Cork & Olive Co-op: What’s the Story?

What’s the story on the Cork & Olive franchisee co-op?

Did all the franchisees join?  Are there new franchisees (not yet opened) who will join?  Who didn’t?

What is the structure/entity?  How does it work?  Is there a Chairman/President?  Who’s in charge?

Who owns the trademark?  Are franchisees just licensed to use it under their 10-year franchise agreement, or has Probst given up ownership?

Does Probst still have the right to use the name and graphics?

Will the Co-op continue to recruit new members and license the name to stores?  Will it be a franchise?

The Bradenton story created more questions than answers.  What’s the real story?

22 thoughts on “Cork & Olive Co-op: What’s the Story?

  • June 19, 2008 at 12:33 pm
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    The Bradenton story was poorly written at best and fragmented at the least.

    I can say this – we have yet to receive an official written statement from the company, its officers or the trustee.

    The franchisees are represented and are in the process of reviewing all options at the moment and will structure themselves accordingly. We have unanimously agreed to coordinate our buying efforts and have strong commitments from reputable distributors to arrange for exclusive product, private label and keep our pricing structure intact. All this while greatly increasing the quality and variety of our core portfolio of products.

    One thing lost in all this nonsense is the fact that Michael knows nothing about wine. Period. His corporate stores sit full of vinegar.

  • June 19, 2008 at 4:39 pm
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    By the way, Probst never paid for the graphics (dark haired people drinking wine). Also he was in trouble for infringing on a slogan that wasn’t his and was threatened with a law suit for “trust your taste”. That is why he changed most of the signs.

  • June 19, 2008 at 5:25 pm
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    Best of luck to the franchisees, and congratulations on getting a consensus.
    Hopefully, you’ll gain ownership of the Intellectual Property… something, at least, for your substantial investments.
    Though, by the time this is all over, you may want to change the name anyway.

  • June 20, 2008 at 4:17 pm
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    for the record, I saw your posting Wanda regarding the Graphics using the pictures of the people drinking wine and I was pretty much let go a few years ago because I mentioned to my boss (stephanie) (when she had me call about getting new pictures) that we weren’t authorized to use the current pictures for than once. We (C&O) paid for a one time only fee to use those pictures and come to find out, they used those same pictures on anything and everything they could. I think I was let go for bringing this to their attention and they didn’t want me to find out anything else. It was ok becuase I didn’t trust them either and I’m much better off now! I can’t remember the name of the company that the pictures were purchased from.

  • June 20, 2008 at 7:39 pm
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    WANDA, I thought I’d post this under this section since it does read.. “what’s the story” I have something else for you to look into:
    Sanders Trading & Consultants seems it is also owned by Rainer, ok, now whut the hell is this company???? lol it just keeps getting more and more interesting the deeper we all investigate! and WORD has it PROBST IS the owner of Universal of which I’m still trying to determine if that is true! It seems all the attorneys for EWG weather or not they are helping or hindering probst all reside at the same address of 602 south blvd. interesting. very interesting.

  • June 20, 2008 at 9:28 pm
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    Company Profile for:
    Sanders Trading & Consulting Corporation
    Incorporated by Rainer Appold, Sanders Trading & Consulting Corporation is located at 4025 Tampa Rd Ste 1117 Oldsmar, FL 34677. Sanders Trading & Consulting Corporation was incorporated on Friday, May 02, 2003 in the State of FL and is currently active. R J. Stull represents Sanders Trading & Consulting Corporation as their registered agent.

    Company Web Sanders Trading & Consulting Corporation
    FEIN: 320085991

    Mailing Address:
    4025 Tampa Rd Ste 1117
    Oldsmar, FL 34677
    Pinellas County
    4 Companies at this address Map data ©2008 Tele Atlas – Terms of Use

    Loading
    State of Florida Incorporation Record for Sanders Trading & Consulting Corporation
    State: FL
    State #: P03000048827
    Filing Type: Domestic for Profit
    Created: 5/2/2003
    Status: Active

    Officer Map Web Rainer Appold

    602 S Boulevard
    Tampa, FL 33606
    Hillsborough County
    50 Companies at this address Director

    Rainer Appold
    602 S Boulevard
    Tampa, FL 33606
    Hillsborough County

    Loading
    Registered Agent Map Web R J. Stull

    602 S Boulevard
    Tampa, FL 33606
    Hillsborough County

    4 companies all Rainer Appold
    Advance Salon Technology, Inc. Oldsmar Florida
    Sanders Trading & Consulting Corporation Oldsmar Florida
    Vinocean Corporation Oldsmar Florida
    World Wineries, Inc. Oldsmar Florida

