Photo:Rob Olin, Estuary Oysters, Crawfordville
Passion + Planning = Success
Rob Olin has been a radio announcer and marketing director for Georgia Tech’s athletic department, but never an oyster rancher. Until now. Olin knew what resurrecting the oyster industry along Florida’s Gulf Coast could mean for Wakulla County and he wanted to be part of that. But equipping an oyster ranch takes significant money and Olin didn’t have it. So, armed with two bags of oyster shells and a boatload of passion, he took his case to Keith Bowers at Florida SBDC at FAMU, and, together, they created a comprehensive business plan. “I started with the numbers,” says Bowers, “and helped Rob identify startup costs. Then we worked to establish realistic projections.” The end result was strong enough, says Olin, “that the loan [for $250,000] was approved on the first pass with the first lender I approached.” Now Estuary Oysters is on its way to grow by more than $2 million over the next three years.