Corks Away Wine Adventures

corks away wine adventuresNathan Buffet and Shane Cianciolo come to episode 411 with their business, Corks Away Wine Adventures. The pair started out with a single refurbished sail boat, running fancy vineyard tours along the California coast that include appetizers and wine tastings. Now, they'd like to franchise their idea and expand the business to include more boats along more coasts. Will the Sharks set sail with Corks Away Wine Adventures, or will this be an idea that sinks to the bottom?

Corks Away Wine Adventures Shark Tank Recap

The pair enter the Shark Tank boldly, requesting $105,000 in return for 20% of the company. They give a presentation of the wine and appetizers, passing out samples. The Sharks enjoy the treats and sip the wine while the entrepreneurs explain the various packages available.

The Sharks want to know what lies beneath the schtick. Buffet explains that they have a four-part business plan, and are currently on “phase 2.” The first phase was “proof of concept.” With $250,000 in sales in the first year, they feel confident in their business. Even Mr. Wonderful is impressed by those numbers; “When you first came out here, I thought you were two bozos in a boat, but you're not so dumb. You've done a quarter of a million in sales on one boat, that's not bad.”

The second stage is expansion. They'd like to go to other captains and offer franchise opportunities. Buffet lays out the plan. The franchises would cost $175,000, and would include a boat, and a business plan, so that new captains would have “all of the tools necessary” to start their own version of Corks Away Wine Adventures.

The boats cost $35,000, and the Sharks are skeptical about the idea of captains being willing to pay such a hefty mark-up to get in on the franchise. The third stage is taking their appetizers to retail stores, an idea that the Sharks find ludicrous. The pair are not discouraged, however, and power on to talk about stage four: Taking Cork's Away in a new direction and creating an indoor wine-tasting cruise tour, in Las Vegas.

Mark Cuban believes the business isn't scalable. The number of areas in which Corks Away Wine Adventures franchises could be successful is limited, and the market is niche. He's out.

Robert Herjavec believes the business plan “just isn't adding up.” He's out. Daymond John suggests that they call their indoor ride the “Relaxing Reisling Ride,” making the pirate's characteristic “Arrr,” but advice is all he has for the Captains. He's out.

Kevin O'Leary calls the pair “comics,” and thinks they have a “good little business” going, but he doesn't believe the business is “investable.” He's enjoyed the wine, but he's “so out.”

Barbara Corcoran “loves” the pair, and thinks she'd have a lot of fun working with them, but says “I couldn't sleep at night, knowing you had my money.” The final Shark is out, and the pair leave the Tank with no deal.

Corks Away Wine Adventures Shark Tank Update

In spite of their failure in the Shark Tank, Buffet and Cianciolo didn't give up on their business. They went on to purchase a second boat that accommodated up to 25 guests, and continued to offer their wine tours up and down the coast. For a time, Cork's Away was a successful venture, but today the website has vanished, and the business has closed down. The guys took their boats to El Salvador and are building an Eco Tourism business at Santos Marina.

Posts about Corks Away Wine Adventures on Shark Tank Blog

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