    World Wineries- Probst
    Lots of connections

  • June 20, 2008 at 10:24 pm
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    Wanda..In 2003 the address Rainer used to open a Bank of Tampa bank account for Sanders Trading was 602 S. Boulevard. It just so happens that there was a check issued from that account to Estate Wine Group for $100,000, which Rainer signed. The payee on the check was, of course, Estate Wine Group; written in the memo field is “shares”. So, I can only assume that Rainer owns shares of Estate Wine Group through Sanders Trading…hmmm…I also find it quite interesting that the “bankruptcy” attorney Michael Probst is currently using also has an address listed at 602 S. Boulevard..David W. Steen.

  • June 21, 2008 at 10:18 am
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    for your viewing pleasure seems vinocean and deborah are one of the same. ahhh one big happy family. as you can see from the website it is listed as the same compnay.

    https://www.myfloridalicense.com/LicenseDetail.asp?SID=&id=F609107AF6B194781E6E6B05C23DB969

    Name: MILAM, JAMES CRAYTON (Primary Name)
    (DBA Name)
    Main Address: UNIVERSAL WINE CORPORATION
    6309 S. MAC DILL AVENUE, #1429
    TAMPA Florida 33611
    County: HILLSBOROUGH
    License Mailing:

    LicenseLocation:

    License Information
    License Type: Salesperson Wine & Spirits
    Rank: LQS
    License Number: LQS9960
    Status: Current
    Licensure Date: 12/12/2005
    Expires:

    Special Qualifications Qualification Effective

    AUGENTI, DEBORAH KAREN (Primary Name)
    (DBA Name)
    Main Address: UNIVERSAL WINE CORPORATION
    4025 TAMPA RD STE 1117
    OLDSMAR Florida 34677
    County: PINELLAS

    License Mailing:

    LicenseLocation:

    License Information
    License Type: Salesperson Wine & Spirits
    Rank: LQS
    License Number: LQS10150
    Status: Current
    Licensure Date: 03/14/2006
    Expires:

    Special Qualifications Qualification Effective

    View Related License Information
    View License Complaint

  • June 21, 2008 at 9:06 pm
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    So the word on the street is that Rainer is going to re-open the franchise corp. He will be running the show. Who knows?

  • June 23, 2008 at 10:38 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

  • June 23, 2008 at 5:21 pm
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    Has anyone thought that when things starts getting a little rougher that Mr. Probst might decide to leave the country? and then he might be home free without any obligations whatsoever??? Does anyone know of a way to make sure that he cannot leave? Do the airlines needs to be alerted or whom ever can be contacted so this cannot happen??? ANY IDEAS??? We cannot allow him to just pick up and leave!

  • June 23, 2008 at 9:04 pm
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    regertfully – “well now “- in this country – bankruptcy and deceitful dealings are not crimes – only the government can stop someone from leaving – and that is only after they have been charged with a crime – that is the price we pay for democracy … and compounding this – isn’t he a foreign national?

    In reading all this – it appears this man is not someone of sound character – but it also appears that on the surface he did not break any laws… other than those of good moral character….

    Did he steal money? Depends on how you look at it.. but as the “controlling” party to this company he can take whatever he wants… does he owe back taxes and payroll obligation? Probably – but again this is not a crime – unless he fails to pay the withheld taxes from actual dispersed payroll…. the rest is just civil – one person against another – with no real resolution other than perhaps satisfaction in getting a judgement,

    I in no way condone the amoral behavior of this predatory individual .. I abhor people like him.. in my past I closed up a 21 store retail chain I owned in the 80’s
    based in Bradenton – but I paid ALL my employees – ALL my suppliers until I had broken my personal wealth. (and I was very very comfortable from other investments at the time) … this is unusual – and no I am not a martyr … but each man has to live with his own moral codes – sadly most of his type appear to have none… and unless he actually broke specific laws – not just lied to people – unless he stole money -that means took it without recording it back to himself as a loan – repayment of a loan – dividend – expense (and yes meals are a legal – though not fully tax deductable expense in most instances if business was discussed at the meal) – then he committed no crime… again other than lying and manipulating honest people.

    I wish our laws were different… but this is one of the prices we pay to live in a democracy … there are always people like him out there in the world… preying on others – with no regards to their faith, suffering, or losses…. and sadly even thorough research may not have revealed enough flaws to have RUN from this investment or job.

