Houston Oiler! Interview

houston-franchisee

Brian and Larita Moorhead are welcome additions to the vomFASS franchise family. Opening the first Houston, Texas, vomFASS store, Brian and Larita exemplify the background and enthusiasm so often found in successful franchise partnerships.

Toni Jakovec: Good morning, Brian. Thank you so much for taking time out for this interview. I know how busy you must be as a brand new vomFASS franchisee, so let me welcome you to the family. Where will your store be located?

Brian Moorhead: Thank you, Toni. Our store will be the first in Houston. Although we haven’t chosen a location yet, we’ve honed in on an area in Houston called Rice Village. This is one of the oldest districts in the city with walkable shopping. The walkability is critical, since people don’t walk much in Texas. In fact, it takes an hour and a half just to drive through the city limits of Houston.

TJ: I had no idea Houston was so big. What is the population there?

BM: Houston is the fourth largest city in the U.S. Following New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago, Houston has a population of more than 2.1 million.

TJ: I know we caught up with you at the very beginning of your franchise, so where are you in the process today?

BM: We’re focusing heavily on two things right now. First, finalizing the SBA loan. In fact, I have a meeting today to show them our business plan. And second, as we touched on earlier, finding that perfect location. Those are our two priorities right now. It’s difficult to move forward until that location is secured.

TJ: Tell me, Brian, how did you find out about vomFASS?

BM: I had been looking into business opportunities for many years. While I was employed in the corporate world, I never lost my interest in a business of my own. In all those years, I never really found the right fit. I checked out everything from cleaning franchises to pizza shops. I just never found anything I could get really excited about. I’m sure I could have picked any of those franchises and been successful and made money. But I wasn’t passionate about any of them.

Then on September 5, 2013, I lost my job. I was employed by NRG Energy, a Fortune 500 and S&P 500 company, and worked as a Manager for their Electric Vehicle Department. My position was relocated to California. Needless to say, the time was ripe for me to re-visit my interest in starting my own business.

I began by investigating top franchises and soon became aware of vomFASS. This was an entirely new concept to me. At the time, I didn’t know anything about oil and vinegar specialty stores, but I assumed they were of the “Mom and Pop” variety. I was intrigued by vomFASS USA. Once I learned about the origins of the company in Germany, I knew I was onto something important.

TJ: About how long was it from your decision to open a vomFASS store to now looking for a location?

BM: From the time I decided that vomFASS was the franchise for me, to the day I signed the papers, was about six months.

TJ: What was the most compelling factor that made you choose vomFASS?

BM: The products, of course, were fascinating to me. The product variety and quality felt very new and different. I’m a hobbyist cook, though I don’t get to cook as much as I’d like. I typically specialize in Cajun cooking, since I come from Baton Rouge. I haven’t had the opportunity yet to use as many vomFASS products as I want, but what I have used has been exceptional. I was also heavily influenced by the great story of how vomFASS came from Germany to the U.S.

TJ: Does your work history provide good experience for the franchise world?

BM: I have been in the corporate world, as well as the start-up world. Both worlds combine very nicely for a franchise opportunity. I think where everything dovetails is my work in the multi-family real estate industry. I have been in the sales, business development, and marketing side of the industry, selling a variety of services, such as telephone, internet, cable, etc. For eighteen years I’ve been establishing relationships with businesses in Houston, and I bring all of those contacts and goodwill to this new venture.

Larita brings genuine retail experience to this project. She has 25 years of retail background as a store manager and a regional manager. She is currently with a small boutique company, called Paradise Pen, which sell high-end pens, or “writing instruments” as they call them, in 20+ stores across the U.S. She is a regional manager covering all of the Texas locations, as well as Atlanta. She is also the manager for the Houston store. Her retail and operational experience will be invaluable. She will maintain the position with Paradise Pen, working only part-time at our vomFASS store, until we become established. Larita’s responsibilities will cover operations, staffing, and training, while I will be focusing primarily on marketing, business development, social media, and management of the day-to-day store business.

TJ: Sounds like a great partnership, Brian. I wish you both the very best of luck!

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.