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Utah company turns down Sharks on Shark Tank

“My mom packed up a bunch of brown paper lunch sacks on the counter full of wheat and other ingredients, and hand wrote on the bags how to make it, and then put it in a red wagon and I went around the neighborhood and sold them”, said Joel Clark who started Kodiak Cakes.
Each week seven million viewers watch ABC’s Shark Tank. The reality show puts business entrepreneurs in front of shark investors with the hope an investor will sink their teeth into their company.

But as Good for Utah's Robin Saville shows us, one Utah business decided not to be on the sharks menu.

“My mom packed up a bunch of brown paper lunch sacks on the counter full of wheat and other ingredients, and hand wrote on the bags how to make it, and then put it in a red wagon and I went around the neighborhood and sold them”, said Joel Clark who started Kodiak Cakes.

That was in 1982 when Joel Clark was just 8 years old. He laughs fondly of those early days, and people were buying his mom's pancake mix.

“I sold all of them. I came back with an empty wagon,”

Now many years later, and with more encouragement from his mom, Kodiak cakes has really taken off.

It was a shot in the dark to try out for ABC’s Shark Tank. But if you can successfully sell pancake mix door to door, maybe a shark investor would take a bite too.

“Kodiak Cakes is a flap jack and waffle mix. Its unique because its made with 100% whole grains, has no added fats or sugars. All you have to do to make it is add water

“I love it, I'd eat more,” said one of the shark investors.

While most businesses do not land a deal, a few have the investors fighting to get involved. In the case of Kodiak Cakes. Several of the sharks were circling like a feeding frenzy.

“50% of the business. I said I make great deals and that would be a great deal,” said another ‘Shark.’

“That would be a great deal for you,” said Clark.

Clark continued…”We were asking for $500,000 for 10% of the business.”

The sharks continued to try and bite

“Here's why your wrong Kevin, here's why your wrong…I'm the only rational disciplined investor up here, everyone else gets emotionally involved,” argued the sharks.

“I'll give you the $500,000 for 35%,” said another shark.

“If they would have offered 20% then we probably would have been really thinking about it,” said Smith.

It's a bear on the packaging of Kodiak Cakes. Apparently bears don't like sharks.

“Serious, you are turning down $500,000?” said a shark.

“Ya we're going to turn it down but we really really appreciate it,”: said Clark.

Clark continued…”You know it was hard to walk away from that but we really felt like we needed to walk away.”

So they left the tank without a shark bite.

“It was really awesome at the end, like after we walked off, when Mark said these guys are really smart,” said Clark.

“I think you guys are smart,” said Mark Cuban.

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