Italian Education Inspires Entrepreneur to Open Oil & Vinegar Franchise

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New Location to Open This Sunday

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Working hard feels better when you are working hard for yourself.

Sharon Streb worked as a nurse for more than 20 years when she chose to go back to school and get her degree in interior design. When she was almost 50, she left her high-end residential designer job to go to graduate school in Italy. During her time there, she attended the oldest international olive oil school, which inspired a new, but lasting, passion.

“The Italians take food very seriously, especially olive oil,” Streb said. “At the school, you learn how to taste olive oil and look for defects in the oil. I decided after [attending] that school that I was going to do something with olive oil — either [open] a store or become a buyer.”

When she returned to the U.S., Streb discovered the Oil & Vinegar franchise while reading a book about olive oil; it was a perfect match. Oil & Vinegar sells more than 50 oils and vinegars from around the world in its stores, in addition to spices, sauces, pastas, sweets, cookbooks and kitchen items. “It’s definitely a foodie’s heaven,” Streb said of her store.

While investigating her business financing options, Streb learned of Guidant Financial from Matt Stermer, CEO of the U.S. branch of Oil & Vinegar. Guidant helped Streb use her existing 401(k) to invest in her new business without having to pay a tax penalty. “The process [with Guidant] was very easy, streamlined and organized,” Streb described.

Success is even sweeter for Streb as an entrepreneur. “Working hard feels better when you are working hard for yourself,” she shared.

Streb’s Oil & Vinegar store, located in the Westview Promenade Shopping Center at 5231 Buckeystown Pike, will open for business on Saturday, July 26. To learn more about Oil & Vinegar, visit, email frederick(at)oilandvinegarusa(dot)com or call 240-707-9065.


About Oil & Vinegar
The Oil & Vinegar culinary gift shop has brought together a wide range of international food and cooking products in alluring, Mediterranean-style surroundings. Founded in the Netherlands in 1999, Oil & Vinegar strives to be consumers’ first choice when looking for a unique and tasteful gift for any occasion. The focus is not only on the attractiveness of the gift, but ultimately its flavor and ability to accent both the palate and the table. Learn more at

About Guidant Financial
Guidant Financial helps people create the life they want through innovative small business financing. They are the premier provider of rollovers for business start-ups (ROBS). Guidant's services allow people from all walks of life the freedom to purchase small businesses and franchises using their retirement funds without taking a taxable distribution or getting a loan, in addition to offering traditional funding options such as SBA loans, portfolio loans and unsecured credit. Visit Guidant on the Web at

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Brooks Wallace
Hollywood Public Relations
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