A honey alternative based on apple is presented to the Sharks in episode 721 of Shark Tank by Melissa Elms and Katie Sanchez. Sanchez, who has a lifelong passion for food, discovered Bee Free Honee through her cooking.
She had made a simple apple jelly recipe incorrectly in 1999. A thick, syrupy liquid filled the glass. The successful launch of Bee Free Honee is a honey substitute, took years after many attempts to copy her mistake.
Sanchez takes pride in her work and avoids globalism: she uses only Michigan-grown apples and uses Minnesota companies for all packaging materials.
This product is popular because it can be used in place of honey in any dish, and it’s cheaper than raw honey. The fact that bee populations are shrinking makes this more cost-effective.
The bottles are stocked on major natural food markets like Whole Foods and are available across the country.
You can get five different flavors for just a few bucks more (original, Ancho Chile, Mint, Chocolate, and “Slippery Elm”). The shark could help Elms and Sanchez grow their output.
Will a shark develop a preference for Bee Free Honee?
Table of Contents
What is Bee Free Honee?
Bee Free Honee is a vegan alternative to honey since it’s a completely plant-based product. Organic apples are used to create a product that is comparable to honey in sweetness and quality. It is handmade by the female owners of the company.
It can be used on hot drinks, waffles, pancakes, oatmeal, and everywhere else you need honey. The customer may choose not only creamy chocolate but also spicy varieties.
Bee Free Honee’s mission is to improve and save the environment by saving bees and their friends, including deer, bears, chickens, and humans.
Honey they offer is available all year and will not harm any living creature. Bee Free Honee is an attractive option for those looking for a new product and the environmental benefits that come with it.
|Company Name||Bee Free Honee|
|Founder||Katie Sanchez and Melissa Elms|
|Product||Honey alternative made from sustainably harvested plants|
|Investment Seeking||$100,000 for 10% equity in Bee Free Honee|
|Final Deal||$210,000 for 30% equity in Bee Free Honee|
|Shark||Chris Sacca, Barbara Corcoran, and Mark Cuban|
|Business Status||Out Of Business|
Who is the Founder of Bee Free Honee?
Melissa Elms and Katie Sanchez are co-founders of Bee Free Honee, a company whose sweeteners are made from 100% plant-based materials, are sustainable, and do not contain bees!
Katie and Chris began working together in 2013 to grow her business. They recently saw their fortune rise in the form of investment on ABC’s Shark Tank after finding homes in chains such as Natural Grocers and Wegmans.
Young entrepreneurs present their ideas to a panel of experienced investors in this show.
Bee Free Honee Before Shark Tank
The friends turned entrepreneurs Melissa Elms and Katie Sanchez is the minds of Bee Free Honee.
Katie Sanchez, a pastry chef, invented Bee Free Honee after an unfortunate cooking mishap, where she produced a honey-like material after attempting to prepare apple jam.
It was an amazing error, so she had to see if something you could substitute for honey would be profitable. Bee Free Honee was born, and it made me happy!
In the four years following the mistake that led to her jelly not jelling properly, Katie has created the ultimate beehive-free honeysuckle jelly.
The sisters are excited to use local apples in the Bee Free Honee, so they have found a way to purchase goods that support their local economy.
All packages used to sell finished products are also produced in Minnesota. A product developed by Melissa and Kate can be used in any recipe as a substitute for natural honey.
Be Free Honee not only helps protect the world’s bee population, which is under stress, but it is also a lot less expensive than unprocessed honey. Vegans and animal welfare advocates should be excited about this news.
Katie Sanches has a history of years as a pastry chef, who found success in the kitchen, despite working primarily on baking with bread and pastries rather than pie-making or desserts.
Katie discovered that in 1999 when she tried to make her apple jelly, she’d accidentally made a mistake. The jelly stayed in the container overnight, which resulted in a liquid substance that resembled honey.
After four years of additional struggle, Katie Sanches fell into the same trap again. Finally, she arrived. Bee Free Honey’s major goal was to protect bees.
Katie alleges that the bees are given corn syrup and sugar, detrimental to the bees’ welfare.
Katie had trouble establishing a legal business, even though she invented and sold the product. When Sanches promoted a California juice product in 2013, he met Elms.
Later, Elms had a 49% stake in the corporation, has been the majority shareholder.
Melissa Elms helped the company get their product into store shelves and assisted in website sales growth by supporting marketing.
In 2016, they turned to the sharks for additional funding for expansion when they needed a greater investment.
Katie and Melissa decided they needed extra money and business knowledge to bring their product out into the open market.
