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Mama O’s Premium Kimchi

mama o's premium kimchiKheedhim Oh and his “mama,” Myung Oh give the Sharks a taste of Mama O’s Premium Kimchi, their line of Kimchi and Kimchi based products, in Shark Tank episode 1402. Kheehim started the business back in 2008. He didn’t set out to get into the Kimchi business. While living in Brooklyn, he made frequent trips to his parents’ home to make Kimchi with his mother. Once he perfected his recipes, he started sharing it with friends and family and they encouraged him to sell it.

He had it in Farmer’s Markets in the city for years and even got into some Whole Foods in the northeast. Now, it’s strictly available online at Amazon and the company website. They also sell it in many Asian markets throughout the country. Kimchi is made from cabbage and is very good for you. It’s chock full of probiotics and prebiotics and it’s quite tasty too.

Kheedhim sells ready to eat Kimchi in pouches. They come in a variety of flavors like “original,” vegan, super spicy, Daikon radish, Bok Choy and Premium White. The company also sells “Kimchi flakes” for adding to salads and other dishes, hot sauce, Kimchi paste for making your own Kimchi or adding to other dishes. The coolest product is the Kimchi kits which come with everything (except cabbage, salt, water, green onions and cilantro) you need to make  Kimchi at home. Kheedhim and “mama” likely want a Shark to help them expand. Do Sharks eat Kimchi?

Company Information

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Mama O’s Premium Kimchi Shark Tank Recap

Kheedhim and Myung enter the Shark Tank wearing funny hats. Kheehim reaches into a box and pulls out a megaphone. He plays a sound on it then asks for $250,000 for 10% of their business. Mama says Kimchi is an ancient super food from Korea. It’s naturally fermented and full of probiotics. They say it’s health food, but it’s delicious, and not just with Korean food. Their Kimchi is the best because of their authentic Korean mom recipe and its freshness due to their innovative packaging. They also invented the first make it at home Kimchi kit that only takes ten minutes to make.

They invite Daymond onstage to make some Kimchi. They say it’s like sex education, but spicier. They walk him through the process as the other Sharks chuckle. Daymond says he feels warm and fuzzy. The Sharks examine their Kimchi and taste it. Kheedhim tells the story of how he started the business. They are nationwide in Whole Foods. Each bag costs $2.65 to make and it sells for “$8.99 and up.” The kit costs $8.20 to make and it wholesales for $20.

Let’s Talk Numbers

Top line sales for 2021 were $815,000. 2022 sales are projected at $1 million. On the million, they’ll make 25% ($250,000). They do almost zero online sales, they’re focused on retail. They’ve been in Williams Sonoma for 8 years. When Mrk asks why sales aren’t higher, Kheedhim says he bootstrapped it with a $50 investment and zero investors. He doesn’t pay himself, he’s investing the money back into the business. Mama O says she’s proud of Kheehim and that he’s an honest, hardworking young man. Kheedhim’s wife has a lot of food business experience (she’s not present because she’s VERY pregnant).

Kevin says the hardest part of this business is getting people to try it; it’s not for him – he’s out. Mark says it’s hard for entrepreneurs to hire their first employee. Since he hasn’t done that in 8 years, he feels it shows a lack of confidence – he’s out. Lori loves them both and  the Kimchi, but it’s not investable for her – she’s out. Kendra likes their story, but she’s not a Kimchi person – she’s out. Daymond asks why this is the time to expand. Mama says they need money for capital investment and she wants a mentor. Daymond is on the fence, but he’s not obsessed with the product – he’s out.

Mama O’s Premium Kimchi Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. Shark Tank fans were very upset this business didn’t get a deal. In the immediate aftermath of the original air date, they saw a bump in sales in retail locations, but not online since Oh shut down their eCommerce due to his wife’s pregnancy. As of October, 2023, the products are in Whole Foods, Willliams Sonoma, Albertson’s and Safeway.

The Shark Tank Blog will follow-up on Mama O’s Premium Kimchi & Kheedhim Oh and Myung Oh as more details become available.

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