No ‘Shark Tank’ deal for Oilerie owner

By Katherine Michalets - Special to The Freeman

Oct. 26, 2014

BROOKFIELD - Despite the investors on ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank” saying how much they liked The Oilerie owner Curt Campbell, no one wanted to help him with his olive oil company.

During the show which aired Friday night, Campbell said he was looking for a $500,000 investment from the “shark” investors in exchange for a 35 percent share of the Door County-based business. In 2013, Campbell said he had $3.1 million in sales for the whole franchise system, which includes seven locations, including a store in Brookfield. Campbell said he sought the funds to grow the business with more franchise locations throughout the United States.

“This is the next Starbucks,” Campbell said.

Campbell gave samples to the investors, including Kevin O’Leary who considers himself an olive oil collector. O’Leary said he has other options to buy high quality olive oil in places like New York City and he felt like The Oilerie would not work there. He said he wouldn’t do a deal with Campbell because he did not believe The Oilerie was investable or ready to go big with franchise locations.

Barbara Corcoran, another investor, said she felt Campbell is a “lovely, patient, hard-working gentleman,” but that she wasn’t sure he had the requirements for being a businessman.

Before going on the show, Campbell said Mark Cuban was one of his favorite sharks. During the show, Cuban said he was happy that Campbell got the exposure from being on “Shark Tank,” but he didn’t see himself as the right partner.

Even without getting a deal, Campbell was anticipating The Oilerie’s sales to increase after being on “Shark Tank.” He said about 8 million people watch “Shark Tank” weekly, so if only 5 percent go to the company’s website and 1 percent of them make a purchase, that would still be 4,000 orders.