Erica Barrett’s high-end pancake mix has caught the eye of retailers, but is it all just a flash in the pan? Will she butter up the sharks enough to get a deal on
Shark Tank Southern Culture Artisan Foods Update
- Entrepreneurs: Erica Barrett
- Business: Gourmet pancake mix
- Ask: $100,000 in exchange for 25%
- Result: $100,000 in exchange for 38%
- Sharks: Barbara Corcoran
Opening her pitch, Erica recounted the day she wanted to make strawberry pancakes for her husband. The pancake ingredients alone cost her $35. Admittedly, the ingredients were a little fancy, but, still, Erica knew there must be a better, or cheaper, way. From there, Southern Culture Artisan Foods was born, along with her first product; Shortstacks Pancake and Waffle Mix.
All natural ingredients. Non GMO. Vegan friendly. Made with real sweet potatoes. Handcrafted.
Within the company’s first year, they had $100,000 in sales. Their gross profits were $62,000. After a trade show, the product was picked up by Nordstrom; then came Whole Foods, William Sonoma and more. The product cost Erica about $1 to make, and retailed for about $8. One box made twelve pancakes.
Kevin O’Leary had concerns that the big brands could easily knock off Southern Culture Artisan Foods. Daymond John noted that there was already competition for the product, as it wasn’t the only all-natural pancake mix around. Robert Herjavec agreed and asked Erica what made her product different. She said that her product didn’t use powdered dairy, which appealed to people with dietary restrictions.
Erica needed the sharks help to fill orders. She said QVC wanted to sell her product, but she wasn’t sure she could fulfill their orders. Barbara Corcoran cautioned that QVC had very slim profit margins. Further, she said that expensive, niche food items didn’t sell well in big box stores, either.
Mark Cuban told Erica her product was too expensive for him to invest in, as he didn’t like to pay more than $3 for a food product and didn’t think others did, either. Robert thought the product was a high-end niche item with a limited market.
Kevin offered the $100,000 with the contingency that Erica use a commercial packer to bring down her costs. He would receive $1 per unit sold until his loan was repaid, then his royalty would drop to $0.50 per unit sold.
Barbara offered $100,000 in exchange for 40%. She told Erica that there was a lot Erica didn’t know about food retail that she could help her with. Daymond was out, saying Barbara made a good offer, but he warned her against choosing Kevin’s deal.
Erica countered Barbara to come down to 35% equity. Barbara met her about half-way, at 38% equity, and Erica accepted the deal. What was next for her company? Keep reading our Southern Culture Artisan Foods update!
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Our Southern Culture Artisan Foods update has good news to share! While the deal with Barbara was never finalized, the company has managed to stay in business. In addition to her line of food products, Erica has since opened a few restaurants under an abbreviated brand name, SOCU. You can buy her pancake mixes on the Southern Culture Artisan Foods website, and also on Amazon.
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Jennifer is an avid Shark Tank fan that has been watching the show for years. She serves as Senior Editor at Shark Tank Recap and ensures that all our information is accurate and that our posts are up to date. Her favorite Shark Tank products are Le-Glue and Ring!