Pinole Blue Before Shark Tank
Pinole Blue is a company that makes foods and mixes from organic blue corn. The company sells a variety of products such as tortillas, snacks, mixes, and even some apparel items. These products are made from roasted blue corn, seeds, and nuts, which are meant to promote a healthy eating lifestyle. Because of the natural ingredients being used, the products that Pinole Blue sells are high in protein, fiber, and antioxidants. As it stands, the company sells their products on their website. Their mixes are set at $11.50, and a pack of their tortillas is around $30.
Pinole Blue was started in 2017 in Wichita, Kansas by Eddie Sandoval. Eddie completed his studies to get his bachelor’s degree in Business Finance from Wichita State University. After graduation, the founder worked for a few companies, as well as did a few internships. In October 2014, Eddie was working at INTRUST Bank within the customer solutions center. After that, he did three internships for three different companies. The first internship was for Criser, Gough, and Parrish; then there was Koch Supply & Trading, and Solomon Corporation. He concluded his time as an intern in August of 2016. In was in March of 2017 that Eddie launched his startup company, Pinole Blue.
The inspiration behind the Pinole Blue startup came to Eddie while he was studying at Wichita State University. The founder grew up in Chihuahua, Mexico, where recipes involving blue corn were quite popular. Eddie would travel back to Mexico two times each year to visit his family. Each time, they would make a meal with the blue corn and he would have a chance to take some back home with him. While back in Wichita, Kansas, Eddie got to thinking about how difficult it can be to get this ingredient, so many people haven’t had it in a while. After some thought, he got the idea to start Pinole Blue, and after trying out the idea on his professor, she advised him to take the jump into starting his business.
Pinole Blue started in the founder’s college dorm room. The founder started by purchasing half a ton of organic blue corn. He then began making the products and packaging them up to sell locally. Eventually, Eddie and his co-founder, Kyle Offutt, entered an annual venture competition held in Wichita State. Here, Pinole Blue won a grand prize of $10,000. Since then, the founder has started marketing his products on TikTok; Kyle is the main content creator of these ads. Before deciding to appear on Shark Tank, Eddie had gotten his Pinole Blue products into a few Whole Foods locations around Kansas, and he even chose to donate some of the products to about 14 million people when the pandemic hit. Though, now, he thinks he needs a shark’s guidance into a bigger retail distribution.
Pinole Blue on Shark Tank
Eddie Sandoval, his co-founder Kyle Offutt, and his business professor Kate appeared on Shark Tank in search of a $300,000 deal in return for a 10% equity in the Pinole Blue startup. Eddie starts pitching his company to investors by telling them about Pinole, and he tells them how he brought Pinole to the United States. After that introduction, the founder provides each shark with a sample of a Pinole Blue taco, cookie, and a drink. They seem to be pleased by the taste. At the time of filming, the company had done $720,000 in sales, and they believe they’ll make $730,000 by the end of the current year. The sharks don’t appear to be happy with this information, especially after hearing about how low their net profits are.
Mark Cuban is the first to speak, and he goes out of the deal quickly. He tells Eddie that Pinole Blue’s products are very niche, and that people won’t know that the company sells without an explanation. This may make it difficult for them to sell the products, which is why Mark won’t be investing. Barbara Corcoran backs out next due to feeling like it’s too early in the business. Unfortunately, Lori Greiner and the guest shark, Emma Grede, agreed that it was too early on; therefore, they backed out as well. The last shark left was Kevin O’Leary. He shares that he is impressed by the sales and that this is a brand he’d buy; however, he thinks it will be difficult to help customers understand what the products are. With that, he backs out and Pinole Blue leaves the tank without a contract.
Pinole Blue Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
Despite Eddie, Kyle, and Kate not getting a deal while on Shark Tank, the Pinole Blue business seems to be doing well. After the show aired, the company shared a video on their Instagram page of the many new orders they had received. More specifically, they had gotten thousands of new orders. As of August 2022, the founders launched a new product called Azulitas Chocolate Chips. For this, they started a Kickstarter campaign, which gained them 153 backers within a month, as well as $11,199 in funding. In 2022, Pinole Blue won an award in the Good Food Awards 2022 grain category. Other 2022 successes they’ve accomplished include beginning their partnership with KeHe distribution and getting their products available in Kansas’ Taco Naco location. Additionally, Pinole Blue’s products have made their way into over 50 stores such as Cox Farms Market, Whole Foods, Cornucopia Market, and many more stores across the United States.