A UF alumnus accepted a $300,000 deal on “Shark Tank” from investors Mark Cuban and Lori Greiner.
Alfonso Tejada pitched his product, Palmini, on Sunday’s episode. His original offer to the sharks, or millionaire and billionaire investors, was $300,000 for 10 percent of his company, O.A. Foods. But, when Cuban and Greiner offered the amount for 25 percent of his company, he knew he had to take it, he said.
“Two is better than one for sure,” he said.
His company sells quinoa and chia products, along with the main product marketed on the show. Palmini is a linguine-like noodle made of the vegetable heart of palm.
He said he cannot comment about Cuban and Greiner because they are still in legal negotiations. However, he said he wanted to work with them specifically because of Cuban’s experience in the food industry and Greiner’s knowledge about patents.
He said he was happy they liked the product. Other investors on the show, Robert Herjavec and Bethenny Frankel, didn’t give him an offer.
Since the show aired, he has sold more than 10,000 Palmini cans, he said. The product ran out of stock within the first 24 hours of the show airing.
“It’s incredible how fast we ran out of stock,” he said. “We’re planning on restocking and then we’ll see how sales go afterwards.”
He said the company was only selling a few cans each day before the show aired.
Tejada said big supermarkets like Whole Foods, Walmart and Wegmans have reached out to him about selling Palmini in stores.
“Whole Foods is opening a store in Gainesville,” he said. “They like the idea of me being a Gator, so they’re going to do some promotions so that everyone can try the product.”