Talbott Teas Shows the Power of Shark Tank

I had intended to react to the Talbott Teas segment on Friday's Shark Tank. It was the most powerful pitch I have seen on the show to date. They had everything the sharks would want: sales went from $100,000 in 2009 to $500,000 through three quarters in 2011, they invested $300,000 of their own money, their profits are 50%, they are in scores of quality retail outlets, they have a vibrant direct sales business, their expansion and branding plans are in place, and they have an exit strategy. Talbott Teas also has the “Oprah Factor;” the boutique teas were one of Oprah's favorite things.

I was surprised Kevin O'Leary was the only shark to bite- he even did the unthinkable by dropping his initial offer of $250,000 for 40% of the business down to a 35% stake. Daymond John wanted in, but he had a conflict with another tea related company. Daymond must have extricated himself from that deal, because the following video came out yesterday.

Daymond got in on the deal and announced that he and Kevin were able to get Talbott Teas into “the Jamba Juice family.” The video states the Talbott Tea guys, Steve Nakisher and Shane Talbott, would be in all the Jamba Juice stores next fall, while still retaining all distribution rights with their current retail relationships.

Jamba Juice must have really liked their new family members- they acquired the company for an undisclosed amount of money and retained Shane Talbott in Role of Vice President of Product Innovation. Steve Nakisher's role is as yet undefined.

This deal shows how powerful a business vehicle the Shark Tank can be. The Talbott Tea guys had an exit strategy and a belief they could be a $500 million company and they showed the sharks they were right. This deal certainly solidifies their brand, but it also makes the Shark Tank a more powerful brand. This deal is going to put the Shark Tank into the stratosphere as an entrepreneurial vehicle and one of the premier reality shows on TV.

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.

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