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CORK & OLIVE: New Ownership & Franchise Rumors

Rumors are flying that Rainer Appold has led a group of investors in buying what’s left of the Cork & Olive franchise company, currently in bankruptcy. Unconfirmed rumors (posted at also have it that Appold’s group plans to resume franchise expansion and franchise sales of Cork & Olive stores.

Is there any basis to these rumors? Any verifiable info posted on these developments?

Also, how are the Cork & Olive stores – left in the lurch by founder Michael Probst – doing since the bankruptcy? How are sales? Are you holding your own?

18 thoughts on “CORK & OLIVE: New Ownership & Franchise Rumors

  • Yes, I have heard this from a number of people. Of course with each of my information post, there is always someone commenting about how wrong I am. I post to inform people of Probst and what is now coined “his band of thieves” are doing. Besides stealing from uninformed people in the past, he and his parasites are going to try again. Hopefully future possible franchisees will read the information and decide for themselves if they want to spend there hard earned money on a dream of Probst and “his band of thieves”.

    Litigation is still a real possibility. The judge hasn’t decided if he will allow Probst to “hand over” the franchise corp. to Reiner and have the debt wiped out. Amazing, they are allowed to steal and then when they can’t steal anyone money to stay out of jail they hide behind bankruptcy and then ask to stay in business just wipe out all that they owe to vendors, franchisees, workers and all the investors.
    Plasto Woman you will never make it as the head of the company. You are no Leona Helmsley, she was better looking.

  • one of the screwed

    I see stores reopened…….no advertising to tell of the change in management…but they are open….One would think that a chapter 11 deal was accepted by the courts, but what provision is in place to pay former employees the salaries owed? This new team is no different than the last….perhaps worse, although they are trying to distance themselves from Mr. Probst but they are going in the wrong direction.

    I hear, Rainer has admitted he can’t run 2 businesses, that this is tougher than he envisioned. For crying out loud he can’t run Vinocean, let alone Cork and Olive. Vinocean has 1 customer of any significance….you guessed it; C&O……talk about a conflict of interest.

    Do the franchisees know about Rainer’s drunken exploits? Do they know about the missing money at universal? Have they heard about the day he fired the entire sales staff? And why the name change anyway? What else is hidden here??? Picking Rainer to get things right is like having Pee Wee Herman run your movie theater………..

    The franchisees need to change management or decide to go it alone. The truth is that this new team is not capable of turning this ship around. Move over Titanic, Cork and Olive is going down………..again.

  • As I understand it, there has been no ruling yet from the bankruptcy judge. This is a bit premature, legally speaking. The new group will definitely have a fight on their hands in my opinion. Good people no longer believe the lies. They are on to them.

  • The Wolf

    There is an October 1 hearing at which time the reorganization plan will be presented and voted on by the creditors. Ballots have been sent to each creditor class being asked to vote.

    The plan is fully baked and incomplete. It is clearly pie in the sky and says nothing to the point of a long term recovery. Nobody in their right mind would adopt this plan and we haven’t even exposed the negligence of Appold gang. Yet.

    The smoke is clearing, the wolf is at the door.

  • The Wolf

    Forgot to mention. Their plan is available for viewing through the PACER Docs service.

    Pages cost .08 each – the full docket is online. Go to Middle District Florida Bankruptcy and utilize the search feature.

    Look at the one year forecast and judge for yourself. The company claims it will make $39,000 pre tax income for the next 12 months.

    Applying grown up reasoning and analysis would quickly tell you the will be hard pressed to lose $750,000. Thats utilizing their fantasy income figures.

    They claim they will sell 7 franchises at $60,000 each and open 6 store in the next 12 months. Think about that.

    When you look closely at the income figures you see where the company is going to mark up the wholesale wine 17%. The non wine goods even more.

    Missing are detailed expense categories like legal fees, accounting, facilities expenses, shipping, etc….

    And – NO balance sheet, NO contingency, NO indication of access to capital.

    This is their plan. No kidding.

  • Hayleys Comet

    The “new investor group” most definitely knows what they are doing. They will cosmetize the whole operation until they find the “right investor”. They have no respect for the franchise concept, don’t really care about professional training of new and existing franchisees (I guess some franchisees already know far more about the business than they do, anyway), have no regard for the money, time and effort that many hard-working independent business owners have invested and are not even following the most basic business rules. They are just concentrated in staging a quick “Hollywood Set” to be able to funnel unsuspecting money into their pockets and eventually take off. Whoever gets involved with them will be burned sooner or later.

