Wine Not? Interview

The colorful history of wine evolved right along that of humankind.  Wines ancestral roots reach back almost 12,000 years.  As various cultures spread out into new parts of the world, so did the grapevine and the art of winemaking.  Today there are vineyards throughout the world with great wine being produced from the United States to South Africa and Australia to South American and Europe.

Wine and exclusivity have long traveled hand in hand, and it is that very relationship that Margaret LaMade, General Manager, vomFASS Madison, uses when selecting the wines for her store.  Exclusivity within the store’s general area is a major factor in her decisions.  “We are here to bring wines to our customers that they cannot purchase anywhere else,” said Ms. LaMade.  The Madison store offers a large variety ranging from sweet dessert wines to big, bold reds.  Margaret received her wine training from David Eisner-Kleyle, vomFASS Director of Operations and in-house wine guru.


We had a chance to ask David Eisner-Kleyle about wine training for vomFASS franchisees recently.

Toni Jakovec:  What wine training is offered to new vomFASS franchisees?

David Eisner-Kleyle: We do some overall wine training during the franchisees time at the Madison store. We do not offer the same level of training that we do with our other products, for the simple reason that we don’t know what wines will be offered by the new store, or for that matter, what wines will even be available to them in their area.  We do cover wine types.  We talk about the bigger varietals, and the discernable differences between regions and countries.  We do not cover specific wines, however, we do provide a tasting during their training at the Madison store.  We talk about how to taste wines, what profiles to look for and we discuss some of the different characteristics each wine possesses.

TJ:  Who does the wine training for new franchisees?

DEK:  Right now it is primarily me.  But in the future, when we get more people in the Operations Department, we will have other people doing the wine training.

TJ:  Do you also go out to franchisee’s locations for additional training?

DEK:  vomFASS has a representative on site when a new store opens, primarily for staff training.  But I can’t say that it will always be me from here on.

TJ:  Does vomFASS offer franchisees recommendations as to which wines to stock?

DEK:  Yes.  We typically ask franchisees to take a look around at what is available in their area.  We want vomFASS shops to be competitive with what’s already available.  For example, if their area is saturated with varieties of domestic wines, we would suggest the store stock emphasize international choices.  Since wines all come through distributors, it is important that each franchisee investigate and get to know the local wine distributors.  They need to establish a relationship, get the portfolios and make educated purchases.  If they have trouble doing this, we, of course, will help.

TJ:  I know that vomFASS now has a selection of their own wines.  Do all vomFASS stores that sell wine, stock the new vomFASS wines?

DEK:  Yes, and they’re wonderful.

TJ:  Could you tell us what those wines are?

DEK:  We have Bidoli merlot; Colli Senesi chianti; Fevdi negroamaro del Salento; St. Pauls lagrein and St. Pauls plotzner all from Italy.  We also have Deetlefs pinotage; Stonecross pinotage ros; Stonecrosspinotage from South Africa.

TJ:  Thanks David.

Choosing what wines to stock is a very individual process, as it should be.  Jeff Finley and Jim Reynolds chose another track on their wine education journey.  After opening their Crestview Hills, Kentucky vomFASS shop, they called in Kutting Edge, a trusted and knowledgeable wine distributor.  Kutting Edge arranged for a training session and presentation covering all aspects of wine production, varieties and recommendations.  Keeping with the international flavor of vomFASS, Jeff and Jim have chosen to offer non-domestic wines of the world.  Their selection includes wines from Germany, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and South Africa.

When you think wines, think vomFASS.  We’re so much more than a liquor store.

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.