It's always exciting to meet people who have bravely given up "real jobs" to fulfill their passions after years of thinking and planning. John Bennett and Hans-Erich Vogel are two such people.
They recently opened Vin Goat, the cleverly-dubbed wine and cheese boutique on East Coast Highway in Corona del Mar. Their shop features artisanal products from small suppliers worldwide: cheeses, charcuterie, gourmet pantry items and wine (as soon as their license comes through).
And what is cheese without bread? Vin Goat's beautiful loaves arrive daily from Sadie Rose in San Diego.
Bennett's career was in the high-tech industry, but his passion for food began in boyhood. His mother was a great cook and baker. Even at the tender age of four, he loved to watch her in the kitchen.
As he got older, he enjoyed helping mom cook but his favorite activity was baking. At 20, he spent a year in France's Bordeaux region, where he discovered the pleasures of French cuisine and the joys of fine cheese beyond the cheddar, Swiss and Velveeta of his Midwestern childhood. Eventually, after years in the business world, he wanted to do something that involved food.