Cork & Olive Franchisees Band Together to Brand Together

(FranchisePick.Com)  According to the Bradenton Herald, the owners of the fledgling Cork & Olive franchised wine shops left stranded by their bankrupt franchisor are taking matters into their own hands. 

A consortium of nine franchise owners around the Tampa Bay area are exercising their trademark rights to the Cork & Olive name and will continue to grow the brand.  The abandoned franchisees have reportedly formed a wine-buying cooperative they believe will enable them to maintain their moderately priced wines that average $13 to $16 a bottle.

According to the Sarasota franchise managing partner Rick Munroe, four Orlando-area Cork & Olive franchisees plan to open stores.  He anticipates growth from nine to 14 units within the next 12 months.

Franchisor Michael Probst had a stated goal of selling between 100 and 150 franchises by the end of 2009.  On June 5, Probst unexpectedly closed the Cork & Olive franchise company’s headquarters and laid off 40 workers.  Four days later, Probst filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.  Court records and insider sources posting on franchise website Unhappy Franchisee report that  Probst owes creditors more than $2.5 million.

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH MICHAEL PROBST & THE CORK & OLIVE FRANCHISE?  WHAT DO YOU THINK?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

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2 thoughts on “Cork & Olive Franchisees Band Together to Brand Together

  • June 19, 2008 at 12:35 pm
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    For the record – there is one franchisee committed to opening two Orlando area stores in the next 12 – 18 months. Several other investors who have been duped for the franchise fee are considering whether they want to go forward or not.

  • June 23, 2008 at 10:45 am
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    Speaking as a former bottle supplier for some of the oils and the vinegars they sold – what you saw happen here is why we gave up giving credit about 7 years ago to ALL customers… a credit card serves as credit and suppliers get paid… this is a shame – a true shame for the franchise holders – we sell many franchise stores for a competing chain of specialty olive oil stores – started when their foreign owned corporate went through much the same thing… the stronger managed stores survived and thrived… the same can hold true for you guys … proud to say we still sell a few of them who learned their lesson in “one sided” supply chains! …. wishing you all the best … Bob Lieberman, Managing Director / http://www.wholesaleglassbottles.com

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