“A trip to Fustini’s is not a standard shopping routine — it’s an experience,” says owner Jim Milligan. “Our core business has always centered around providing the highest quality olive oils and balsamic vinegars.We invite our guests to taste the oils and vinegars themselves and come up with their own favorite combinations.”
The model has worked very well over the last seven years as the company expanded across Michigan from its original Traverse City location, opening stores in Petoskey, Holland and Ann Arbor (another location was opened July of 2014 in Maui).
“After we take possession, we will build out the store in the distinct Fustini’s fashion. An Opening Event will be scheduled at a later date,” says Connie Nunemaker, Fustini’s General Manager.
What is Fustini’s? The real question begins with, "What are fustini?" In Italy, fustini (literal translation: drums) are the stainless steel containers used to properly store olive oils and balsamic vinegars.
How did it come to be? Jim Milligan, founder of Fustini's, was so intrigued by and enamored with the oil and vinegar stores he saw while traveling in Europe, he wanted to bring the concept Stateside. After a long career in international business at 3M and Imation Corporation, he created Fustini's Oils & Vinegars—the name a playful homage to his Italian inspiration. Recognizing the exploding "foodie" market at its early stages, he opened his first tasting room in 2007 in the idyllic Northern Michigan resort town of Traverse City, where he had regularly vacationed with his family for decades. Jim found his perfect second life in his ideal location.