Prime 6 Before Shark Tank
When it comes to grilling food, charcoal seems to be the most used substance people burn. Though, grilling with charcoal is actually not the best choice. Charcoal burns quite quickly, which makes it more quickly for pieces of the charcoal to be released into the food. It also means that consumers may need to replace the charcoal throughout the grilling process. Additionally, burning charcoal is not safe for ones health or the environment. Due to this, a company called Prime 6 has created a sustainable alternative to grilling without the use of charcoal.
Prime 6 is an eco-friendly alternative to charcoal. With this product, there are no sparks or smoke during the grilling process. Prime 6 charcoal is made from carbonized hardwood sawdust, which is then formed into thick blocks of charcoal. This hardwood sawdust is what makes Prime 6 eco-friendly. This product is intended for outdoor grilling scenes only; however, it can be used in outdoor smokers and ovens as well. Although these charcoal blocks are dense, they can be broken up into smaller pieces in order to fit wherever needed. Additionally, the blocks are shaped as hexagons, which allows for better circulation during cooking. One single block of Prime 6 charcoal can be used up to seven times before it will need to be replaced.
Prime 6 was founded by a husband-and-wife team, Riki and Oron Franco. Both of whom have experience in entrepreneurship. Before launching Prime 6, Riki studied for her master’s degree in Business Administration & International management from Columbia Southern University from 2009 to 2012. During college, she was working as a global financial controller with Diamonds International, but she left that in job in 2013. She had a few other jobs in-between founding and co-founding her other businesses, but he first co-founded businesses were The Private Chef NYC and FeedMe by Cookila Inc. It wasn’t until January 2018 when Riki started her own business, Innovation Partners NYC. Now, the founder is a mentor for three different companies, a co-founder for Alpha Cats, and the founder and CEO of Prime 6.
Oron, on the other hand, studied at the International Culinary Center from 2005 to 2010, and he graduated with his diploma in culinary arts. While in college, Oron was working with Diamonds International, but as the loss prevention and security director. Like Riki, her husband was also a co-founder, as well as a CEO, for FeedMe by Cookila Inc. Aside from those jobs, he also worked with The Private Chef NYC and Westville Restaurant Group; both were long-term jobs. Now, Oron is a full-time co-founder and COO of Prime 6.
Riki and Oron started Prime 6 in September of 2018. Within a few months, they had secured a partnership with Western Beef, who had talked about getting Prime 6 charcoal to be available through Instacart. So far, they’re selling their products on their website and in Lowes and Walmart. In addition to that, some culinary professionals such as Group Manhattan, Union Square Hospitality Group, and Star Restaurant Group have been known to use Prime 6 charcoal.
Prime 6 on Shark Tank
Riki and Oron Franco enter Shark Tank on November 20, 2020, for season 12-episode 6. The founders are hoping to land a deal of $200,000 in exchange for a 10% equity in their eco-friendly charcoal, Prime 6. At the time of the episode being aired, Prime 6 had an estimated valuation of $2 million. Riki and Oron begin pitching their charcoal to the sharks. Riki performs a demonstration of how the Prime 6 charcoal is to be used. So far, the sharks appear to like the product and the couple’s pitch. Since the launch of Prime 6, Riki and Oron have done $300,000 in sales within a year. Additionally, before coming on the show, the couple received an order worth $130,000 from Lowe’s. Prime 6 charcoal comes in a 9-pound box, which is sold for $18.99; the charcoal blocks only cost the founders about $3.39 to manufacture.
Kevin O’Leary makes Riki and Oron an offer first. He says that he can help them with their sales, leading him to offer them $200,000 in exchange for a 25% equity. This is also when some of the sharks begin to back out. Mark Cuban states that he has already invested in a similar business, Instafire; therefore, he cannot invest in Prime 6. Lori Greiner also states that investing in this company may be a conflict of interest, so she goes out as well. Guest shark, Blake Mycoskie, goes out next, after telling Riki and Oron that he doesn’t feel like it’s the right business venture for him. Although most of the investors backed out, the founders did receive a second deal from Daymond John. He offers the couple $200,000 in exchange for a 25% equity as well, the same offer as Mr. Wonderful presented. Between the two offers, Riki and Oron chose to accept Kevin’s deal.
Prime 6 Now in 2023 – The After Shark Tank Update
After Riki and Oron Franco landed a deal with Kevin O’Leary, they’ve seemed to have kept the Prime 6 business going strong. The Shark Tank episode they appeared on brought them many more sales, as well as partnerships with more food services. Some of these services include Fortune Fish & Gourmet, Sysco, PFG, Baldor, Us Foods, and a couple more. Going back to their sales after the show aired, Prime 6 had done $1.3 million in sales within just three months. Since then, this businesses products have been increasingly more in-demand. Additionally, Prime 6 is still available for purchase on Amazon and the Prime 6 website; however, it’s also made its way into some new store locations. Some of those stores consist of Walmart, Woodman’s Markets, Albertson’s, Safeway, Piggly Wiggly, Kroger, Lowe’s, and many more.