Journeyman NFL defensive lineman Al “Bubba” Baker feeds the Sharks some of his Bubba Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs in episode 513 on December 6. Baker, whose NFL career spanned 12 years, did stints with the Lions, Cardinals, Vikings, and Browns from 1978-1990 and was defensive rookie of the year. Since he retired from the gridiron, he's built quite a following in Cleveland with his successful restaurant called Bubba's Q.
Bubba's Q slow smokes all their meats with apple wood until they're “fall off the bone tender.” This is where he got the idea to start selling Bubba Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs to the masses. They don't use flap meat for their Bubba Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs – they de-bone each rack by hand. The result is a delicious, easy to eat, barbecue treat that he says is more like a steak than a rack of ribs.
Baker is likely looking for a Shark to help get the retail business off the ground.
Bubba Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs Shark Tank Recap
Al enters with his daughter Britney seeking $300,000 in exchange for 15% equity in his business. He explains his love of barbecued ribs and how his wife hates the mess. While warming ribs in the microwave, he explains how his wife's disdain for messy ribs made him find a way to de-bone them after cooking.
Once the ribs are ready, he hands out samples and the Sharks LOVE them. While eating, they ask about his football career – then the real questions start. Kevin wants to know if there is anything proprietary about the product. Al produces two patents: one for de-boned ribs and one for the de-boning process. Mr. Wonderful says he's never seen a patent for a food product in the Tank.
He's done $154,000 in sales for the year, and has ribs for sale in 48 stores. Barbara wants to know why it took him so long to get started and he says his daughter pushed him after she said she wanted to quit track. She said “you gave up on your ribs,” which inspired Bubba to get going with the business. Britney is now his partner.
Kevin decides to offer $300,000 for 49% of the business, contingent on licensing the patented process. He says he'll call on the largest meat packer in the USA and get a deal. Daymond calls Kevin a “greedy savage” and offers $300,000 for 30% because he loves ribs so much.
Robert says Bubba is paying a big premium for a phone call with Kevin's deal and he goes out. Barbara says Kevin and Daymond's offers are better than hers, so she goes out. Mark goes out for the same reasons as Barbara. After a moment of reflection, Bubba accepts Daymond's offer.
RESULT: DEAL with Daymond for $300K for 30%
Bubba Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs Shark Tank Update
The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. Bubba Q Boneless Baby Back Ribs has grown, but not without some struggles. The company was featured in Beyond the Tank Episode 1. Click HERE for a full recap.
A second update occurs in season 8, episode 823.