“Shark Tank” viewers saw Scratch & Grain Baking Co. founders Leah Tutin and Taya Geiger shed a good amount of tears as they made their way through their pitch in the latest episode of the sixth season, but even so, Barbara Corcoran estimates the show’s editors cut out 95% of the crying.
And although Corcoran says it’s totally not her style to make a deal with overly emotional entrepreneurs, she still offered Tutin and Geiger a $US150,000 line of credit in exchange for 20% of the company.
In the tank, Tutin and Geiger explain that they left comfortable careers because they wanted to pursue something they could be truly passionate about, and a cookie kit business allowed them to build something they could enjoy with their kids.
The Sharks say the Scratch & Grain cookies are delicious, but they get wary when the founders tell them that they have made only $US52,000 in sales over 14 months. Tutin and Geiger say the low sales are mainly due to the lack of automation in their business, and the investors voice concern over how much effort it would take to kickstart the business.
Geiger starts to explain what the company means to her. She then tells the investors that she grew up with a single mother who had a drug problem and that she’s dedicated her career to avoiding the mistakes her mum made. The tears start flowing and then spread throughout the room. Geiger later jokes that the investors shouldn’t get a pregnant woman crying.
In the televised version, it appears as if the founders and investors let go of some tears and then move on, but Corcoran tells Business Insider that it stretched on much longer:
I thought they were gonna take a stretcher and haul them off. And they cried so much, I thought for sure it wouldn’t air, and it is airing.
I’m like, geez, how did they edit that one down? I hope they took their 30 minutes of tears and cut it down to like a 10-second clip! But I don’t know how they’re going to do that, because even in their pitch, they’re weeping.
Ay, ay, ay! If they weren’t going to be taken out of there, I was going to be taken out. And I bought them. Not because of the tears, but I had to listen between the tears to really get what the heck they were talking about… I still can’t believe I closed on that.
Corcoran says that she doesn’t want anyone to get the impression that she made the deal because she was swayed by emotion. In retrospect, she’s surprised that she decided to set aside the entrepreneurs’ emotional reactions and rationally weigh a bet on them, since crying in the tank, she says, “turns me off totally.”
But because Scratch & Grain already has connections with Whole Foods and Sur La Table and she’s offering money that will be paid back, she’s giving Tutin and Geiger a chance to cut costs of production and start cranking out products.
She stands by her decision today, she says. “They aren’t crying anymore, and are off to a fast start with more than $US50,000 in sales so far this week,” a boost that came within two days of the episode’s airing.
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