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Meat the Mushroom

meat the mushroomMarvin and Aleah Montague introduce the Sharks to Meat the Mushroom, their vegan bacon made from 5 simple ingredients, in Shark Tank episode 1508. The husband and wife team started the business in 2021 after being vegan for 7 years. Marvin initially went vegan for health reasons – it helped him beat an early diagnosis of heart disease and cured the asthma that had bothered him since childhood.

Their product, which they call “Shroomacon,” is the first they introduced. It tastes like BACON! The ingredients are mushrooms, olive oil, smoke flavor, salt and black pepper. Each slice is just 25 calories (compared to 44 for a slice of bacon). The Shroomacon is free of nitrates, soy, gluten, cholesterol and saturated fats.

Eight 3 ounce packs cost $88. They have their products in several regional grocery chains like Woodman’s Central Market, Mom’s Organic Market and dozens of independent stores. They likely want a Shark’s help getting into more national chains.

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Unveiling Shroomacon: A Vegan Bacon Innovation on Shark Tank

Meat the Mushroom Shark Tank Recap

Marvin and Aleah enter the Shark Tank seeking $150,000 for 7.5% of their  business. Marvin lists all the things that are delicious about bacon while Aleah counters with what’s bad about bacon. Because bacon is bad for you, they created a “better for you” bacon. If it looks like bacon, smells like bacon and tastes like bacon, it must be MUSHROOMS!

Introducing Shroomacon, a plant based bacon made from sliced mushrooms. It has 5 clean label ingredients and the taste is better than pork bacon. It’s good with eggs, on a burger or in a salad. One bite of Shroomacon and you won’t believe you’re eating sliced mushrooms. It’s not highly processed. They toss mushrooms at a samuri swordsman onstage and he slices the mushrooms. They ask who wants to Shroomacon the world a better place with Meat the Mushroom.

Samples and Questions

The Sharks dig into their samples. They like the  Shroomacon. You can cook it in the air fryer, the skillet or in the oven. Kevin says all the plant based products on Shark Tank taste like crap, but this actually tastes good. A package costs $2.09 to make (but they can get it down to $1.75), $8.99 is the retail price and $4.40 is the wholesale price.

Aleah’s background is as a Facebook ads manager. Marvin had a car sales business and a moving business. He met Aleah during a move. When Marvin was diagnosed with a large heart muscle, he went vegan; a year later, his heart disease was gone. In the black community, there are a lot of food related illnesses and Marvin wanted to open a restaurant in his neighborhood. While creating the menu, he changed to a product based business. Meat the Mushroom is their only “job.”

Let’s Talk Numbers

From May, 2021 to December, 2021, they had $38,000 in sales. In 2022, they had $86,000 in sales and so far in 2023, they have over $238,000 in sales. Lifetime sales are over $360,000. 93% of sales are direct to consumer and they’re just starting to get into grocery stores. In order to start the business, they sold a car, moved in with Marvin’s mother and they’re scrapping. Their daughter has downs syndrome and is their inspiration.

Kevin is intrigued because it’s so good but he thinks the valuation is terrible. He offers $150,000 for 33.3%. He has ZERO flexibility. Mark has a conflict with Unreal Deli; he’s out. Daymond thinks it’s going to be challenging. They’re 4 steps away from the money because they have to be experts in manufacturing, they need to get the stores to buy it at half of what they’re making now; he’s out. Kevin bumps his offer to $150,000 for 33.6%.

Lori wants the Shroomacon to be bigger. Kevin bumps his offer to $150,000 for 34%. Daniel says Kevin’s offer is fair and he can’t give them that offer; he’s out. Lori is torn. She offers $150,000 for 33.3%. After they balk, Lori says she and Kevin can go in together at 33.3%. Marvin thinks it’s too much equity. Aleah asks for $200,000 for 33.3% and they say no. After thinking about it, Aleah says “you have a deal!’

Meat the Mushroom Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. As of the first re-run of this episode in June, 2024 (about 6 months after the original air date), the deal with the Sharks has not closed. Products can now be found in around 100 stores including Central Markets, Fresh Markets and more.

The Shark Tank Blog will follow-up on Meat the Mushroom & Marvin and Aleah Montague as more details become available.