Liz Lovely Cookies before Shark Tank
Liz Lovely Cookies are all-natural, gourmet gluten free cookies founded by Liz and Dan Holtz. Like many, Liz and Dan were affected by the recession of 2008 and were unemployed at the time, yet Liz was still positive and started making cookies to help friends and families. After seeing the heavy demand for the product and the growing market, Liz and Dan started a company with Liz’s secret recipes.
Before even coming on the show, Dan and Liz had made Liz Lovely Cookies well-known across the east coast as they got their product into multiple retailers such as Whole Foods and retailers is where 90% of their sales took place. They were planning on opening a retail store, but three days before its grand opening, Hurricane Irene hit the store destroying it and everything inside. This would have been a tragedy that would cause many to quit, but to Liz and Dan it was only a minor setback and they continued their company through the sales in retail and by starting to sell online. Liz and Dan were able to get their sales to a point where they were profitable, but needed an investment to improve the margins and continue growing their business. They applied to be on Shark Tank and were invited on Season 4.
Liz Lovely Cookies on Shark Tank
Liz and Dan entered the Tank seeking $200,000 for 10%. Liz and Dan empathized how they got their company started after the recession and the challenges they faced to get to where they were. They also noted their cookies were special because they omitted common ingredients such as milk and eggs which made the cookies gluten-free and vegan, but still very tasty. Almost all the Sharks were eager to have a taste, except for Kevin who quickly addressed what the cookies could be made out of if they lacked so many ingredients. Dan defended the product, mentioning that it contained ingredients such as rice-flour and starch. After trying different flavors, Mark, Robert, and Barbara loved the cookies. Kevin, however, was skeptical, mentioning he wouldn’t eat them unless he had to.
The pitch moved onto the business side as Dan mentioned they had nearly $1,000,000 in sales the previous year, 10% of that was profitable, but that margin would increase dramatically as the company grows. They also mentioned that two cookies cost $3.99-$4.99 and their cost was $1.00 for the two. The sharks had mixed feelings about these numbers because of the low margin and high retail cost, but Dan mentioned that their prices were comparable to other cookies in their market. Dan continued to sell their brand by pointing out that one in three houses was catering to someone gluten-free and that their cookies were the best in this category because they were growing a terrific brand. He mentioned that their cookies did not sit on the shelf with tons of others; rather, they would be in the bakery department and be more evident.
Daymond asked if they had a store and Dan told them the story about the hurricane and went into detail about the challenges they faced such as being told by the bank their items would be auctioned, but getting creative to combat this and keep their business afloat. Daymond was impressed with their passion and especially Dan’s marketing skills, but stated he wasn’t “in love” with the cookies he tasted and because of that, went out. Barbara mentioned that providing them the money for equity would be more like a loan because of the situation Liz and Dan were in. Barbara felt an investment like this would not be smart from an investor perspective so she went out.
Dan addressed these concerns once again with his marketing skills, stating how the business would grow and be interested by large players who would want to acquire them as a brand. Robert wasn’t sure that this strategy would work and felt that if it did, it would take too long, and went out. Kevin was the next to speak and did something he rarely does; compliment the entrepreneur. He also felt Dan was very strong in his marketing skills, but because he didn’t like the product, he also went out. Dan didn’t give up here and started selling to Mark, revealing Mark’s interest in gluten-free products and that they market the product through sales and by actually getting the product to customers, not through PR sites like Facebook.
Mark was also impressed with Dan and the company, but questioned something he normally doesn’t: the valuation. Mark wanted Dan and Liz to give him a new offer and he would tell them if he was in or out. Dan and Liz walked out to think about the final offer they would make. They initially thought 15%, but assumed Mark would not take it. They walked backed in and gave Mark their new offer of $200,000 for 20% and mentioned that this was a little more equity than they wanted give, but felt it would be worth the partnership. Mark took a moment to think about the counter, but ultimately declined and went out. After Liz and Dan left, Mark mentioned he would have come in if they offered him 33%. Liz and Dan left very disappointed, mostly because the Sharks didn’t invest in them as people. Not getting an offer would not stop the dedicated team of Liz and Dan, however.
Liz Lovely Cookies after Shark Tank
Liz and Dan continued seeking capital after Shark Tank through outlets such as Kickstarter. Although they were not successful in the latter, they were able to raise the money they needed through debt. Although Liz Lovely Cookies has not had a Shark Tank update, they have grown their cookies into a successful brand that is carried in many special retail stores across the U.S. along with some common ones such as Vons.
Liz Lovely Cookies is very active on social media sites along with their website portraying their care for their customers just as much as the product. They mentioned doubling the business near the end of 2013, about a year after they aired on Shark Tank, and it appears as if their sales have only grown since than because of their heavy retail and online presence. Liz and Dan are a great team as they both have skills needed to be successful entrepreneurs and have used these skills along with their dedication to create a successful business.
Where can I buy this product in 2016?
You can actually buy Liz Lovely cookies on Amazon.com! There are 3 varieties available:
What are their reviews?
Almost everyone who reviews Liz Lovely Cookies on social media sites such as Facebook have given the company positive feedback as they do indeed have a product that caters the need of many, yet they make sure that their cookies have characteristics needed to get these positive reviews such as quality ingredients, good taste, and affordability.