Texas Strikes Olive Oil

Sandie and Jerry Treviño,                       McAllen, Texas

Sandie and Jerry Treviño
McAllen, Texas

Deep in the south of Texas you’ll find the sprawling communities of the Rio Grande Valley.  It is this idyllic setting that will soon become the home for a new vomFASS shop.  Sandie and Jerry Treviño are bringing the European tasting room concept and remarkable vomFASS products to McAllen, Texas.

Toni Jakovec:  Hello Sandie.  Tell us, how did you discover vomFASS?

Sandie Treviño:  My husband and I were in San Francisco on our honeymoon and we wandered into Ghirardelli Square.  We stopped into vomFASS and were amazed.  We bought some great products.  On our next trip to San Francisco I told Jerry I wanted to go back to that wonderful shop to get some more oils and vinegars.  We had the products shipped home.  When I opened the box, along with the oils and vinegars was a brochure stating “Franchise Opportunities.”  I showed it to Jerry and told him that my curiosity was piqued.  Everything started from there.  I began looking into the company, eventually calling, and we have been moving forward ever since.

TJ:  I love this story.  It looks like our marketing strategies are working.

ST:  Well, they certainly did in our case.  We were not looking for a franchise at the time.  Jerry had wanted to retire from his job, but we really hadn’t made any decisions about retirement.  Once I saw that brochure, everything fell into place very nicely.

TJ:  You mentioned you were on your honeymoon in San Francisco.  How long have you two been married?

ST:  We just got married in 2014.

TJ:  Congratulations!

ST:  Thank you.

TJ:   Just where exactly are you at this point on the franchise track?

ST:  Quite far really.  We have signed the Franchise Agreement and right now we’re in the process of finalizing our location.  In fact, I just got an email from the real estate agent saying he intends to send a letter of intent today.  We’re very excited about that.

TJ:  So you have already found a location….?

ST:  When we started this process we had already chosen two areas that we knew would be perfect for a vomFASS shop.  I did some due diligence before even signing the agreement; but then once signed, I sent all of the pertinent information onto our real estate agent.  As it turns out, one of the locations we originally wanted is exactly where we will be.

TJ:  I’m not familiar with McAllen, Texas.  Where exactly is it located?

ST:  McAllen is located at the very southern tip of Texas.  We’re about 10 miles from Mexico in the Rio Grande Valley.  There are several cities and towns that combine together for about 80 miles along the coastal tip of Texas.  McAllen is the epicenter of the entire area.  McAllen combines the residents of the city as well as the adjoining communities.  There is a daily influx of Mexican nationals that come across the border to shop.  The entire Valley is steeped in the Hispanic culture.  We are also a popular tourist destination for the winter-Texans as well as the colder northern states.  We’re about 70 miles from South Padre Island, which is another very popular vacation spot.

TJ:  To give us some perspective, what is the closest larger Texas city to McAllen?

ST:  McAllen is about 200 miles south of San Antonio.  We’re about 2 hours away from Corpus Christi.

TJ:  Now that you are signed all the important papers, what is your projected vomFASS shop opening date?

ST:  We’re shooting for fall of 2016.  The shopping center we will join is currently expanding and we will be in the new section.  Everything should be ready for us by then.

TJ:  What is the name of that shopping center?

ST:  It’s called the Palms Crossing.  There’s a performing arts center there and a convention center as well.  The center attracts not only the local residents but also people coming from the nearby communities for the cultural performances and attractions.

TJ:  What are your and Jerry’s backgrounds?

ST:  Jerry worked over 26 years for State Farm Insurance.  I worked for the same number of years at Security First Credit Union, which is the largest credit union in this area.

TJ:  How do these backgrounds dovetail into your upcoming vomFASS store?

ST:  It’s a good fit for Jerry, as he is especially talented in customer service.  He spent many years in “estimatics” for State Farm.  Helping customers deal with damages and setting estimates for repairs.  He’s very good with the public.

TJ:  Have you decided who’s going to be managing the store?

ST:  My daughter Stephanie is moving down from Minnesota to help in the store.  In fact, she will be taking part in the store training, which she is very excited about.  She loves doing events and promotions and will take charge of the social media for us.  So with her help, the original plan is to have her and Jerry running the store and I’ll take on the bookkeeping and the business side of the store.  However, this may change and it might be my daughter and myself.  We’ll have to see how it all works out.

TJ:  Would you call yourselves foodies?

ST:  Oh yes, definitely.  We both love to entertain and cook.  We both specialize in Mexican cooking and, of course, barbecue.  South Texas is all about barbecue.

TJ:  Do you have a favorite vomFASS product yet?

ST:  No I don’t.  I’m still having fun trying different ones.  In fact, we visited Austin just this past weekend and went to Chris and Kristin Vetromile’s vomFASS shop.  I bought a Pear Vinegar that I’m very excited to try.  I always try something new each time I visit.

TJ:  Do you have a recipe you’d like to share?

ST:  I do.  I love to pair the orange oil with cranberry vinegar.

TJ:  That brings me to the end of my questions.  Is there anything you’d like to add?

ST:  Jerry and I are very excited about this new adventure bringing all of these great flavors and products to south Texas.  In fact, we’re looking forward to putting south Texas on the map, since most people don’t know much about this area.

TJ:  I think we’re all going to think about south Texas now that we know what an exciting and diverse area it is.  Thanks so much for the interview Sandie.  And thanks for the great recipe.

Here’s a delicious winter salad.

Sandie’s Orange Oil and Cranberry Vinegar Salad

winter salad

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups Spinach and Arugula Greens
  • 1 cup Pecans
  • ½ cup Dried Cranberries (optional)
  • ¾ cup Feta, crumbled
  • Pear or Apple, sliced thinly
  • ½ cup vomFASS Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 T. vomFASS Cranberry Balsam Vinegar

Directions:

  1. In large bowl, toss greens, pecans, dried cranberries feta and apple/pear until evenly combined.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk vomFASS Orange Extra Virgin Olive Oil and vomFASS Cranberry Balsam Vinegar into an emulsion.
  3. Form into small balls (use a cookie scoop).  Roll each into additional confectioner’s sugar.
  4. Pour Orange Cranberry vinaigrette over greens; toss to coat.

 
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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.