Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Scottsdale Quarter shopping center is home to first Arizona store

After tasting the excitement of store ownership with their first store in Spokane WA, Jessica and Mike Winn have recently introduced the Oil & Vinegar concept to the gourmands of Scottsdale Arizona.   Following the sale in August 2012 of the Spokane store, the Winn's set off for Arizona with plans to open multiple stores in the coming years.


Name: Jessica and Mike Winn  
Opening Date: December 2012
Territory/Address:  Scottsdale, AZ
Phone Number: (480) 634-8773
Email: Arizona@oilandvinegarusa.com

Jessica and Mike both graduated from the University of Montana with degrees in business and both have a strong background in the restaurant and service industry. Recognizing their entrepreneurial spirit, they decided to do something they loved and opened an Oil & Vinegar store after college. 

How did you learn about the brand?
We originally learned about the brand while living in Missoula. We saw the store being built and when they opened, we just thought it was the most amazing concept. We used to buy gifts there for family and friends; then we just went for it and opened our own.

What was appealing to you about joining a franchise system?
We wanted something that had a proven business model and something new and fresh. When you’re trying to create something from scratch, you never know how it’s going to do. It was nice to get in on the ground level and felt that it was something that could take off. It already had a structure; we just put it in place.

What makes your business different?
Our store has such a wide selection, not just oils and vinegars. We have more than 300 different products and it’s the perfect store for those who love to eat or cook.   Our products and the baskets we create with the products make great gifts for any occasion.  There’s something for everybody and our bottles can be brought back to the store and refilled. We also allow our customers to sample the product before purchasing.

How do you connect with the local community through your business?
We have gift certificates we provide for donations, as we get quite a few donation requests. We donate Tasting Parties to charities and schools. Usually they are auctioned off by organizations and I think it’s a great way to give back to the community.  

What challenges have you overcome to get where you are now?
We’re in our thirties, so fairly young, and we opened up our first store in the middle of the recession. We had to take our college and life experiences and be proficient to get everything perfect. We want people to take us seriously.  Once we had the experience in Spokane, it was nice coming to a bigger area such as Scottsdale.  

What are your expansion or development plans?
We bought the license to the state of Arizona so we’re hoping to open up our next location in Chandler and then in North Phoenix. Part of the reason we moved to Arizona is because we wanted an area we could expand in.

Do you have any other interesting hobbies or passions?
We’re crazy about camping and traveling. We love high adventure and float trips. 

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