David and Nique Mealey of Tampa, Florida, pitched a barbeque chicken wing dip in Shark Tank in 2012. There was a visceral element to the pitch.
Nique was pregnant, and David was out of work. Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec agreed to invest $150,000 for a 25% stake in the endearing couple.
What is Back 9 Dips?
Back 9 Dips is essentially chicken wings mixed into the dip. Mm, I Already Adore It. Daymond John inquires, “Is this essentially a chicken Slurpee?”
Back 9 Dips David and Nique Mealy invented Buffalo Chicken Dip. In Season 4, Episode 404, they make a pitch to the Shark Tank investors.
|Founder||David and Dominique “Nique” Mealey|
|Product/Startup||Back 9 Dips|
|Investment Seeking||$150,000 for 15% equity in Back 9 Dips|
|Final Deal||$150,000 for 25% equity in Back 9 Dips|
|Shark Who Invested||Lori Greiner and Robert Herjavec|
|Episode Aired||Episode 4 of Season 4|
|Business Status||Out of Business|
David and Nique require $150,000 and are willing to give up 15% of their business. They’ve produced a dip made entirely of protein.
Who is the Founder of Back 9 Dips?
David and Nique Mealy is the founder of Back 9 Chicken Dips. Back 9 Chicken Dips was created by the husband and wife partnership when David was laid off from his job as a golf equipment salesman.
Back 9 Catering sold Chicken Dips because patrons at their events raved about them.
The pair partnered with iconic “Shock Jock” Bubba the Love Sponge to create Bubba’s Back 9 Chicken Dips. “Chicken wings on a chip” is how the product is described by the company. It is a combination of chicken breast and sauces.
The couple worked with a food packaging firm and began distributing their Back 9 Chicken Dips at Publix supermarkets around the greater Tampa area.
Back 9 Dips Before Shark Tank
Dominique “Nique” Mealey and David Mealey are a married couple from Tampa, Florida. The couple has a three-year-old son and is expecting a daughter.
David lost his job as a Callaway sales representative and PGA teaching pro at a local golf club when Nique was pregnant with their first child.
David started the BBQ catering company after he realized he needed to earn money. Cooking was his passion, and he contemplated becoming a chef before starting his career.
David commissioned Bubba the Love Sponge to send some of this BBQ to the station after his business prospered.
David and Bubba hit it off immediately, and Bubba promoted his business wherever and whenever he could.
A universally loved dish was common to all of the business’s dishes, despite the business doing well overall.
David and Nique were confident that it would be a success to bring it to market and sell it separately. The Shark Tank was where they went to look for shark assistance in bringing their products to the public.
Shark Tank Pitch of Back 9 Dips
David and Nique entered the tank and requested $150,000 in exchange for a 15% ownership in their business.
While they did not yet disclose the nature of their product to the sharks, they did pass around platters for them to sample.
According to Nique, 1.25 billion chicken wings were consumed during the past Super Bowl, while chips and dip were the second most popular food item.
Their product, dubbed Back 9 Buffalo Chicken Dips, was created by combining chicken breasts with sauces. It reminded me of chicken wings in a dip.
Daymond referred to it as a Chicken Slurpee, while Kevin compared it to the legendary Saturday Night Live comedy “Bass-O-Matic,” only chicken in a blender rather than fish.
Kevin burst out laughing and continued alluding to all of the sad birds who died for the dip.
David explained that it was similar to slicing chicken and creating a chicken salad, except the chicken was chopped finer. “I married him for this dip!” exclaimed Nique.
Lori thought it was delectable, and once the sharks had done laughing and gathered their wits, they adopted a more solemn demeanor.
Robert desired to hear their narrative, and Nique intimated that they had had a life experience that convinced them they needed to discover a way to earn money.
When asked about her experience, she said that David had lost his work during her previous pregnancy.
They reduced their home, sold one of their cars and many other personal belongings, but all worked out in the end.
Kevin was prepared to discuss numbers. He desired to learn about sales. David informed him that in less than two years, they had earned about $400,000 and had close to 400 accounts.
A supermarket chain recently decided to put them through a 60-store test with a weekly sales objective in Florida. As it turned out, they were consistently meeting the weekly objective.
Then David informed the sharks that the dip retailed for $7.99-$8.99 a pound and could be purchased wholesale for $5.25. The dips cost roughly $2.50 to produce. They had invested $150,000 in the business to date.
Robert wondered if the dip always elicited a good response. Nique stated that people adored it after tasting it and had no reservations about the idea of mixed chicken.
Lori underlined how amazing she thought it was and how much she adored the two of them.
However, she did not believe she was qualified to distribute the dip to supermarkets nationwide. She was no longer present.
Mark believed they would certainly continue to do well, but he lacked the necessary skills and experience to manage this type of food distribution. It was not a good fit for him, and he withdrew.
Kevin expressed admiration for them and thought they had done an excellent job thus far. However, as an investment, it would entail numerous hazards. It did not work for him, and he was forced to leave.
Robert liked their tale and what they had accomplished but warned them that it was a hard industry and that they needed a partner to support them along the way.
He could counsel and encourage them, but he did not believe he was qualified to lead them. He withdrew.
This left Daymond with the option of forming a partnership. He began by stating that it was a difficult decision for him and that he had some regrets about not collaborating with a previous year’s contestant who had gone on to achieve great success.
Lori, though, cut him off. She adored David and Nique and considered returning if Daymond offered her $150,000 for 25% equity.
However, Daymond desired to share his story. He described a moment when he was without money, had a little child, and a pregnant wife.
He needed someone to give him a chance, which LL Cool J provided with FUBU. And by the time his second child was born, he had amassed a million dollars.
Despite his recognition that everyone deserved a chance, he continued to doubt his ability to enter into a transaction.
Robert broke the silence after a few seconds. “I believe that sometimes in life, all you need is a chance,” he explained.
He agreed to join with Lori, even though he couldn’t contribute much value at this moment. The Mealeys said, “We will not disappoint you,” and accepted the deal: $150,000 for 25% equity. The pair was hugged by their new partners.
Final Agreement: $150,000 for 25% equity in Back 9 Dips.
What Happened To Back 9 Dips After Shark Tank?
Bubba, The Love Sponge, was always a minority stakeholder in the business, but this was never addressed on the show.
According to David, neither Lori nor Robert had a problem with this. BUBBA’s Chicken Dip was finally commercialized as a result of the dip.
Following the show’s airing, David stated that he focused on manufacturing while Nique handled marketing and community activities.
After the program aired, sales increased significantly, and the Mealey’s began to expand distribution into other locations. They even secured an agreement with Costco.
However, it wasn’t long until they encountered a brick wall. The company failed to mention that the dip contained anchovies — an allergy – and was compelled to recall 112,500 pounds of BUBBA’s Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken Dip by the USDA. The dip was sold online and in grocery shops in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio. Following the recall, the company was unable to recover and has ceased operations.
David Mealey is currently employed as a Regional Sales Manager for Nat Sherman, a manufacturer of handmade cigars and “premium cigarettes.” Nique works as a Field Marketing Manager for an Orlando-based restaurant chain.
Following its appearance on Shark Tank, Back 9 Chicken Dips extended its distribution, including an agreement with Costco.
However, one year later, the USDA recalled over 112,000 pounds of its Buffalo Blue Cheese Chicken Dip due to anchovies.
The company ceased operations. Nique then became Director of Marketing for Melting Pot, a division of Front Burner Brands, while David became President of Myself to Shelf, a food brokerage company, according to OfftheWeeds.