San Diego foodies have a new option for tantalizing their taste buds with the recent opening of VOM FASS, a German-based retailer featuring European flavor-infused oils, vinegars and spirits. VOM FASS, which means "from the cask" in German, opened its first San Diego location in May, on University Avenue in the Hillcrest neighborhood.
Colleen and Jay Cavalieri, owners of the new VOM FASS franchise, fell in love with the store's concept while visiting the Los Angeles area.
"It's just a different type of store, and we loved the products we tasted," Colleen Cavalieri said. "We thought it would be a really good fit in San Diego."
VOM FASS' wide selection of oils, vinegars and spirits are sourced directly from small producers throughout Europe. Cavalieri noted that the direct relationships VOM FASS has cultivated allow the store to offer only the highest quality products. Hard-to-find nut and seed oils at VOM FASS are exceptional. Fruit vinegars are made with real fruit and are not simply flavored.
"You can put the vinegars in drinks, soda water, cocktails, on fish, salads and more," Colleen Cavalieri enthused.
Pistachio and pumpkin seed oils are popular sellers, and combine well with a variety of the available real-fruit vinegars for uniquely powerful dressings.
On the alcohol side of the store, Colleen Cavalieri said that the Irish whiskey is her personal favorite, but that great bourbons and rare scotches appeal to customers.
"People love the rare scotches that they can't necessarily find elsewhere," she said.
Colleen Cavalieri noted that the spirits, oils and vinegars come in customizable packaging and make great gifts for any occasion.
While the Cavalieris plan to open two additional VOM FASS locations in North County in the future, they recognized that Hillcrest's Uptown District Shopping Center offered the perfect location for their first neighborhood-centered store.
"We wanted an area with a lot of food focus and that is accessible to walkers who could easily return again and again," Colleen Cavalieri said.
And, returning is exactly what San Diego VOM FASS customers are doing. Many early patrons are already loyal shoppers. They love to share their at-home pairings and recipes, which in turn inspire more flavor fusion options that VOM FASS staff can share.
Tasting the delectable offerings is a key to the VOM FASS experience, and patrons are encouraged to taste the myriad of oils, vinegars, fine spirits and unique liqueurs before they buy. While customers can taste the products any time, VOM FASS hosts events such as Wine Wednesdays, open houses, a scotch sampling night, and even an oil, cheese and chocolate night. Sign-up for these events is available in the store or online. It is also possible to schedule a private tasting event at VOM FASS as well.
"We are a great place for private events," Colleen Cavalieri said. "Just call and we can create a unique experience that meets any particular needs."
Flexibility is another key to the VOM FASS experience. All products are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. Oil and vinegar sizes can be selected and filled in-store, or even refilled, while the pre-packaged spirits also come in a variety of size options.
"You can buy just what you want," Cavalieri shared. "It's a truly European shopping experience."
Cavalieri invites San Diegans to visit the new VOM FASS in Hillcrest. Stay up to date on the store's happenings by following the retailer on Facebook (VOM FASS San Diego - Hillcrest) or visit vomfassusa.com.