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Oil & Vinegar is coming to Short Pump Town Center

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Ever wonder what the difference is between a $50 bottle of imported olive oil versus the standard, cheaper kind you might throw on a salad? Patrons will be able to taste the difference, along with other specialized olive oils and vinegars, when Oil and Vinegar opens its second Virginia location at Short Pump Town Center in Henrico County on July 18.

The gourmet specialty retailer, based in Oosterhout, The Netherlands, already has store in the Barrack’s Road shopping center in Charlottesville, which has been open for seven years.

In Henrico, the company’s new store will be located a short distance away from Olive Oil Taproom, a local store that also offers tastings and imported olive oils.
Paul Urmanski, a regional developer for the company and part owner of the Charlottesville store, said there’s nothing wrong “with friendly competition. It makes people more aware that these products are available.”

The 1,250-square-foot Short Pump store, just down from Apple’s retail outlet, will be a franchise operation run and owned by Robin and Rick Gouckenour, who Urmanski said moved to Richmond from Lexington, Ky., to be near family.

Besides more than 40 varieties of olive oil, many of which are imported from Europe, Urmanski says the store will offer salad dressings, appetizer items, pasta and sauces, jams and honey. Customers will be able to sample and try olive oils mixed with various balsamic vinegars.

“Every olive oil tastes a little different. It’s kind of like wine,” he said.

The store will employ four to six part-time and full-time employees, with additional hiring anticipated during holiday seasons.

Oil & Vinegar has 74 stores in nine countries, including what will be its 13th store in the U. S. According to Urmanski, the company plans to open three more stores in the near future in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Hampton Roads areas.

The cost to open a franchise ranges from $250,000 to $325,000, he said, “and that includes everything from front to back.”

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