shark tank

Single Mom Carol Foster and Her Mee-Ma’s Gumbo Pitch on the Shark Tank

Posted on May 19, 2013 by Lola Rotimi-Sosanya


Single Mom Carol Foster and Her Mee-Ma’s Gumbo Pitch on the Shark Tank

Carol Foster, a single mother from Louisiana made her debut on season 4, episode 21 of the Shark Tank to try and get an investment injected into her Mee-Ma’s Gumbo business. The episode was filled with uncertainties as the Sharks considered the viability of the business as you will find out.

Carol Foster before Mee-Ma’s

Carol Foster, as previously mentioned is a single mom. She has had many jobs before her appearance on the Shark Tank including being a truck driver. She also owned her own restaurant in 2009 where she was serving the dish derived from an old family recipe. shark tankDisaster struck when flooding caused the roof of her restaurant to cave in.

Before getting into the restaurant business, Carol Foster also had relative success selling her product online. After the collapse of her restaurant, she redirected her energies to making authentic Louisiana gumbo that people can easily make at home without any hustle.

What Mee-Ma’s Is All About

Mee-Ma’s is a frozen roux base in form of a brick that is used for making gumbo the authentic Louisiana way. Shrimp, spices and sausage can be added into the mix to make the dish as the person wants it. The gumbo brick is capable of feeding 6-8 people.

Carol Foster chose to concentrate all her efforts in making the product commercially available when her restaurant business went bust. Her inspiration for the product came as she found it very difficult to get authentic Louisiana gumbo, and seeing it as equally difficult and time consuming to make it at home. With the base, the consumer simply adds the ingredients that they want to have in the dish.

The Sharks’ Response to Mee-Ma’s Gumbo

As we see with products like these, there were mixed reviews from the sharks. They all however did agree that the gumbo was delicious. Mark was the first to give his opinion. He did agree that the product had all the hallmarks of a success, but was doubtful that Carol was ready for the ‘big leagues’, and therefore opted out.

Although Daymond loved Carol and believed that she could be successful, he too opted out, and said he could not invest in the product. Kevin seemed sceptical at first, and Robert was quick to opt out saying that the margins would be far too low for him to invest.

The ball is left with Carol and Kevin, as Lori seems unsure about the whole thing, but still seems that she could be convinced. After Carol admits that she is currently homeless, Kevin jumps in with an offer for half the money that Carol was asking for, but on condition that Lori joins him in the venture.

The Amount Carol Was Asking For and the Investors

Carol was asking for an investment of $200,000 for a 20% stake in the company. Both Carol and Kevin agree to put up half the money each, but for a 50% stake in the business, which Carol agrees to after a few tense moments. Although Kevin says that he is still not sure about what the business is going to be worth, he does however admit to believing in Carol and the energy and hard work that she is going to put into the business.

Watch the episode here.

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