Local Entrepreneurs Bring Internationally Acclaimed
VOM FASS Oil, Vinegar, Spirits & Wine Concept to Sarasota
Robert & Debbie Kay Launch a ‘From the Cask’
Shopping Experience, Assuring Customers Love At First Taste
SARASOTA, Fla. – One taste and you will be hooked.
Just ask Robert and Debbie Kay, the entrepreneurial husband-wife team that recently opened a VOM FASS shop in Sarasota. VOM FASS is a “taste before you buy” oil, vinegar, spirits, and wine retail concept. Every delicious product is ready for sampling “from the cask” [the English translation of the German word VOM FASS], and is presented in tantalizing cask pyramids, glass balloons and ceramic decanters. This offers customers an engaging and delicious shopping experience, well beyond the ordinary trip to the market.
The new shop at 1469 Main Street is situated in Downtown Sarasota between Lemon Avenue and Five Points Park. The shop has already become a hot spot for Sarasota residents and visiting foodies to discover flavors that turn ordinary, home-prepared meals, dinners, and cocktail parties into exceptional culinary creations.
The Kays first experienced VOM FASS when Debbie met Robert, who was on a short hiatus from military service in Afghanistan, for a two-week vacation in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, a mountain resort town in Bavaria at the base of the Alps.
“From the moment Debbie and I first encountered Vom Fass, we recognized it as the perfect fit for Sarasota and for us. The timing was right, so we took the plunge to open our shop here in Sarasota, partnering with VOM FASS through a veteran-friendly franchise initiative,” Robert Kay said. “We are thrilled to be partnering with a world-class brand known for delivering the best oils, vinegars, wines and spirits to customers with a taste-before-you-purchase experience.”
The husband-wife team’s professional background provides them with strong business acumen to draw from — Robert, who grew up in and around the grocery business and has extensive sales, production, and people management experience, runs the daily operations of the shop. Meanwhile, Debbie brings a strong accounting and financial management background to take charge of bookkeeping and accounting for the shop.
“Robert and Debbie are the perfect team for VOM FASS in Sarasota. They are talented professionals with success creating the sensory experience that defines our brand,” said Justin Gibson, president of Madison, Wis.-based VOM FASS USA. “Given their drive, we’re confident they will be helping everyone in Sarasota and in surrounding communities make the tastiest, healthiest decisions for years to come.”
VOM FASS Sarasota features handmade products from selected artisans who use traditional methods and follow exacting standards to produce their products. The Kays are passionate about offering the freshest, highest-quality oils, vinegars, wines, and spirits from small producers in Europe and the United States. VOM FASS only sources its products from partners using natural processes, sustainable agriculture and ethical sourcing. Additionally, Vom Fass strives to be eco-friendly by allowing customers to return with their empty bottles for refills. Plus, the Kays have recently introduced a wholesale program for VOM FASS oils and vinegars, providing ingredients and products to local restaurants, gourmet food vendors and food manufacturers.
The Kays take a proactive approach to helping customers make sound cooking and dietary decisions, introducing customers to the health and taste benefits of a sound diet. They regularly partner with local nutritionists, chefs, and wine experts for classes, dinners, and presentations to further spread their message of a wholesome, healthy and delicious lifestyle.
The VOM FASS concept has spread like wildfire across Europe since its launch in Germany less than twenty years ago. Since then, 300 VOM FASS franchise locations have opened worldwide and the brand has won numerous accolades, including Franchise of Year in Germany in 2010 and 2012.
By selling hand-selected imported European oils, vinegars, and spirits and offering an educationally flavorful environment for customers, VOM FASS USA has eclipsed projected growth figures this year. In just a few short years of franchising here in the United States, the concept has spread among entrepreneurs seeking a hands-on retail venture that encourages local community ties and embraces a distinctive shopping experience.