Today we’d like to introduce you to Tracey and Michael Wilkinson.
Tracey and Michael, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
About 5 years ago, my sister and I visited a small Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar shop in Kennebunkport ME and we both fell in love with it. I had been a project manager in financial services technology, building trading platforms for over 20 years and wanted to do something new. This started the wheels turning and I thought back to my childhood and my Dad’s love of cooking.
My Dad, ever since I could remember, would make the most fabulous meals for our family. My Mom was disabled and he had to pick up the bulk of cooking as her illness progressed. The two of them would work away in the kitchen with Mom providing direction and him figuring out what he liked or didn’t like. He found his passion!
It allowed them time to talk, him to release the stress of working long hours, helping take care of Mom, and raising three kids! It was also a way for us to come together as a family, we had a home-cooked meal every night! I never realized until later how amazing he was… I always took him for granted.
He passed away a few years ago but I always carry him with me… he would say “alright or Ok on the right” when we were driving and I had been trying to figure out how to use that phrase in a name for a company… that is how we got our logo. There is a hidden OK in the Olive.
What better way to say thanks to my Dad than to open up a specialty store. The store is delightful just like him and we always have some fantastic goodies to try. And so began my little project for the next phase in life 😊 All OK here!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
1. Well, the first challenge was finding a spot to open…it took my husband and I over 4 months to find the right place.
2. The second challenge was how to build out the space but my husband took on the challenge. Installed flooring, ceilings, painting and construction of the display cabinets (all made from re-purposed church pews circa 1950). He is very creative and space is incredible!
3. Financing was very tedious but we obtained a small microloan from SEED Corporation.
4. The biggest struggle, however, was just having the courage to jump in. Mike and I agreed that this was the right thing to do…and we just did it!
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about The Little Shop of Olive Oils – what should we know?
We are a specialty food shop selling Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Aged Balsamic Vinegar, and other fantastic foodie items. Our goal is to give you the very best Oil, Spice, and Everything Nice! We have a passion for sharing the best quality healthy products that will delight your senses
What we are most proud of is how our family came together and supported this effort. My sister Peggy who helped with design questions, my brother giving guidance on how to market and finally our boys (Mike, Matt, and Sean) who put in many hours working at the store and other events.
What sets us apart is that we want our customers to be as knowledgeable as we are about EVOO and Balsamic. They are super healthy for you!
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Biggest credit goes to Mike (my husband). This Amazing man has “mad skills” and creativity in design and management. He gets things done!
So many other people have helped which has been amazing! Thank you!
- Address: 5 Main Street Franklin, MA 02038
- Website: www.shopevoo.com
- Phone: 5083463381
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/littleshopofoliveoils/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LittleShopOfEVOOS/
- Yelp: https://www.yelp.com/biz/the-little-shop-of-olive-oils-franklin
Barbara Fokos-Fauteux (https://www.facebook.com/barbara.fokosfauteux)