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New Condiment – Slawsa

New condiment - slawsaI make no secret that condiment entrepreneur Julie Busha is the first entrant in the Shark Tank I knew before she appeared on the show. Julie and I became acquainted about two years ago when she approached me to sample her Slawsa, a condiment tha’s part salsa, part cole slaw, and 100% delicious. I do a site called Hot Dog Stories where I visit hot dog stands all over the USA and do videos about it. Julie saw my site, sent me some Slawsa, and the rest is history.

Julie began popping up on the Shark Tank Entrepreneurs Facebook Page and she made the connection that the Hotdogman and the Shark Tank Blog guy were one and the same. She’s even wrote a guest post on this site about her experiences building her condiment empire.

Julie is a very tenacious marketer. She cut her teeth in the marketing world working for NASCAR for 12 years. When a gentleman named Judson Odom approached her in 2011 about marketing an old family condiment recipe, Julie jumped at the opportunity and put Slawsa in over 4000 stores in just two years. She did it the old-fashioned way: by leveraging her connections and working her ass off! She bought out Slawsa earlier this year (at Judson’s request), so it’s her baby now.

Julie’s been kicking around the Shark Tank Entrepreneurs Facebook page about as long as I have, and she tried out for season 4 unsuccessfully. Obviously, her season 5 audition went better. She’s on a quest to “ban boring condiments” and she’s looking for a Shark to completely blow out the success she’s made for herself and her company.

My Take on Slawsa

Slawsa is the only product on Shark Tank I tried before it appeared. Julie has sent me literally gallons of the stuff over the years. I take it around on my Hot Dog Stories adventures, so I get to see other people’s reactions to the condiment too. My take on Slawsa is this: I LIKE IT! It’s a great hot dog condiment, but I’ve had it on hamburgers, sandwiches, even in an omlete! It’s a delicious addition to any meal.

Will the Sharks Like this Condiment?

Julie told me she was looking forward to my prediction on her episode (the pressure is killing me). She may not realize that my predictions are right only 50% of the time – I might as well flip a coin! One thing is for sure, the Sharks would be betting on a winner if they partnered with Julie’s condiment business. How many entrepreneurs come into the Shark Tank with distribution in 4000 super markets nationwide?  Any one of the Sharks could benefit from being in the condiment business with Julie – she’s a hard-working pro – and Slawsa is a uniquely yummy product.

Here’s the thing – there are a few things that make me think she gets a deal and a few things that make me think she doesn’t. Let’s start with why I think she doesn’t. Julie is active on Twitter during Shark Tank shows. During the season premiere, which featured Lynnea’s Gourmet Pickles, she tweeted something to the effect of “If  pickles get a deal, I am going to scream.” That tweet has been removed from her feed. Sour grapes? Maybe, and that would indicate “no deal.” The other thing that makes me think “no deal” is the “tear jerker” preview she got. The episode video preview show a visibly upset Ms. Julie Busha giving the “I’ve worked damn hard” speech with tears running down her cheeks; another indication of “no deal.”

She might get a deal though. She’s been going on about “THE SPEECH” she gives the Sharks all week on social media. Is it the speech that closes the deal? Knowing Julie’s persistence and tenacity, it could very well be. She also mentioned a meeting with Wal-Mart in passing in a message to me a month back. With any other business, that would signal a deal automatically, but Julie has probably been after them to stock her condiment for years (she’s been in some stores since 2012). Even Wal-Mart couldn’t keep this gal at bay for long!

So there you have it. Two strong signals for no deal and two strong signals for yes. I am most definitely “IN.” As for my prediction: heads Slawsa gets a deal, tails it doesn’t! I’ll be flipping THAT coin around 9 PM Friday night. Good luck Julie, even though you really don’t need it! 😉

About Rob Merlino

Entrepreneur, auteur, raconteur. Rob Merlino is a blogger and writer who enjoys the Shark Tank TV show and Hot Dogs. A father of five who freelances in a variety of publications, Rob has a stable of websites including Shark Tank Blog, Hot Dog Stories, Rob and more.

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