Oil & Vinegar Junction adds a new flavor to Park City
Owner says the shop is her ‘heart and soul’
January 3, 2017
Everything changed for Suni Woolstenhulme with one Christmas gift.
In December of 2015, her brother gave her bottles of olive oil and vinegar from a shop in Minnesota. Woolstenhulme, who has long loved to cook and was used to infusing her own ingredients into oil, was enamored. But by August, her supply was running low.
That's when the thought jumped into her head: Four months later, she opened Oil & Vinegar Junction, a shop offering a wide range of oils and vinegars in Kimball Junction.
"Truthfully, I didn't even know a store like this existed," she said. "Then, once my brother was telling me about it, and I started looking online, I realized there are stores like this all over the place. … I wanted to turn this into something."
For Woolstenhulme, the business is a blending of two passions. She has a business management degree from Utah State University and knew for years that, one day, she wanted to test whether she had the skills to start a successful company. She didn't think she would pursue that dream until later in life because she has six young children, but she couldn't shake the thought of creating a company centered around cooking.
"I want to see if I can take what I learned (in college) and apply that," she said. "Do I really have what it takes to make it and turn my vision into something amazing? So the cooking and the business went hand in hand. I was like, 'At some point, when an opportunity arises, I'll see it and I'll know it.' And all of a sudden, when I was holding the bottle in my hand, the thought hit me and I was like, 'This is perfect.'"
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But diving in to a business after wondering for so long whether she's truly cut out to be an entrepreneur is nerve-wracking. She said taking that leap of faith is stressful, but the thought of succeeding is exhilarating because she's poured so much of herself into the shop.
"Really, the store is my heart and soul," she said. "It's a reflection of who I am, in the feel of it and particularly the flavors, and in the love of cooking and getting to share that love with other people."
Woolstenhulme offers a wide variety of oils and vinegars, displayed in neat rows along the entire northern wall of her shop. Cooking enthusiasts and novices, alike, can find products that will liven up their meals. She has a range of white balsamic vinegars, dark balsamic vinegars, regular olive oils and oils infused with garlic, herbs and other flavors. Many of the products are difficult to find on grocery store shelves, she said.
She recalled discovering how the oils and vinegars her brother gave her improved her cooking, and she is excited to help customers notice a similar effect in their own meals.
"Because the flavor is infused into it, the intensity is so much deeper and a lot more even through my cooking," she said. "I refer to it as cheater cooking because before, I would take my olive oil, then I would take my roasted garlic and let the flavors fuse for so long before I could use it. Now, I can grab a bottle that's already done it for me, put it in the bottom of a pan and I don't have to mince garlic anymore."
Woolstenhulme's shop has only been open for a few weeks, but the response so far has been warm and she already feels at home in Kimball Junction, she said. She was grateful that her neighbors — Full House Asian Bistro and Tressa's Consign & Design — were patient with her during an extensive renovation of her space, then customers have been welcoming of the shop's concept.
"The thing that's struck me the most, because I feel like I'm putting myself out there, is the sense of community the area has," she said. "It's not just people who know me from other things in my life or other things that I'm involved in, and pretty much everyone who's walked in the door has said, 'Good luck on your venture. I hope you succeed.'"
Oil & Vinegar Junction
6300 Sagewood Drive
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