They felt certain that their success on the market would continue and asked Bob if he would be willing to invest in their company and help them take it to the next level.
Will it help get Shark Tank (ABC) investors to go after Melissa and Katie by softening them up with Bee Free Honee?
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of Bee Free Honee?
Katie and Mellissa asked the sharks for a $100,000 investment in exchange for 10% equity.
They informed investors that a pound of honey requires 60000 bees and that Bee Free Honee is the only replacement available on the market.
Sanches explains that apple and lemon juices are used as preservatives in distributing the sample, and cane sugar make it honey-like. Investors seem impressed with Sanches’ product.
Katie responds to an investor’s question and explains why someone would want to use honey as an alternative. It contributes to the decline of the bee population and is a suitable substitute for vegans.
Daymon John asserts that he understands the business because he has previously invested in bee-related businesses.
He inquires about the cost of Bee Free Honey compared to other honey on the market.
They respond that Bee Free Honey retails for $5.99 per bottle and costs $1.62 a jar, significantly lower than other honey options.
Additionally, Barbara Corcoran inquires about the product’s sales to date.
Melissa responds that Bee Free Honey is sold in nine of eleven regions of natural foods stores and generated $780,000 in revenue last year.
The investors inquire as to why the couple believes the business is worth $100,000. Melissa explains that they have contacted Costco and arranged for a big quantity of products distributed across the United States.
This investment may enable them to acquire a larger kitchen, which will enable them to create the product in bulk.
They suggest using it to promote “bee conservation.” Barbara and Mark both like the product.
In addition, Daymond John says he would consider investing $100,000 for a 25% stake in the company if it showed a record number of bees could be saved due to the product.
Shark guest Chris Sacca appears interested and believes that $100,000 will be insufficient, so he offers $200,000 for 30% of the stakes.
Barbara and Mark concluded after a self-conversation that they, along with Chris Sacca, would make an excellent combination for Bee Free Honey.
Mark offers $210,000 for 30% of the stakes, which translates into each of them investing $70,000 for 10% of the stakes. Katie and Melissa both feel that the offer is too good to refuse.
Melissa mentioned that the product is available in nine of the eleven regions of Whole Foods and is about to be supplied to Costco during the pitch.
The product costs $1.56 to manufacture and retails for $5.99 across the country. In 2015, the company earned a profit of $750,000.
The Bee Free Honee was available across the country at over 3000 stores as of 2018, including Whole Foods.
Sales came mainly from retailers, with 60% coming from online sales. They earned $1 million in gross revenue last year.
Final Deal: Sacca, Mark, and Barbara invested $210K for a 30% stake in Bee Free Honee.
Who Is the Investor of Bee Free Honee?
Bee Free Honee founder appeared on Shark Tank to seek a $100,000 investment for a 10% stake. Bee Free Honee was valued at $1 million at the time of the Shark tank pitch.
Mark Cuban, Barbara’s Corcoran, and Chris Sacca offered $70,000 for 10% equity, while they received $210,000 for 30% shares.
How Does Bee Free Honee Make Money?
Melissa said the product was available in about nine out of eleven whole food stores during the pitch, and they were about to start selling to Costco.
The product retails across the country for $5.99 and costs $1.56 to manufacture. The company earned a profit of $750,000 in 2015.
Bee Free Honee was sold in over 3000 locations nationwide in 2018, including Whole Foods Markets. Retail outlets accounted for 60% of sales, while the website accounted for 40%. They earned $1 million in gross revenue last year.
What Happened To Bee Free Honee After Shark Tank?
Bee Free Honey’s three-way Shark deal is a significant achievement in and of itself, and the startup is not throwing away this opportunity.
They increased their workforce and expanded their contract manufacturing agreement by June 2016. The company aimed to increase its production by 600 percent by mid-July 2016.
They also expanded their reach by attending the Fancy Food Show in New York City in June 2016.
Natural Grocers, Wegmans, Fred Meyer, Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Markets, Brookshire’s, and other independently owned businesses carry the products.
Chris Sacca incorporated the product into the menu of his Veggie Grill chain, while Mark Cuban aided with the product’s advancement on Amazon and Zulily. Bee Free Honee appears to have snared three of the Sharks in a good deal.
Is Bee Free Honee Still in Business?
A Shark Tank investment allowed the company to move manufacturing from California to Texas, thus doubling its capacity.
Bee Free Honee stopped its manufacturing in 2019. Katie Sanches shares her story and her struggle to raise awareness about the importance of bee conservation.