    If the DA for city, state and US Attorney do not find cause for criminal prosecution – you are left with only civil… and civil suits can not “keep him from leaving” the country…. even with judgements – and judgements do NOT mean you can actually collect … that is the sad truth

    Better to go forward now – and try to resolve the current issues you or others may have – than spending good money chasing after bad – I would sue him in small claims – or pay a local attorney a couple hundred bucks for circuit court – get my judgement – and hope someday he slips up and leaves money around you can grab… but trust me on this – a judgement is only as good as your ability to find unecombered assets to seize… and people like this do not leave any asset unencumbered…

    Once a scum… always a scum…. sad but true…

    Best of luck to all … Bob

  • June 24, 2008 at 10:26 pm
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    To 2+ years ago…Did Stepanie appear surprised that the authoration of the picture usage expired?
    I worked there before you, and also brought the whole picture authorization thing to Stephanie’s attention. She insisted whoever I spoke to was wrong, but I knew they were correct. The company they “borrowed” the photos from told me what specific things they were authorized to use the photos for and for how long. They told me their permission had expired. I told Stephanie, so she knew about that before you told her, so she chose to ignore the all important copyright laws by using the picures on banners, little cards and endless papers etc. I quit shortly after that.

  • June 25, 2008 at 6:26 am
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    “yet another former HQ employee on June 24th, 2008 10:26 pm “…………….To 2+ years ago…Did Stepanie appear surprised that the authoration of the picture usage expired? OF COURSE SHE DID!
    I worked there before you, and also brought the whole picture authorization thing to Stephanie’s attention. She insisted whoever I spoke to was wrong, BUT OF COURSE YOU WERE… SHE WAS NEVER WRONG… WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU? LOL but I knew they were correct…… IS THIS KW??? I WAS WONDERING WHAT HAPPENED TO YOU! LOL LET ME KNOW PLZ

  • June 25, 2008 at 11:59 am
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    To 2+
    Is this my queen? LOL!!

  • June 25, 2008 at 9:01 pm
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    you have my email…..use it. LOL WTF LOL

  • June 26, 2008 at 3:29 pm
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    Raisin was always right or at least echoed the words of her leader.

  • August 7, 2008 at 11:49 pm
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    Found out a franchisee is thinking about closing. A sad day when Super German. Probst and his Band of Thieves financially ruins another person.

  • August 8, 2008 at 6:48 pm
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    I am sure there is more than one thinking of closing. It is tough out there.

  • August 8, 2008 at 7:59 pm
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    Super GErman and his band of thieves have already ruined many lives and they still dont care. he still thinks he did nothing wrong…. and so does his band of thieves… they are still by his side. i’m sorry to hear a franchisee is thikning of closing……….. HOW DOES THAT MAKE YOU FEEL MICHAEL – STILL THINK YOU ARE THE MAN??????????????? AND YOU AUGENTI?????????

  • October 3, 2008 at 2:06 pm
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    well ,the court approved the plan last wednesday

    so, C&O lives on even though the franchisee’s want out and are taking legal action to be free. Godspeed.

    looks like vinocean has been absorbed into the mix too…mmmm, pass the vinegar…I mean wine…..I guess they will be pushing the Jose Gaspar again this year from their 50 year supply. Clever buying. Way to go! Obviously Genius Material. I would see the inventory each week on the update sheets and I would tremble with fear when I saw the quantities of crap that they owned. No wonder we never got new wines. The $$$ was all tied up in the crappy wines. It’s hard to sell the public junk., and after a while, I just gave up.

    Just what the public needs in a recession, overpriced lousy wine and olive oil that is actually WD40 drawn from the dirtiest clay pots that ever existed.

    How are they going to sell even one franchise with so many hostile owners? Who is doing the selling anyway? How does that pitch go? Hey, want to buy a bridge? No? how about a wine franchise???OK? Sign here————–

    what a disaster
    what a shame
    what a mess

    Even the wine brain bust has a head ache

  • October 11, 2008 at 11:06 pm
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    Insider, you are so right, and so funny. Thanks for the laugh.

    I think the little men are just trying to open for the holiday season. Trouble is this year they have gotten so much advertising they won’t be able to sell their over priced crap. So I am not worried, the “new company” won’t survive. They won’t be able to sell it to anyone. There isn’t a franchisee dumb enough to buy one after all the info on the internet. Thank you internet!

    More lawsuits are coming. Look out little man- you can run but unless you leave our country-look out~ I maybe silent, but I am still very involved and interested in seeing you all in jail.

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