TurboBaster Before Shark Tank
Marian Cruz, an extremely talented and innovative home cook, became an inventor and entrepreneur when she created the TurboBaster. Five years prior to her appearing on the show Shark Tank was when Marian began working on her battery operated prototype. By taking a new modern spin on the traditional bulb baster, Cruz set forth to invent a new kitchen appliance that would make the lives of all home cooks extremely easier.
The TurboBaster was made with the intention to reduce the stress levels and difficulty for men and women in the kitchen whenever they wanted to have, say, chicken or turkey or dinner. The process of basting either forms of poultry can be an extremely tedious task because when baking these birds, it becomes extremely easy to dry them out. The TurboBaster is battery operated kitchen appliance that effectively replaces all bulb baster and basting brushes. It has a silicone baster and better contains marinades. The overall concept for the appliance is revolutionary for the kitchen, but Marian could hardly start up her own business without the help from outside investors. So, in an attempt to raise the funds that her new company would require, she took to the Shark Tank in hopes that one of the Sharks would see great potential in her product and give her the money and connections that she needed.
TurboBaster On Shark Tank
After introducing herself, Cruz beings by telling the Sharks that she is looking for $35k for a 30% hold of her company. She then goes on to tell the tale of how the idea for this product came about. During one Thanksgiving holiday dinner, Marian was using a traditional bulb baster to baste the turkey. She explained that while using this baster, it failed miserably to hold in the liquid and splashed everywhere, creating one big mess that she didn’t necessarily feel like cleaning up. After coming to the realization that this traditional tool was hardly useful, she went on to create the TurboBaster. Her intention is to replace bulb basting, basting brushes, and marinade injectors by combining them all into one singular product. Cruz demonstrates the vision of her product by showing the Sharks a video, which displays both the brush and injector tips that the TurboBaster would come with. Robert Herjavec praises her for the idea, commenting that it’s “amazing” and it’s like she is “building a rocket”. Cruz tells them that this is something that she had been working on for 5 years and that she believes any dedicated chef, or simply someone who enjoys cooking, will want to have this appliance in their kitchen.
Daymond John speaks up to ask her if the injecting tip could also be a temperature gauge, but Herjavec quickly chimes in to take a playful jab at him, joking that John has never been in his kitchen before. Moving back to the actual product, Barbara Corcoran inquires on how the product would be cleaned. Cruz tells them that the baster would come apart for easy cleaning, but when asked to demonstrate, she tells them that she only brought with her a prototype that does not yet work. Surprised, Herjavec comes to the realization she hasn’t yet built the TurboBaster, but only brought along a great theoretical video of it. While Corcoran asks to see the prototype, Kevin O’Leary asks her what she thinks the estimated price range would be. Cruz explains how she will offer two types of basters, one being “fashion kitchen colors” which will cost $19.99, and the other stainless steel will price at around $29.99. Herjavec asks her what she thinks it will cost to make one of these appliances, but she fails to give him an answer because she hasn’t done the research or calculated anything out yet. This does not impress the Sharks, but at least she has the advantage of being the only person with a product idea like this. However, still not completely sold, Herjavec asks Cruz to convince him that there is a market for this product so that he has something to go off of other than her “charming” personality. “Because it does more than one thing” is her answer, and O’Leary is terribly underwhelmed with the response. O’Leary then goes on to ask her whether or not she believed it would have been important to be able to present the manufacturing costs to a potential investor, especially when she is asking for $35k. Answering truthfully, she tells them that she hadn’t prepared that kind of information because she is a “newbie” to the business world.
Herjavec attempts to throw her a lifeline by asking what kind of sales traditional basters have, but unfortunately Cruz has no answer to that question either. The Sharks then go back and forth discussing what the sales might be like until Herjavec questions why they are even helping her. They all unanimously agree that it’s because they “love” her. Well, except for O’Leary who said he would have hosed her down and hit her with an electric cattle prod every time she answered with “I don’t know”, had she been in one of his business classes. Having come to the show with no sales, an inactive prototype, and no useful information, she should have been kicked out but the Sharks, excluding O’Leary, agree that kindness goes a long way.
First to make a decision on whether or not to invest is O’Leary, who decides not to because she doesn’t know her numbers and can’t even tell him whether or not there is any money to be made with her product. Agreeing with him, Corcoran pulls out because she has no idea what the production cost is going to be. Even Herjavec, who confesses to cutting her a lot more slack than the other Sharks, can’t invest into her company because he doesn’t know what the numbers are going to look like. Kevin Harrington takes his turn to speak up, saying that he likes the brand name and that he does a lot of business with television shopping channels, which would be crucial in the sales of her product. He offers to give her the $35k so long as he gets control in a licensing deal, but would then pay her a royalty. Corcoran advises her to ask what the royalty would be, but O’Leary tells her to simply accept the deal. Harrington tells her that he’ll give her 2% of sales in addition to a royalty. She is just about to accept the deal when John brings a halt to things to put his deal on the table.
Daymond John offers Cruz $40k for 51% of her company and an additional 2% royalty off the top of the TurboBaster sales. He tries to appeal to her by saying that with his offer, she will have a partner who will manufacture her product and they can invest in creating new products as well. Harrington says that he’s more experienced in selling kitchen products, but John doesn’t see the relevance in that because he wants the deal. In a last ditch effort to win Cruz over, John raises his offer to $50k for the terms mentioned previously. After taking a minute to ponder over her options, Cruz finally decides to make a deal with Harrington, deciding that it would be the best deal for her product
TurboBaster Now in 2018- The After Shark Tank Update
After appearing on the show, Marian and Kevin did follow through with their deal and Kevin acquired the rights to TurboBaster. TV Goods, Harrington’s own company, made this announcement not too long after the airing of the episode, however not much has happened since then. During the six months after the pair made a deal, TurboBaster didn’t make it very far. The product still is not on the market and both the website and Facebook pages have been taken down. Apparently the product was a bust.