Copper Cow Coffee Before Shark Tank
Copper Cow Coffee is a company that sells Vietnamese coffee, as well as some lattes, and teas. This is a simple coffee that doesn’t require a coffee machine, as it is just like making a cup of tea. To make Copper Cow Coffee, just remove the filter with the coffee grounds in it from its packaging, prop the filter up over a coffee mug, and pour hot water through the filter. The coffee they make is all organic and black-roasted; it doesn’t contain any added sugars or sweeteners. Their coffees come in a variety of flavors, such as Classic, Classic Decaf, Salted Caramel, Ginger, Lavender, Mocha, Churro, Vanilla, Raspberry, and Pumpkin Spice Latte. They also sell a sampler package of their Best Brews Latte. In addition to their coffee selection, Copper Cow Coffee sells their own line of coffee creamers. These creamers come in a Classic Creamer flavor and a Mocha Creamer flavor; they are also completely organic with no added ingredients.
Debbie Wei Mullin founded Copper Cow Coffee in 2017. Before starting this coffee business, the founder had started her first business. This business was called the Wei pantry, and she launched it in 2014. The business was based on distributing foods from the Vietnam heritage; however, that venture didn’t end up becoming a success. Debbie is Vietnamese, American, so she grew up surrounded by Vietnamese culture. The Vietnamese coffee, however, tends to be one of her favorite treats to indulge in. Debbie grew up drinking Vietnamese coffees. Vietnam is already well-known for having a popular type of coffee, which they export to countries all over the globe; however, she would like to share more of the culture with a wider range of the world.
Prior to getting into her entrepreneurial career, Debbie attended the University of California and graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Economics. From there, she went on to be a research assistant with the Urban Institute for about a year and a half. She then attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she finished Urban Studies and Planning before going on to become a Senior Program Officer for The Asia Foundation. She remained in this position for a little over 2 years. Her final job before launching her own businesses was at the World Bank.
Debbie launched Copper Cow Coffee with the intention of spreading the Vietnamese heritage across the world. She was able to expand her products into over 3,000 physical stores, including stores like Bloomingdale’s, Walmart, Whole Foods, Sprouts Farmers Market, and Nordstrom’s. Within her first two years of running this new business, the founder made $1 million in sales and another $2 million in sales a year later. Fortunately, the Covid pandemic hitting in 2020 didn’t affect her business at all. In fact, during the pandemic, Debbie was still selling enough coffee, bringing her into millions of dollars. Copper Cow Coffee already seems to be doing quite well; however, Debbie is determined to see if a shark could help her pick up her business quicker.
Copper Cow Coffee on Shark Tank
Debbie Wei Mullin takes the stage of Shark Tank searching for a $600,000 deal in exchange for a 4% equity in her business, Copper Cow Coffee. This deal would suggest that her business is worth of valuation of $15 million thus far. Debbie pitches her business to the shark, telling them all about her background and why she loves Vietnamese coffee so much. At this point, she has been running this business for about four years. She then added in a brief explanation as to how to make the coffee she sells. Her Vietnamese coffee packs only cost her $3.10 to make, and they sell for $15 each. Already, Lori Greiner makes positive comments about the packaging design of the coffees.
Debbie shares her sales information with the sharks next. In 2017, just shortly after launching the company, Copper Cow Coffee was already in 1,000 stores. During this year, she made $170,000 in sales, with another $500,000 in 2018, and another $1.6 million the year after. By 2020, before appearing on Shark Tank, Debbie had already done $2 million in sales, though the year wasn’t over yet. 20% of her sales were coming from physical retail stores, while the other 80% was coming from her online store. Her lifetime sales by this time were up to $4 million. The sharks weren’t too happy after hearing of Debbie’s margins. They eventually asked how her business has been able to remain up and running, to which she responded, saying that she did get funding and was able to get a couple million dollars both times.
Daymond John was the first shark to speak up. Unfortunately, he began to denounce the founder due to her struggles with her business. He accused her of wasting the money those previous investors had provided her with. Though, Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec quickly stood up for her. Lori Greiner was a fan of the coffee business, but she was not interested in investing in it. Kevin O’Leary chimes in next to tell Debbie that he thinks her asking deal is too high for the business. Due to this, he goes out of the deal. Robert, on the other hand, thinks that Copper Cow Coffee is worth investing in. Given that, he offers Debbie $600,000 in exchange for 8% of the business with a valuation of $7.5 million. Debbie tries to counter offer the shark down to a 4.5% equity and a 1% share. Robert explains that he isn’t willing to adjust the equity and Debbie accepts his deal anyway.
Copper Cow Coffee Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
Following Debbie’s appearance on Shark Tank, it has not been said whether the deal with Robert Herjavec has been finalized; however, Copper Cow Coffee seems to be doing quite well, nonetheless. Copper Cow Coffee has seen an increase in sales and as of 2023, the business has reached an annual revenue of $3 million. Additionally, the business has seen quite a few upgrades. For instance, Debbie has expanded her coffees into more stores around the United States, including Thrive Market. And she introduced a seasonal Halloween Mystery Treat Bag this year, which was dropped down to a discount price of $17.
Early last year, in 2021, Copper Cow Coffee participated in a few more fundings, where an assortment of eight investors raised the business $8.5 million. Though, once they got up to thirteen investors, the business had the raised $11.5 million. The main investor came from The Arborview Capital, Cultivian Sandbox Ventures. Following these fundings, Copper Cow Coffee began doing Wholesale and Hospitality orders, including orders for the Hilton Hotels locations.