Jim Doman and Dave Setter join the Oil & Vinegar franchise equipped with extensive managerial, franchise and business ownership experience.
Promptly after graduating with a degree in finance from the University of Denver in 1980, Doman started his first business: a hot air balloon charter fl.....
Promptly after graduating with a degree in finance from the University of Denver in 1980, Doman started his first business: a hot air balloon charter flight operation. Doman operated morning champagne cruises for a few years before extending the business to include rooftop balloon advertising, a concept that he pioneered in the Denver area. Serendipitously, one of Doman’s initial advertising clients was Subway, which was a young franchise at the time. After witnessing the success of the sandwich chain, Doman bought his first Subway restaurant in 1988. He eventually owned seven Subway locations, one of which recorded the highest weekly sales in the nationwide franchise system in 1992.
After 12 successful years with Subway, Doman sold his stores and went into semi-retirement to spend more time with his children, who were 10 and 8 at the time. For the next 10 years, Doman worked as a part-time commercial real estate developer and landlord, leasing two of his commercial buildings to Subway corporate. However, when the recession came, commercial real estate development took a hit and Doman moved on to paralegal title work for an oil and gas company, which he has been doing for the past four years.
Doman first met Setter in the seventh grade when the two became science lab partners. Setter graduated with honors from Drake University Law School in 1981 retired as “of counsel” from his legal practice in February 2014 after 33 years. Setter started his legal career with a 20-year stint at a Denver law firm, at which he was the managing shareholder/owner before he left to open his own firm with a couple of partners in 2001. In 2008, the firm merged with another, and Setter became a branch manager for the 400-strong company.
As the duo develops their Oil & Vinegar franchises, Setter will be able to tap into his legal expertise when working on the legalities of franchising, developing business plans and commercial real estate leases. Moreover, Setter has primarily practiced as a product liability attorney, which required an in-depth understanding of how a product worked, how it was supplied, and other intricacies. His skills and interest in meticulously analyzing products and their consumption will be helpful with marketing and developing the Oil & Vinegar brand in Denver. Moreover, his experience in managing 30+ employees at the law firms will come in handy as the duo expands their territory.
How did you learn about the brand?
Doman: I was keeping my eyes open for other opportunities while working at the oil and gas company. My daughter introduced me to the concept of oil and vinegar sampling after she had visited a competitor’s store in Minnesota. She brought back some samples and shared them with us and it blew us away. I had never heard of a store with oil and vinegar samples, so I started researching if any existed in Denver.
What was appealing to you about joining the Oil & Vinegar franchise system?
Doman: There were a few competitors already in the Denver area, but from a business standpoint I felt that Oil & Vinegar was positioned to be the most successful. Oil & Vinegar has a very classy, European atmosphere, which no other stores have. Also, their concept is not just about oil and vinegar; it’s about gourmet foods and gifting. People are becoming more interested in expanding their taste horizons, and Oil & Vinegar provides that opportunity. People are also looking for alternative gift solutions, which we offer.
Setter: It’s intriguing because it’s an up-and-coming business with lots of potential. From a conceptual standpoint, Oil & Vinegar has no real competitors in the Colorado area. We think there will be great reception from the people from the Denver and Colorado arena. It’s a good market from a lifestyle standpoint and a cooking viewpoint.
What are your expansion or development plans?
Doman: We purchased the rights to Colorado and have committed to opening six stores. The contract calls for us to open them over a 10-year period but we see that happening much sooner – we’re planning on opening at least one store a year. We also have the right of first refusal for New Mexico and Utah, so we may eventually become a multi-state operation.
Setter: We’re currently focusing on developing in the Denver Metro Area. We want to build in well-known malls that people from all over go to visit so that they see Oil & Vinegar and then recognize it in another location. That way, the brand markets itself.
We are looking to develop several locations in the Metro area, primarily at high-end shopping malls such as Park Meadows, and Flatiron Crossing.. We are also looking at outdoor living districts such as Cherry Creek Shopping District, Aspen Grove, some areas in lower downtown Denver, Southwest Plaza, the Pearl Street Mall and 29th Street District in Boulder. There may also be some opportunities down the road in mountain resort towns and Fort Collins.