60 Seconds with Tracey Jenkins and Cindy Ludwig

by By Clay Neely - clay@newnan.com


Photo by Clay Neely

Tracey Jenkins and Cindy Ludwig, Owners, Branch & Vine 

What was the idea behind opening an olive oil and balsamic vinegar tasting bar in Newnan?

Tracey: Ashley Park seemed like the best starting place and we felt that Newnan could use a little something special. We really like the shopping center here and feel that it’s been a good decision.

Cindy: We both love cooking products and cooking, so that’s a shared interest. We both wound up at cooking show together where we came across a vendor from Indiana and came home with lots of cooking products. We started talking about how wonderful it would be to start something like this here since there was no local place to purchase fresh olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

Were you surprised with the response? You’ve been open for two years now.

Tracey: Not really because once you taste the difference, the product sells itself. Initially, we started doing some research and discovered that the oil you buy in a grocery store isn’t exactly what you think you’re getting. Once we realized the difference, we believed that other people would notice as well and it’s proven true. When they start educating themselves on the difference, 70 percent of the stuff in the grocery stores is either old, not pure or has been refined. When people sample our inventory, they can immediately taste the difference. From scrambled eggs to ice cream.

What are your goals for the future?

Tracey: Maybe somewhere down the road we’d love to open another store, but one we both work other jobs right now.

Cindy: Our goal is to make this our primary job. We’ve been blessed with great staff so if we’re not here, they treat it like their own.

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