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Toast It

toast itSisters Mafe Cabezas and Coco Viete hope the Sharks bite on Toast It, their ready to eat Venezuelan arepas and other foods, in Shark Tank episode 1503. The sistaers missed their mom’s cooking and set out to recreate her food in a way that would be accessible. Their arepas, round corn patties that are traditionally grilled, can be warmed in a toaster. They also sell Plantain Buñuelos (chips) and Pandebonos (cheese bites).

The girls started out making their arepas in their own kitchens and, as they grew, they moved to a real production facility. They’re “all about celebrating the incredible richness and diversity of Latin American culture” and bringing the essence of  Venezuelan food staples to the US.

The Arepas come in 3 varieties: Original (corn) Yucca and Chia Flaxseed. A 30 pack costs $49.99 – $59.99 for the Yucca variety. Thay can be found in Publix in Florida and Central Markets in the southeastern USA. The girls likely want a Shark’s help expanding their retail footprint.

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Posts about Toast It on Shark Tank Blog

Toast-It Guilt Free Latin Foods

Toast It Shark Tank Recap

Mafe and Coco enter the Shark Tank seeking $100,000 in exchange for 5% equity in their business. When they moved from Venezuala, the sisters spent years making authentic Venezualan food, but they couldn’t find convenient options in the market. That’s why they invented Toast It, a brand of Latin American staples that ar ready to eat in under 10 minutes.

They decided to focus on the arepa which is crispy on the outside, fluffy on the inside and perfect for stuffing with your favorite fillings. They have chia, yuca and original corn flavors. All have zero added sugars or trans fats and 4 grams of protein per serving. They’re also gluten free. The hispanic community is the largest growing minority in the USA and there is a lot of love for hispanic food in America.

Let’s Try It

The Sharks dig in to their samples. They have the original arepas filled with sweet plaintain and queso blanco. The chia arepas have guacomole on them and the yucca arepas have mozzarella cheese. The Sharks like them. All the products are frozen. They have product in 900 stores including Publix and Wal Mart and they recently signed a deal with Whole Foods, Winn Dixie and Central Markets.

The sisters moved to the USA 8 years ago from Venezuala. They wanted to escape the social and political turmoil there and provide a better opportunity for themselves. They got good educations. Mafe worked for the largest EPG company in the USA and Coco worked in the banking industry. They felt they were missing part of their culture and traditions, specifically their food. They began experimenting with recipes in their own homes and came up with the original arepa which is ready to toast in 5 minutes. The sisters did this without any backgrouund in manufacturing foods.

Sales for 2022 were $200,000 and 5 months into 2023 they’re at $190,000 and should reach $500,000 by the end of the year. They sell for $3.23 and they cost $2.30 to make. Margins after distribution expenses is 20% which the Sharks think is too low. They have a deal in pplace to cut packaging costs in half and there are opportunities to bring costs down on ingredients. There are other arepas out there, but not in the frozen section.

Who’s In?

Mr. Wonderful monitors his glucose and the yucca flavored arepa didn’t spike it. This is a good nutritional bread for him and people like him. He also likes the taste. Mr. Wonderful offers $100,000 for 20%. Coco says that puts them at a $500,000 valuation and that’s what they’ll make this year; she thinks it’s unfair.

Mark clears the air and says he likes the product, but it isn’t something he can get excited about; he’s out. Daymond thinks refrigerated products are tough; he’ll buy the arepas but he’s out. Lori thinks they are impressive and it’s delicious, but it’s not a business for her; she’s out.

Daniel wants to know how they’ll increase margins. Mafe says the machinery they just bought will help them optimize production processes and they just negotiated a deal that cut packaging costs in half. He asks how committed they are and they say the business is their baby. Coco was the first to quit her full time job and Mafe followed suit. They are passionate about the business and promoting their culture. Daniel likes the women and their committment. He doesn’t like the margins or the frozen space. He matches Mr. Wonderrful’s offer. They counter with $150,000 for 15% and Mr. Wonderful says he wouldn’t do that deal. Daniel counters with $150,000 for 20% and they accept!

Toast It Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. After the original air date, Daniel said in a statement “Mafe and Coco have built the magical bond of sisterhood into a formidable business partnership. I love discovering companies like Toast It that have mastered the formula for bringing beloved Hispanic staples to mainstream consumers in a format that is delicious and convenient.” The sisters said they planned to use Daniel’s money to strategically grow their retail presence and to increase their margins.

As of March, 2024 – about five months after the original air date – there is no evidence the deal with Daniel has closed. At this time, they are in Publix, Central Markets, Wal Marts in the southeastern USA and many independent markets.

The Shark Tank Blog will follow-up on Toast It & Mafe Cabezas and Coco Viete as more details become available.