Retail Industry Insight – Olive Oil Stores

“Competition is not only the basis of protection to the consumer,
but is the incentive to progress.”

Herbert Hoover, State of the Union Address, December 2, 1930

When considering the daunting option of opening your own franchise, one of the essential questions to ponder is, “What is the competition out there?”  vomFASS does not see companies with similar product lines as competitors, as much as opportunities for vomFASS to shine by comparison.  With that philosophy in place, each franchise becomes a standard by which other oil and vinegar companies are judged.  Nevertheless, it is invaluable to understand these other companies and to see how high vomFASS has set the bar.

Let’s get to know the players

Although there are many more oil and vinegar specialty shops, these are some of the most prolific in the US.

Information Compiled April 2015

CompanyUS locationsTotal locationsFranchise
Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom44No
The Oilerie Olive Oil Bar99Yes
The Olive Tap1010No
We Olive & Wine Bar1111Yes
Oil & Vinegar2466Yes
vomFASS25300Yes
Veronica Foods500600No

 

Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar Taproom          established in 2009

The owners emigrated from Southern Spain where the family had owned and run olive groves and operated a successful olive mill. Upon seeing the rise of the olive oil business in the US, they sold their Spanish business and opened their first retail shop in Bethlehem, PA.  They operate four locations, 2 in Maryland and 2 in Pennsylvania.

 

The Oilerie Olive Oil Bar                                established in 2003

Opening their first store in Fish Creek, Wisconsin, the owners have expanded to 9 shops.  They sell olive oil and balsamic vinegar produced in a small factory outside of Rome, Italy.  The Oilerie also offers pastas, rice, sauces and a variety of specialty foods.  They now operate 3 locations in Wisconsin; 2 in Ohio; 1 in South Carolina; 1 in Oregon and 2 in Minnesota.

 

The Olive Tap                                                established in 2006

Long Grove, Illinois is the flagship for The Olive Tap.  Designed to offer samples of olive oils from stainless steel “fusti’s”, the concept has evolved into offering balsamics, spices and a selection of gourmet foods.  They currently operate in 10 locations:  1 each in North Carolina; Colorado; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; plus 2 in Florida and 3 in Illinois.

 

We Olive & Wine Bar                                      established in 2005

Specializing in California olive oils and wine, We Olive operates in a very specific niche market.  California produces 99% of the olive oil in the US, but only 1% is consumed in the US.  They operate 11 locations:  1 each in Texas; New York; Nevada with the remaining 8 locations throughout California.

 

Oil & Vinegar                                                 established in 1999

Founded in the Netherlands, Oil & Vinegar quickly expanded to the United Kingdom, Germany and Belgium, entering the US market in 2004.  They currently boast over 90 Oil & Vinegar stores in 9 countries.  Their product line includes condiments sauces; spices and herb mixtures; tableware; cookbooks and other culinary accessories.

 

vomFASS USA                                           established in 1994

Started in Germany 20 years ago, vomFASS quickly established itself as a premiere vendor of carefully sourced extra virgin olive oils and fruited vinegars.  Creating a “taste before you buy” concept, the shops quickly numbered over 280 in Europe and 25 in the US.  The US locations include:  2 in Arizona; 3 in California; 4 in Florida; 3 in Minnesota; 2 in North Carolina; 2 in Texas; and one each in Colorado; Iowa; Indiana; Kentucky; Louisiana, Missouri; South Carolina, Tennessee and Wyoming.  vomFASS is the only vendor currently stocking wines and spirits in most locations.

 

Veronica Foods                                               established in 2006

By far the most pervasive presence is Veronica Foods.  With their olive oil in over 600 locations, they have enjoyed considerable success.  Originally, olive oil under the Delizia brand, was only a small percentage of the business.  It was in 1997 that the focus shifted with the purchase of an olive grove and mill in Tunisia.  It is from this North African location that all of the olive oil is pressed and infused.  Veronica Foods, based in Oakland, California, has 100 locations in Canada and has stores in every state, except 2 in the US.

 

CompanyEVOVinegarsWineSpiritsSpices
Seasons Olive Oil & Vinegar TaproomYesYesNoNoYes
The Oilerie Olive Oil BarYesYesNoNoYes
The Olive TapYesYesNoNoSome shops
We Olive & Wine BarYesYesYesNoYes
Oil & VinegarYesYesNoNoYes
vomFASSYesYesMostMostSome shops
Veronica FoodsYesYesNoNoYes

 

The information and comparison tables are offered to educate all who are interested in an oil and vinegar shops.  Competing shops within the same market area are not necessarily a negative, rather a confirmation of a sophisticated and educated customer base.

 

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.