The Oilerie

the oilerieCurt Campbell hopes to grease the wheels of the Sharks as he seeks an investment for the Oilerie, his olive oil bar franchise, in Shark Tank episode 604. Curt opened the first Oilerie in 2003 selling hand bottled, fresh, premium olive oils. Now, with 6 franchisees, the Oilerie is the largest hand bottler of extra virgin olive oil and aged Balsamic vinegar in the US.

Campbell sources his olive oils in the province of Lazio, about an hour south of Rome. Italian olives are made into fresh olive oil by Campbell's Italian Master olive oil maker, Adriano Mantova. Campbell's stores have 25-30 varieties of olive oil customers can sample before they're bottled up for purchase.

His flagship Oilerie in Fish Creek, Wisconsin does just under $1 million in sales per year, with 65% gross profit. Campbell is looking to expand his franchising operations with the help of a Shark. Will the Sharks cook up a deal with Mr. Campbell?

The Oilerie Shark Tank Recap

The segment opens at the Campbell's home in Egg Harbor, WI. Curt explains how he and his wife – high school sweethearts who've been married 38 years – first found the idea for the Oilerie. They saw an olive oil bar in Poland and thought the concept would do well in the states. Campbell wants stores in every major city in the USA.

Campbell enters the Shark Tank seeking $500K for 35% of the business. He immediately targets Mr. Wonderful who collects olive oil. He then explains how they store olive oil and balsamic vinegar in stainless steel tanks. He hands out samples and the Sharks like it, Lori likes the truffle oil.

He explains he pays $3.60 for a bottle of oil and sells it for $16.50. He had sales of $3.1 million throughout his franchise system last year. Curt then tells the Sharks about his seven franchisees and the 8% royalty he charges it. Mr. Wonderful calls the Oilerie Olive Oil “mid-market” and says Campbell is successful because he sells his oils where there aren't any other options.

Campbell says he doesn't work in the stores any more due to the stresses involved. Lori is concerned with that and she's out. Campbell says he got stressed due to the struggles of starting up, Mark compliments him on dealing with the stresses. Barbara thinks he's a gentleman, but doesn't think he's cut out for franchising; she's out. Robert goes out too. Mr. Wonderful doesn't think it's a franchise worthy business and he's out.

Mark explains that a Shark Tank gold digger is someone who comes to the Tank with no intention of doing a deal. He says Campbell is the exact opposite of that and he's glad he'll get the exposure. A tearful Curt leaves the set and vows to keep carrying on.

The Oilerie Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. Even though Curt didn't get a deal, he used some suggestions from the Sharks to help move his business forward. What he did is highlighted in Beyond the Tank episode 205. Read the update HERE.

Posts About The Oilerie on Shark Tank Blog

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Comments

  1. I would like to know if you ship the olive oils. So I can still get them from you as I saw this on shark tank and disappointed they didn’t jump on it. Do you have a franchise in Southern California? If so where? And is it possible to be able to receive it the shipping from your location? Also his suggestion is having smaller bottles and samples variety pack would be great to try and again the shipping process since I’m on the west coast thank you let me know great idea Sharon

  2. You are not the first of this kind in the country. Campbell, CA has a store where all the olive oils and vinegars are there for tasting in vats similar to The Oilerie. There are probably more like it in other parts of the country, too.

  3. I know Curt. He is a whiner and a jerk. Glad he didn’t get a buy-in. Mid-market is a compliment to the oil he sells. And I would guess most of the people “gushing” about how good his oil is online haven’t had really good olive oil.

    As for the store, the “stresses” that caused him to stop working in the store were mostly him being his jerky self. A child accidentally leaves a spigot open he bans all children from the store, and he also went ballistic on the parents. Why not install non-locking spigots? Someone accidentally drops a bottle and he puts up, as he keeps telling everyone online, “24 signs” saying “don’t fill your own bottle.” in the store. So that means when it gets really busy in there, there is usually only ONE person filling the bottles, and sometimes it is the same person who is running the till. So therefore it is ok for you to have to wait 30-45 minutes to check out for 1 bottle of oil that you wanted. I think most people know how to fill a bottle. And if someone drops one, so what? Cost of doing business. With that HUGE markup, I think he can afford to write off a bottle, some oil and a carpet shampooing.

    It wouldn’t be the first time he went ballistic on customers either. He did it all the time when he was in the store. Wife probably told him he needed to get out of the store or they wouldn’t have any customers left. And she can be just as cranky as him. Someone doesn’t see the sign in the store and she’ll embarrass, insult and ridicule them publicly for filling their own bottle. Seriously? Who does that to another person? A normal person would let them know that it is their policy not to fill your own bottle, and please ask for assistance in the future. Not embarrass them for missing a sign in the shop. Besides, as unfortunate as this is, NOT EVERYONE CAN READ!

    And when people post about being dissatisfied, then Curt replies to the post adding more insult to the customer saying “Didn’t you see our 24 signs around the store?” With an attitude of “Its your fault you were treated badly in my store.” Really? Blaming now? Why not just a “thank you” for coming to the store, and apologize for the busyness then invite them back? Because to Curt customers are just a way to make his obscene profit, and he feels he can discard the ones that don’t follow his rules.

    Read the reviews online. And I don’t just mean the handful of good reviews online. I mean all of them. Its all online to see. And everyone knows that a couple bad reviews from different people with replies like Curt left usually means there is a much bigger underlying problem.

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