Life After Shark Tank Portland Cookie Kit Startup Takes Off

Dated: April 7 2015

Views: 629

The founders of Scratch & Grain Baking Co. pitched their company on ABC's Shark Tank on Jan. 13 and appeared in a follow up episode of Good Morning America a few weeks later.

The publicity unleashed a tsunami of orders for their bake-at-home cookie kits.

It took until mid-March to clear up the backlog.

Founders Taya Geiger and Leah Tutin say the Shark Tank experience was nothing short of miraculous.

That's no small observation. Geiger and Tutin flew to Los Angeles last June to pitch their business to the show's sharks while cameras rolled. Their ask: $150,000 in exchange for a small equity stake in their company.

There was one snag in the timing: Geiger was eight months pregnant with her second son when the episode filmed. He was born just 20 hours after the cameras stopped.

Scratch & Grain is one of eight (or so) Portland startups featured on Shark Tank, a reality show that puts aspiring entrepreneurs in front of potential investors dubbed sharks.

Their experience was unusual — not only did they receive investment offers from two of the sharks, the deal actually went through.

Barbara Corcoran, a successful New York real estate investor, made a $150,000 investment in the form of a line of credit in Scratch & Grain, taking a 20 percent equity stake in the Tigard-based startup.

This week, the Portland Business Journal revisits local Shark Tank alum to find out how they fared after their moments in the limelight. The show draws a reported audience of some 9 million viewers — priceless exposure arguably worth more to startups than any potential investment.

Geiger and Tutin say Corcoran has remained an ongoing supporter of the company who touches base via Skype. The line of credit allowed them to invest in machinery as well as supplies.

"She is a part of our business. We just got an email from her yesterday," Geiger said.

The investment coupled with the publicity allowed Scratch & Grain to expand from a single part-time employee to seven employees. The company expects to do a minimum of $1.2 million in sales in 2015, well above the $1 million Geiger and Tutin projected before their episode aired.

Both say the experience was invaluable and they encourage entrepreneurs to submit for the program. The odds of making it on camera are extremely low, but the process forced them to account for their business at a level neither business executive had contemplated.

"Expect to put more work in this than anything you've ever done in your business," Tutin said.

Portland Business Journal subscribers can read more about Life After Shark Tank in the April 10 weekly edition.


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Mark Ross

For Mark Ross, founder of Ross NW Real Estate and professional real estate broker, real estate has always been the career of choice. During his 25+ years in the industry, Mark has gained experience in....

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