Whiskey and Orange

Today we’re welcoming new franchisees Carol Mathis and her mother-in-law, Annalee Mathis, to the vomFASS family.  Planning an autumn opening in Orange County, we had a chance to chat with new owner, Carol.


Toni Jakovec:  Hello Carol.  I was told that you went to a brandy tasting.  Is that how you found out about vomFASS?

Carol Mathis:  I was looking for an event to celebrate my girlfriend’s birthday, when I came across the brandy tasting and thought it would be a fun thing to do.  I bought a few tickets and took my friend to the tasting in downtown San Diego in Hillcrest.

vomFASS New Franchise Partner, Carol Mathis

vomFASS New Franchise Partner, Carol Mathis

TJ:  That store is run by Colleen and Jay Cavalieri.  Did you have a chance to meet them?

CM:  Yes I did.

TJ:  What about the vomFASS store captured your interest?

CM:  I loved how the store was set up.  I knew it was a franchise concept, but I thought it was adorable and it was along the same lines of what I had been researching.  So I thought, why reinvent the wheel when someone had already done it right?  I asked a few questions at the end of the evening, also, of course, spent way too much money (laughing).  When I got home I shared my new purchases with my husband Steve, who thought everything was great….and so, here we are!

TJ:  At that point, Carol, were you actively looking for a second/new career?

CM:  I had spent the last two years in an MBA program, researching a whiskey tasting concept that was more “restaurant” than just tasting.  This was before I found out that a “tasting” concept was possible.  At that point I was thinking more “restaurant concept” and less “retail concept.”  All of my ideas were revolving around whiskey.

TJ:  Why whiskey?

Foodies and Whiskey Aficionados, Carol and Steve Mathis

Foodies and Whiskey Aficionados, Carol and Steve Mathis

CM:  Perhaps a little background story would help.  When we met, my husband didn’t drink at all.  When we were in Greece he finally found a whiskey that he liked.  So we began having private whiskey tastings at our home for the past 5 or 10 years.

TJ:  You designed your perfect opportunity and then you found it.  Very enterprising and creative.  What market area are you considering at this point?

CM:  I’m looking at Irvine, California.

TJ:  Is Irvine your home base?

CM:  It’s close enough since I am in Orange County.

TJ:  I know you’re very early in this process, but how long has it been since you signed the papers to open your vomFASS shop?

CM:  Our first tasting was at the beginning of March.  We signed the papers in April.  So it’s been about a month and a half.

TJ:  I understand that aside from your MBA, you are also a CPA.  So, do you have your own business currently?

CM: I work also work full time as a corporate controller and also have a few outside clients.

TJ:  You have an impressive business background.  What do you think your talents and interests will contribute to your success as a vomFASS owner? Aside from your love of whiskey, of course.

CM:  Actually, it may be because of my love of whiskey that we will be successful.  It’s certainly true that if you find what makes you happy, you will be successful.  Our passion and background from years of private tastings and sharing those with others are a perfect fit for vomFASS.  Of course, my CPA background will make the business aspects fairly straight forward for me.  Inventory, inventory control, bookkeeping and things of that nature are right in my wheel house.  A business like vomFASS is all about the “front end” and that desire to share these wonderful products with people is incredibly important.   Also, I am excited that I will be able to utilize the marketing plan I developed in my MBA program.  All though my background will be beneficial of course, I’m not sure it makes me any more qualified to run a vomFASS.

TJ:  I think it makes you extremely qualified, if you don’t mind my saying.  Now, down to the logistics.  Appreciating how early you are in this process, do you have any idea when you will be able to open your vomFASS shop?

CM:  My goal is to find a location this coming month.  I’m told it takes a 10 week built-out, so, optimistically we should open sometime in August or September of this year.

TJ:  That is very fortuitous timing, giving you an opportunity to iron out any glitches and be up and running well for the holidays.  Carol, do you consider yourself a foodie?

CM:  I do consider myself a foodie.  How can you not?

TJ:  Have you had a chance to discover a favorite vomFASS product yet?

CM:  I found a lot of favorites that first tasting night.  Since then, I have taken my husband for tastings and we have discovered many others.  I prefer cooking at high temperatures, so I am currently enamored with the Sun Meadow Cooking Oil, which is perfect for high heat and has that wonderful “buttery” flavor.  It has become my go-to oil.  When Alayne (Gardner-Carimi, vomFASS Franchise Sales Manager) was out here she introduced us to the Pistachio Oil and the Pumpkin Seed Oil, both served over ice cream.  Now we’re doing that regularly.

TJ:  Have you developed any recipes yet?

CM:  No food recipes yet, but I have been experimenting with the spirits and liquors.  My favorite right now is the Pink Grapefruit liqueur for making a spectacular margarita.

TJ:  What a great idea.  That’s the recipe I’ll use today.  Thanks so much, Carol.

This margarita was developed by Carol Mathis, one of the newest members of the vomFASS family. Her shop is due to open in Orange County California early this fall, and with recipes like this, she’s sure to succeed.

Carol’s Grapefruit Margarita




  1. Add tequila, vomFASS Pink Grapefruit Liqueur and lime juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Rub rim of serving glass with lime juice and dip rim into kosher salt. Fill with chilled margarita and garnish with lime wheel.



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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.