisees

Larita & Brian Moorhead, vomFASS, Rice Village, Houston

 

Toni Jakovec:  Good morning Brian.  When did your Houston vomFASS shop open?

 

Brian Moorhead:  We opened Saturday, November 1st.

 

TJ:  Wow, this is just your very first month.  Do you have any top selling products already?

 

BM:  Absolutely.  The Pumpkin Seed Oil and the Pomegranate Vinegar are selling really well.  We designed a promotion around that pairing.  The Aceto Balsamico di Famiglia is moving very fast, in fact, we have already gone through one bib.  The Cru Cravenco Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a big seller as well as the Date Balsamic Star, the Fig Chili, and, of course, the Calamansi Balsam.

 

TJ:  What has been the biggest surprise since you’ve opened?

 

BM:  Amazingly, we were most surprised by how busy we were, right from the start.  We felt completely prepared when the doors opened, so there were no real surprises from the running-a- business point of view.  But we were pleasantly surprised by the steady stream of customers.

 

TJ:  That’s the kind of problem everyone wants to have!  You did quite a good job of promoting the soft opening.

BM:  Since we had so little time between the soft opening, November 1st and the Grand Opening on November 20th, it made sense to combine the promotions and just lead up to Thanksgiving and the holidays.

 

TJ:  What type of advertising are you using, Brian?

 

BM:  We advertised in a couple of neighborhood magazines.  These are beautiful, four-color magazines that are mailed to local neighborhood residents.  They become coffee-table books that people keep for quite a while and refer to often.  They each serve a specific neighborhood right around the store, the West University Buzz and the other is the BelAire Buzz.  They each have a circulation of about 14,500.  We placed an ad in each introducing the store and followed up with a promotional coupon for a 40ml gift set.  The promotion gets people in the store giving us the chance to up-sell.  Then we’re following this up in December in the same publications with a “Gift Guide”.  This promotion offers one gift basket at $75.00 with the second, third, etc. for 20% off.  We also advertise in “My Table” which is Houston’s restaurant magazine as well as their e-newsletter.

 

TJ:  I see you keenly appreciate the role of advertising and promotion in the success of your new business.

 

BM:  Yes, indeed we do.  And we are using the media to promote our upcoming Grand Opening.

franchisee-success-houston

TJ:  Brian, from your original idea of opening a vomFASS shop in Houston to your Grand Opening, how much time transpired?

 

BM: I actually started the process in November 2013.  So it took us exactly one year.

 

TJ: And now here we are, just one year later and you’re planning your Grand Opening for November 20ththrough the 23rd.  That has been an exciting year.  Will you be inviting local dignitaries to the Grand Opening?

 

BM:  Yes.  Ellen Cohen, a local city councilwoman is coming as well as the Houston Metro Chamber of Commerce and the Rice Village Alliance.

 

TJ:  What events have you planned for your Grand Opening?

 

BM:  We have a chef on staff, Martha Brinks, who will be creating the grand opening menus.  I know that Thursday is Tapas night with a Flamenco guitarist; Friday night will have an Italian theme with a wine expert.  Saturday morning will focus on kids’ events.  We’ll have face painters and the kids will be able to create their own salad dressings.  There will be a variety of activities throughout the day.  We have partnered with a BBQ sauce company who will be doing some pairings and making pulled pork sandwiches, plus many other surprises I’m sure.  Sunday our executive chef, who specializes in French cuisine, will be creating some small bite goodies paired with some wonderful champagne.

 

TJ:  Wow, now that’s what I call a Grand Opening!  That reminds me, your vomFASS store has quite a Facebook presence.  You have 1,000 “likes” and you just opened.  That’s impressive.  Who manages your Facebook page?

 

BM:  I do.

 

TJ:  Congratulations.  Can I include a link?

 

BM:  Absolutely.

 

TJhttps://www.facebook.com/vomfasshoustonricevillage/timeline

 

TJ:  Will you share one of your Grand Opening recipes with us?

 

BM:  You bet.

 

 

 

 

Pumpkin Mousse Tartlettes

Chef Dioron Ong

 

Ingredients:

1 can pumpkin puree

1 8 oz. Bar of cream cheese, softened

1 ½ c. cool whip topping

2 T. vanilla, good quality

Custom spice blend (includes raw or brown sugar, vomFASS Cardamom or five spice, nutmeg, clove, ginger and cinnamon)

vomFASS Chai Masala spice blend for finishing

 

Directions:

  1. Combine pumpkin, cream cheese and mix to smooth using an electric mixer
  2. Add in cool whip, vanilla and spices and blend well
  3. Fill prepared tarte shells and chill to set
  4. Top with whipped cream and finish with a sprinkling of Chai Masala
  5. Optional; garnish with spiced nuts or pumpkin seeds (ie almonds, pecans or pepito seeds)

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.