Of all the chain stores people want in town, I'm still not sold on Trader Joe's being the ultimate pick. I mean, I get it. It's cheap and good and all, but you can find substitutes for most anything they carry at places like Huckleberry's and Main Market.
Oil & Vinegar is a franchise you might be able to find replacements for as far as products go, but possibly not for the experience. I mean, it's the little things. You're greeted by a lit up wall with dozens of glass containers containing various types of olive oil. To me, that says "class," and I think Spokane could do with a bit more of that.
You can pick up a number of different containers and have them filled with your choice of oil. If you want to mix oils then that's possible too. Granted, this might be be fluff to those who prefer just picking up a pre-packaged bottle. Whatever. Time to live a little!
There's a bunch of other things to try out too, all Oil & Vinegar branded. Particularly their bruschetta spice mix is good for lazy days. Mix it with some water and olive oil and add some tomatoes, and there you go. Very tasty.
The olive oil is good too. We went with the unfiltered Spanish one, which at $6 for 200ml is nicely priced for its quality. Sure there are better oils out there, but as far as bang for the buck goes, Oil & Vinegar is great.
There are only six franchises in the US, with three of them are located in the Northwest, so it's hard to call Oil & Vinegar overly corporate. And even if they were, who cares? I mean, really? They deliver good products and add a bit of class to town. I think we're in need of both.