Dear Mr. Kelley,
I am writing to see if I can convince you to make an exception to the COR policy that discontinued the sale of fresh pressed oil in bulk. I believe that the group of people that I provide oil to may represent a reasonable exception to this policy.
I am a physician in Pittsburgh. I am also a cooking fanatic with a website and an email list of about 150 people interested in cooking issues. About 5 years ago I was paying very high prices for fresh pressed EVOO and thought there must be a better source. I tasted a huge number of products and decided that COR was an incredible product and value. I spoke with Deb Thayne on the phone and ordered 15 gallons for myself and to share with others. I brought samples into the hospitals that I work at to show people what real EVOO is all about. The response was amazing. I soon had people I didn’t even know looking for the "Olive Oil Doc.” Many of these people had never understood what the fuss about EVOO was all about, and many didn’t even know it had a particular smell and taste; they had only experienced low quality offerings, many of which may not have actually been EVOO.
About this time, a number of news stories came out about fraudulent Italian EVOO and I had constant inquiries about this amazing oil. I was also able to chat with Bob Singletary after calling the wrong number for COR. He picked up the phone and provided me with additional insight regarding the quality of the COR product. So I decided to order enough to supply the demand and a 55 gallon drum of fresh pressed EVOO arrived at my doorstep. I made labels, bought high quality dark green wine bottles with push up bottoms, and bottled it using a gravity system. Most of the purchasers had never bought good EVOO before. They were now buying for themselves and as gifts. The reason was the quality of the product, the story, and the package.
The next year, I upped the purchase to 110 gal. and bought a small vacuum bottling machine. I sold most of it in two weeks. I even took a course on etching bottles with a computer driver CO2 laser system and created a variety of custom etched bottles.I put bottles in several staff lounges/lunch areas and found that people were using it on toasted bagels instead of cream cheese; they started bringing salads in to use the oil on. We sold all of the oil easily. We did this for several years, selling out without doing any advertising or even trying to promote it. Then disaster struck.
2015 was the last year I was able to purchase bulk oil from COR due to a change in policy. No more fresh pressed oil sold in bulk. I briefly thought about about selling pre-bottled COR and decided that without the look and story it wasn’t worthwhile. The obvious result is that people have had to go elsewhere for olive oil. The response has overwhelmingly been that other oils, even COR oil, just isn’t as good. Is it possible, that bulk shipping, minimal processing, strict temp control, and high quality bottles make a difference? I don’t know but if I want to resume this hobby, I will need to find a new source or convince you to make a policy change.
I completely understand that this was a business decision designed to ultimately enhance your business. I assume that it is likely that there is more profit gained by not selling fresh pressed oil in bulk. No problem, I support capitalism. However, the positive word-of-mouth advertising for high quality EVOO, and COR oil specifically, is difficult to measure but clearly represents added value. Strictly from a business perspective, I think there is a reasonable argument to sell us fresh pressed oil in bulk. There are other reasons, such as Western PA people with EVOO withdrawal, Christmas trees without the familiar EVOO bottle, salads with only vinegar, and orphans and kittens who no longer have the warmth and security afforded by a custom etched EVOO bottle!
Please help me continue to offer your oil.
Chuck Law, MD