Bees are extremely important for our environment, but they are sometimes overworked and exploited for the production of honey. Chefs Melissa Elms and Katie Sanchez stumbled across the idea for a honey alternative that left bees out of the process when Melissa attempted to make apple butter and failed. This environmentally friendly honey alternative is sweet, but what will the sharks think on
Shark Tank Bee Free Honee Update
- Entrepreneurs: Melissa Elms and Katie Sanchez
- Business: Plant-based honey substitute that saves bees
- Ask: $100,000 for 10% equity
- Result: $210k for 30% equity
- Shark: Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, Chris Sacca
An at-home segment began the pitch, during which Melissa and Katie explained how they met and how they create their Bee Free Honee. They needed a shark’s help to grow and scale, they said. They entered the tank asking for $100,000 for 10% equity in their business. They said it was the only alternative to natural honey, and that each batch was made with USA-grown apples.
As they passed out samples, the chefs explained that it took 60,000 bees to create a single pound of honey. Their honey alternative helped give bees a break. Vegans are some of their biggest customers, as honey is technically an animal product. Each bottle of Bee Free Honee cost $1.60 to produce and sold for $5.99 a bottle, which is less expensive than local, organic honey in a jar.
So far, Bee Free Honee was in most Whole Foods stores and had $104,000 in sales to date, with $78,000 in their first year. They said they would use the money to open a larger kitchen and increase production.
Kevin O’Leary was the first shark to drop out. He said they hadn’t made enough money. Barbara Corcoran wanted better branding from them, but she was interested. Daymond John offered $100,000 for 25% equity, while guest shark Chris Sacca told them he’d love to use it in his plant-based restaurants, but they would need more money than they asked for.
He offered $200,000 for 30% equity, and Daymond immediately matched it. Daymond said he would do $100,000 for 15% or $200,000 for 30% equity. He quickly adjusted his offer to $100,000 for 10% equity and all online sales for an extra 20%.
Barbara matched Daymond’s offer with her food expertise. Mark offered to go in with Barbara and Chris at $210,000 for 30% equity. Mark said he would handle the online side, Barbara could do grocery store sales, and Chris could do restaurant sales.
Ultimately, Melissa and Katie decided to take this deal. Where does it leave the company? Find out in our Bee Free Honee update.
For a while, Bee Free Honee thrived. Following the show, the plant-based honey was available in a host of grocery stores, including Natural Grocers, Wegmans, and Whole Foods. Chris Sacca’s Veggie Grill started offering the product, too.
However, our Bee Free Honee update revealed that the company shut down in 2019 under unknown circumstances.
This will be our final Bee Free Honee update.
Make sure to check out our other company updates and recaps from the products featured in Season 7 Episode 17.
While you’re at it, don’t forget to stop by our Season 7 Products Page to find out more on companies and products.
Andrew Smith is the founder and owner of Shark Tank Recap. He is a longtime Shark Tank fan that has been watching it for years and has seen every episode multiple times. His friends know him as the Shark Tank expert, because he can answer any question about the show! His favorite Shark Tank products are Bertello's pizza oven and Bug Bite Thing!