We had the good fortune of connecting with Denise Burkey and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Denise, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I think of risk as somewhat scary but definitely something that in business and in life you have to do. Today with the Covid-19 environment and the changing of times and the way we do business, the risk is HUGE! We needed to take a risk during this time to keep moving our business forward. Our risk was thinking outside the box – we closed one of our locations for 60 days and focused our energies on our other location. We captured an audience that we didn’t previously have. The waiting line to get into Trader Joe’s, three doors down from us, was lining up in front of our store each and every day!!! We had a captive audience. We propped open our front door, changed our sandwich board out front to entice people to come into our store and taste before you buy and displayed items on our barrel that has caused many photos to be taken and shared with social media, friends and family. This has helped to grow our business and it was all FREE. This is just one example of taking a risk and how it has paid off. The risk of opening our own business was has played a significant role in our lives. It too, has been worth the risk.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
We offer a Taste Before You Buy concept where we offer extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and small batch spirits, whiskies, and liqueurs. What sets us apart is several things – first of all, the tasting!!! Who doesn’t love to taste something before you buy it?? Secondly, our customer service. We are an interactive, hands-on experiential retail store where we listen to what you are looking for and offer suggestions to match your wants. We create a rapport and atmosphere where you are comfortable and will leave learning something new!!! It has not been an easy road, as our concept is German and the logo isn’t very telling. People don’t know what we are or what we offer and so it’s really been educating people in what we offer and what to do with our products. Overcoming those challenges has been hard but the most rewarding thing is to see previous customers come back and bri -ng a friend, a neighbor, a co-worker, or family members and they give them the tour around the store and tell them what they need to try and what they’ve done with the products!!! It warms my heart. The lesson here is always give off-the-charts customer service because they will remember that, tell others and come back! I want the world to know that we are here and to give us try. You won’t be disappointed.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend was coming to town I would take her to as many small businesses as we could fit in in one week for eats and drinks, visits and just to hang out. I believe in patronizing the small but mighty. I would want to sit on a patio of a local eatery and enjoy the company, the scenery and spend hours hanging out and catching up.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I think there are several people that need a shout out in my success. First of all, my parents as they taught me the value of hard work and dedication. They provided a work ethic that was instilled in me at a young age and has allowed me to carry that work ethic into my own business to be successful. The other shout out is for my husband, Mike, who is always the risk taker and ultimate optimist – he is my rock and the one who is always there to lend a hand and pull me back up! The other is our son, Patrick. He is the one who keeps me grounded and on the straight and narrow. He tells it like it is and isn’t afraid to work hard or side-by-side. The support, love and encouragement from my parents, my husband and our son has helped me to be come who I am today and carries me into tomorrow.

Website: www.vomfassplano.com
Instagram: vomfassvillage121
Facebook: VOM FASS Village 121
Yelp: vomFASS Village 121

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