‘Shark Tank’ Investors Don’t Jump For Oilerie, But Viewers Boost The Business

As an entrepreneur, getting your pitch on Shark Tank can have unexpected side benefits. There’s the reason that is explicitly stated in the opening of each episode; to get an investment to grow or save the business. Since Shark Tank has a sizeable viewing audience — it reached a season high of 7.6 million viewers on Hallowe’en night, according to Entertainment Weekly — an appearance can boost interest in the product even if an investment is not forthcoming.

Such was the case for Oilerie, the chain of stores that hand-bottle olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Run by a husband-and-wife team, the business sought an investment to increase its franchise presence. While CarterMatt doubted Oilerie could be the next Starbucks — a claim asserted by pitcher maker Curt Campbell on Shark Tank‘s October 24th episode — the blog wanted the business to do well “mostly because it was hard to not like the guy pitching it.”

Oilerie was conceived in 2003 when Campbell and his wife Amy Jo encountered boutiques in Poland that hand-bottled olive oil. They started a shop in Fish Creek, Wisconsin and began franchising in 2007.

The Green Bay Press-Gazette reports today that Oilerie got significant attention after the show as perhaps could have been predicted. Curt and Amy Jo had intended to increase their franchise count from the current seven to 100, and it appears they are on their way.

Unexpectedly, Oilerie’s franchise requests have increased more so than the online orders, although both went up after Shark Tank. It has posed some issues for Campbell.

“The cart has gotten way before the horse now. I have a real ‘Catch-22’ going on.”

He has also been approached by potential investors, but is proceeding carefully before making a deal. Curt and Amy Jo are meeting with a franchise specialist to help plan their next moves.

As for his Shark Tank experience, Campbell said he would not hesitate to do it again. In addition to the impact the show had on his business, he’s reaped personal benefit from it as well.

“The biggest thrill is all the genuine emails of encouragement from strangers across the country. I am responding to all those emails.”

In other Shark Tank news, the program’s Friday-night success has encouraged ABC to expand on the franchise. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, the network recently confirmed a new spin-off called Beyond the Tank. The program will follow entrepreneurs after they make deals on Shark Tank program and take the next steps to grow their businesses.

[Image: Press-Gazette Media/ABC]