Granola Gourmet

Jeff Cohen of Granola Gourmet

Granola Gourmet originally swam in the Shark Tank in season 1 and was not funded.  The company is the featured follow up segment on this week’s repeat Shark Tank episode from season two. Entrepreneur Jeff Cohen developed his line of Granola Gourmet Ultimate Energy bars in his own kitchen to create a natural energy bar for diabetics. Cohen, who suffers from diabetes himself, hoped the sharks would give him $175K for 25% of his business.

When Granola Gourmet originally aired, Jeff confessed he had come to the Shark Tank because he had been unable to obtain a bank loan due to a previous bankruptcy he was involved in when a software company he owned went belly up. Kevin O’Leary, in typical Mr. Wonderful fashion, called Cohen “radioactive” due to the prior bankruptcy. I wonder if Kevin was called radioactive by Mattel executives after their acquisition of his company? Mattel “nearly went bankrupt” after spending “billions to buy software and game publisher the Learning Company.”

Fast forward to season two, and the radioactive Mr. Cohen had proven O’Leary and the other Sharks wrong. His Granola Gourmet Ultimate Energy Bars, which are endorsed by physicians and endocrinologists, and donate a portion of each purchase to help fight diabetes, had become a success.

When Cohen first appeared on the Shark Tank, he had his products in about 35 Whole Foods Markets. As of the broadcast date of the follow up segment, Granola Gourmet was in over 600 stores and growing strong. You can buy Granola Gourmet direct from their website, at grocery stores like Safeway, Vons, and Whole Foods Market, and even on Amazon.com. I would say that kind of growth stems from having a good product that is well received by an increasingly health conscious public. It also speaks to Cohen’s dogged determination and belief in his business. If Cohen was indeed “radioactive,” he was in a super hero sort of way where the radioactive waves made him more powerful (think Spiderman with granola).

I find the follow up success stories very interesting. It’s cool to see someone who made a deal in the Shark Tank achieve success, but it is even more gratifying to see a business that doesn’t get funded become a success. Obviously, there are plenty of businesses that start out each year without appearing on the Shark Tank. The ones that make it, like Granola Gourmet, have grit, determination, and that entrepreneurial never say die attitude; Shark Tank funding can’t pay for that.

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 Merlino.com and more.

Comments

  1. Catching Up says

    This is so great to know!

    I was completely disgusted by how Kevin O’Leary bashed this guy for going bankrupt — shit happens, for some people, bankruptcy really is the right path to take and doesn’t mean they won’t go on to do amazing things. The reason why investments warn “Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Results ” is because past success OR failure is no guarantee of future success or failure.

    If Donald Trump, Henry Ford, and freaking Cactus Jack can go through bankruptcy and not become “radioactive”, I don’t see why Jeff Cohen can’t.

  2. su hazen says

    want to try it but I cannot find granola gourmet for sale locally – dallas

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