  • C span

    listen everyone….give them a chance …. I believe it just might work without probst and nelson at the helm. I agree that the the majority of the franchisees should never have purchased a wine biz to begin with they have no idea how to run a biz. Let alone hire the people that they have hired becuase they are just as lost as the owners. And the ex employees that used to work for the OLD C&O – really are just lazy to find another job – especially those are the valrico location – which is probably “one of the screwed” people writing – he should know who he is since Blake was fired from vinocean – they should not have employed him in the first place. He knows extremely little about wine and life in general. And the other gal working there is just afraid of life in general and getting on her own away from C&O… yes Ms. Jones. Also, they should stop playing the pirated music before they get a huge bill from the licensing company of which they were all aware of. Talk about doing things against regulations! state of florida should be reveiwing them!
    this is stupid yet so true and all verifiable! LOL

  • C span

    WOLF definitately ounds like larry parker since he used to do background checks on people as a living and probably still does. go get a real job larry.

  • An Elf

    Were is stephanie nelson in all of this mess?????????? oh that’s right she ran away to hide in California with her boyfriend – chicken poop. how does it feel to be talked about in a negative way Ms. Nelson – does’nt feel good does it – now you know how we felt when we turned our back to you. what a shame. what a darn shame.

  • Hayleys Comet

    Whoever THE WOLF is, his info and findings are very much accurate. There are many other things that will surface in the upcoming days as the bankruptcy process unfolds.

    The franchise concept is basically to support entrepreneurs who are looking to become business owners. Thus, blaming Franchisees for not knowing how to run a business is not a fair assessment, as the whole idea is to give them a method and tools to do the things according to a standard that the Franchisor has developed and tested. As a matter of fact, many franchisees have proven to be far better business people than the “experts” that so far have occupied the corporate offices.

    There are a handful of good ex-employees that are still honorable enough to stay around and help in the “rebuilding” effort. I hope they can be able to hold on to their principles and are savvy enough to make the right decision when the masks finally fall.

  • The Wolf

    I think the employees who have stuck around are biding time, in hopes of a genuine rebuilding effort. There were many good, honest employees who in the absence of leadership created their own with good intentions. People like that tend to succeed in life.

    Appold & Co. are insignificant. Original investors with skin in the game who aim to pick the remaining meat off the bones and run. Very transparent. No plan, No experience, No business acumen. Al they’ve provided are lots of comedic material.

  • The Wolf

    See everyone at the hearing this Wednesday.

  • somebody who used to work there

    I wanna go to that hearing since I used to work there why am i not allowed? Why weren’t any former employees invited to attend these hearing to hear what has been going on ? after all…. it was OUR life that was screwed over as well as the franchisees? but does that seem to matter? evidently not… must be run by GERMANS again damn i can’t get away from them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • somebody who used to work there

    somebody keep an eye on PROBST…. somethings going on here that is probbably illegal again. this cannot continue to happen!!!!!!!

  • Wanda

    Just got word. Probst and Augenti are doing business together? They are going to try to distribute wine…. JC and Reiner are running the franchise corp. and are going to continue to sell franchises. Good luck. No one will ever be dumb enough after reading all these blogs. They will have to work on making a new scam. This one is so over!

  • you dont know me

    wanda… were have you been? that is old news! read this –

    grapevine “on September 20th, 2008 4:44 pm heard that mikey is opening his own distributorship with Ms. A. Seems he’s opening his mouth a little to wide again and spilling out lies to potential investors and told many in the orlando area about his new venture and has received LOANS and FINANCING from banks and such inthe ORLANDO area – Bet Mr. Sarasota C&O would like to hear about this one!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Wanda

    I am slow, sorry.
    I hope Probst keeps on screwing up, maybe this little scheme will put him in jail. Is it a wine distrutorship or is he importing?
    He will be going personally bankrupt soon so I don’t think investors and banks will consider him a good risk.

  • secret

    well now everyone might find this to be interesting: document number P08000107072. MIchael Probst, CEO of his new company MERGER AND ACQUISITION CORP. ARE YOU KIDDING ME??????????? HOW CAN THIS MAN BE ALLOWED TO OPEN ANOTHER BUSINESS WHILE SCREWING ALL HIS OLD EMPLOYEES,FRANCHISEES AND INVESTORS? WHAT THE HELL?????? This was just done on 12-4-08. I MEAN SERIOUSLY ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

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