(Unhappy Franchisee) How did the Cork & Olive franchisor amass $2.5 million in debt in 4 years… especially when 9 franchisees ponied up nearly hald a million in $60K franchise fees… and paid for their store buildouts?
Why would he close the company stores rather than selling them as franchises?
Where’s the $2.5 million in golden corks and diamond-encrusted olives he must have purchased?
According to the Orlando Business Journal:
Cork & Olive store closures blamed on financing issues
The bloom is gone at Estate Wine Group Inc., known as Cork & Olive: Company executives shuttered its seven corporate stores last week.
The retailer was founded in 2004 and grew to 16 stores from Clearwater to Orlando, including franchisees. Now, they are left to fend for themselves.
Cork & Olive President Mike Probst, who told the Business Journal in 2005 he wanted to be the Starbucks of wine, says his funding fell through. "I had too much belief in only one source," he says.
Estate Wine has nearly $500,000 of operational debt and $2 million of internal debt, the latter owed to the franchise corporation. Without an infusion of $3 million, its future is bleak, Probst says.
Commenter James Wilson adds: "In addition to the 2 million of internal debt, the $500,000 of operational debt, Probst also is in debt for the surly dissociation of partnership with [CEO & Investor Tom] Ronzino. Ronzino never received liquidation of the original partnership intentionally ignored by Probst…. Probst commented ‘I had too much belief in only one source,".One source, is that code word for "the hundreds of individuals you screwed royally?’"
Related stories: Cork & Olive Wine Franchisor Folds; Franchisees Scramble to Survive, Cork & Olive Franchise Corp. Collapse: What’s the REAL Story?, What REALLY Uncorked Cork & Olive Franchise Corp? (Unhappy Franchisee), Cork & Olive Wine Shop Franchise Owners Left High & Dry (Unhappy Franchisee)
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH CORK & OLIVE & MICHAEL PROBST? WHAT DO YOU THINK? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
Franchisees, customers & experts vote for their favorite new franchises at Top New Franchise: Who’s hot.