Cork & Olive Wine Franchise Co. Files for Bankruptcy

Posted in News
Tue, Jun 10 - 11:53 am EDT | 6 years ago by
Comments: 8
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corkandolivelogo (FranchisePick.Com)  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)

Cork & Olive, the Tampa-based wine bar franchisor that shuttered its headquarters and eight company-owned stores last week, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in a Hillsborough court yesterday.

The filing follows last week’s  lay-off off 40 Cork & Olive workers.  The closing left the owners of nine franchised locations, and the owners of other franchises due to open, scrambling for survival.  The Orlanda franchise location had been open just a week.

The Tampa Bay Business Journal reported that Cork & Olive company president Michael Probst said “he had been working on the assumption a New York hedge fund was going to invest about $3-million in the company. But when the fund insisted on taking a controlling interest, Probst opted to shut down instead.”

However, angry franchise owners and others on the Unhappy Franchisee website posted that Probst, Cork & Olive Franchise Corp., and affiliate Estate Wine Group were the target of several lawsuits and already owed on judgements in excess of $1 Million.

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

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  • http://franchisepick Former Employee

    I worked closely with the Franchise office and was suddenly wihout a job on June 2nd. The employees and Franchisees were given little to no explanation from Probst who has been running the company in to the ground for over a year. Yet, he uses compnay funds to spend on himself lavishly still to this day while we try to recover financially. He is a financial cannibal who does not care about the people who have followed him faithfully through the years.

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  • Wanda

    Wonderful way to discribe Probst, financial cannibal. I am sure he will go to his off shore accounts and continue his lavish life style. Why is a man named Jay Dunn listed as the President. Did he take money from him too and then go bankrupt? Tom Ronzino is in litigation with Probst and has been since he was fired for not giving him more money, in April 2007. Of course this is not the reason on record. Also, if you look at public records Probst has had 2 different attorneys, one owned “shares” in the Estate Wine Group/Cork and Olive. In fact that was the same attorney that wrote up the agreements between Ronzino and Probsts and issued the shares. Wonder if he had insight into the whole sorted story?

  • john

    wanda how can you find out who probst is in litigation with? i don’t think we will see our money ever come back just worry for the rest of our lives how to regain and work to get it back.

  • Wanda

    John,
    Probst is in litigation with so many people, good people like yourself. Sorry the DA wouldn’t listen to me before all this carnage happened. You can go to http://www.hillsclerk.com -on line searches, official court records.
    You will make your money back, if for no other reason than to realize that you can the honest way, hopefully while sipping a nice chardonnay by the pool reading about Probst early demise in jail. Good luck to you.

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