(FranchisePick.Com) Yesterday, UnhappyFranchisee.com reported that the Cork & Olive Franchise Corp. had folded, that the eight company stores had closed, 40 employees had been abruptly laid off and the Cork & Olive franchisees, including one who opened just a week earlier, abandoned by their franchisor Michael Probst.
According to the post on UnhappyFranchisee.com (Cork & Olive Wine Shop Franchise Owners Left High & Dry), Cork & Olive franchisor claimed he shut down after a New York hedge fund that was going to invest about $3-million in the company insisted it take on controlling interest. Probst refused. He shut down the company and laid off 40 employees as a matter of conscience (?) Said Probst: “It’s unfortunate… but my conscience would not let me have our people continue working when we were short of money and could not support our franchises.”
Unmentioned: Nearly $1M in judgements against Cork & Olive Franchise Corp.& Michael Probst
A comment left on yesterday’s UnhappyFranchisee.com post led to the discovery of a fact left out of the initial newspaper reports. According to the post What REALLY Uncorked Cork & Olive Franchise Corp? , there are nearly $1M in judgements outstanding against Cork & Olive Franchise Corp. and franchisor Michael Probst, including an $897,450.53 judgement owed to creditor CITRUS PARK VENTURE LIMITED PARTNERSHIP by ESTATE WINE GROUP, INC., CORK & OLIVE & MICHAEL PROBST and $ 11,226.56 owed to STATE OF FLORIDA, DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE by CORK & OLIVE FRANCHISE CORP.
Something tells me there’s a lot more to this story than meets the eye… Stay tuned.
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