VomFASS Comes to Kentucky

jeff-jim-out-of-focus

During the most recent vomFASS Franchise Training Program in Madison, we had a chance to interview new franchisee’s Jim Reynolds and Jeff Finely, who will soon open their new store in Crestview Hills, Kentucky.

Toni Jakovec: What was the most compelling reason for opening a vomFASS store?

Jeff Finley: We loved the concept, especially the ability to taste the product before you buy and the general experience you get at a vomFASS store. That is to say, we knew the theory, but we really didn’t come to know these important aspects of vomFASS until we actually came for Experience Day. During that visit, Jim and I both had a moment, when we were at opposite ends of the store, we looked across to each other and said, “I love this place!” It was at that moment that the concept really connected with us. We have traveled to Europe several times and we were reminded immediately of those experiences.

Jim Reynolds: Absolutely. We loved the unique feel, the experience itself. vomFASS is not a passive store, it’s an active store. You come in, you get involved. And I love the idea that once people taste, they’ll buy. vomFASS is fun, it’s unique and as Jeff said, it’s not something people are accustomed to in the United States. It’s very reminiscent of Europe.

TJ: Did you visit a vomFASS during your European travels?

JR: Unfortunately, we did not.

TJ: Do you have a favorite vomFASS product?

JR: We love the Maletti.

JF: I love the Pumpkin Seed Oil. And Jim loves the Calamansi Vinegar.

TJ: Now that you have been to a vomFASS Experience Day, what do you feel was the most valuable thing you learned?

JR: There are 2 main things I think. The first is the importance of experimenting with the oils and vinegars to find those magical pairings that the customers love so much. And secondly, I’ve really loved learning about scotches; the highlands, the lowlands, etc. Now I’m even more inspired to visit Scotland.

JF: Also I learned the incredible importance of connecting with the customers and allowing them to really take their time. Through that brief time you can discern what products will suit their needs best, give them valuable product information and offer pairing suggestions and recipe suggestions. Even discussing the many bottle choices available.

TJ: There is one thing about your store that especially intrigues me. You both live in Cincinnati, Ohio and yet your store will be located in Kentucky. What’s the story behind that decision?

JR: Yes we live in the heart of Cincinnati near the university.

TJHow far away is Kentucky?

JR: Northern Kentucky is just across the Ohio River, and then just down a bit is Crestview Hills Kentucky. Jeff can explain why we chose Kentucky.

JF: During our research of the vomFASS concept, we looked very carefully into the liquor laws of both states. It became clear to us that the laws in Kentucky were generally more favorable to liquor sales.

TJ: Then how far will the store be from your Cincinnati home?

JF: Even though it’s a different state, the store will only be about 15 minutes away. The store is located in the Crestview Hills Town Center. Actually they call this large outdoor mall a “lifestyle center” which features about 65 high end retail stores and restaurants.

TJ: Your vomFASS store will fit in perfectly. Are you close to up and running at this point?

JF: Construction begins this week and we should hopefully be opening in about a month.

TJ: What backgrounds do you both bring to this new vomFASS franchise?

JR: For me, I was greatly attracted by the entrepreneurial spirit. I had taken some entrepreneurial classes as an undergrad, majoring in Marketing with a minor in Business Administration. So my background is mostly in business, but I love the customer service aspect of vomFASS. My focus right now is on US Bank, where I am the Customer Experience Manager for 3 of our divisions. I look at a lot of data and find ways for the departments to improve the customer’s experience. Where we might be broken and where we can make the customer’s experience more efficient and effective.

TJ: Sounds like a perfect fit. Jeff, what about your background?

JF: I was a Music and a Religion major. In fact I have a master’s degree in Divinity and worked in the Church for 10 years. What I draw from that background is a deep understanding of people, which is extremely helpful in any business focusing on customer service. When I went into the corporate world I was always drawn to positions in either training or customer service.

TJ: You two possess a winning combination of talents for a vomFASS franchise!

JR: Thank you very much. In addition to our business qualifications, I am very involved in the LGBT community in Cincinnati and represent that community with the Chamber of Commerce. With this type of community involvement, we hope to springboard our vomFASS products into the local restaurant scene.

TJ: Well, now for my favorite part. Do you have a recipe you’d like to share?

JF: Absolutely, we love pork with vomFASS Star Apple Vinegar.

TJ: Sounds terrific. Thanks so much for the interview & the recipe!

Pork Chops with Apples & Caramelized Onions

pork-steamer

Ingredients:

2 pork chops, 1 inch thick

4 cups water

¼ cup salt

3 tablespoons (divided) vomFASS Star Apple Vinegar

½ teaspoons sage

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon vomFASS Sun Meadow Cooking Oil

1 large onion, sliced

2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored & sliced

¼ teaspoon salt

Pinch of ground cloves

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preparation:

In an oblong baker, dissolve 1/4 cup salt into 4 cups of water; add 1 tablespoon of vomFASS Star Apple Vinegar and stir.  Add pork chops to brine and set aside for 30 minutes.  Remove brined chops and rinse quickly in cold water; dry with paper towels.  (Remember – wet chops won’t brown!)

Combine sage, salt & pepper in small prep bowl; rub mixture onto dry pork chops.  Heat vomFASS Sun Meadow cooking oil in large skillet or sauté pan over high heat.  Add pork chops to skillet and do not move them for 4 minutes; carefully flip the chops over and repeat.  Remove seared chops to plate and cover loosely with foil.

Add onions to pan and reduce heat to medium.  Stirring frequently, cook onions for 5 minutes until they begin to brown.  Add apples, salt, cloves, unsalted butter and the remaining 2 tablespoons of vomFASS Star Apple Vinegar to skillet and continue cooking, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes, until the apples are tender.

Arrange apples and onions on a plate and place a pork chop on top.   Serve immediately.

Recipe is shown here with roasted Brussels sprouts.  Preheat oven to 400º.  Trim sprouts, cut in half lengthwise and place in a large bowl.  Drizzle sprouts with 1+tablespoon of vomFASS Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil and toss.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper; toss again.  Place sprouts, cut side down, on large baking sheet & roast in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until tender.

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.