Mee-Ma’s Louisiana Gumbo Brick

Louisiana Gumbo Brick

Carol Foster pitches the Sharks on her frozen gumbo product called Mee-Ma’s Louisiana Gumbo Brick in Shark Tank episode 421. The single mom and former truck driver is a re-located Louisiana native who broke out an old family recipe for a “N’Awlins” favorite and started selling it online in 2007 and serving it in her restaurant in 2009. Unfortunately, the ceiling of the restaurant collapsed in October, 2010 after heavy rains, but Carol says it was “God lettin’ me know it’s time to move on and concentrate on the Gumbo Brick.” Basically, the gumbo brick is a frozen block of roux base for making authentic Louisiana style gumbo; all you need to do is add sausage and shrimp (and a few more spices if you want some extra ZING). Each gumbo brick “accepts” 3-4 pounds of meat and serves 6-8 people. Mee-Ma’s Louisiana Gumbo Brick is available online from their website and at several Los Angeles area independent markets.

Mee-Ma’s Louisiana Gumbo Brick Shark Tank Recap

Carol Estella Foster comes to the Shark Tank looking for an investment of $200,000 in return for a 20% stake in Mee-Ma’s Louisiana Gumbo Brick. Foster explains how she developed her recipe into frozen “bricks” which contained the base for gumbo, ready for the user to add water and meat.

She’s been able to sell $500,000 in two years, appearing in Costco three days a week and presenting the gumbo to customers there. Costco wants to stock Mee-Ma’s Louisiana Gumbo Brick, and Foster holds a contract, but she needs financing to meet the order.

Mark Cuban doesn’t believe Foster is ready to scale up to the level she’s moving toward yet. He’s out.

Daymond John agrees with Cuban. He believes she’s too small and not ready, and he’s out.

Kevin O’Leary says that “the product is fantastic, but the infrastructure just isn’t there.”

Robert Herjavec believes the margins are too small and believes Foster needs a specific type of partner, who can lead her through the industry and the scaling process. He’s out.

Lori Greiner “loves” Foster, and loves the gumbo, but believes the valuation is too high. Foster explains that she’s homeless at the moment, and dedicating every moment of her life to getting her business off the ground. In a shocking move, O’Leary speaks up. “This isn’t right. This is crazy,” he says, devoid of sarcasm. “I’ll put up half. Are you in?” Greiner looks slightly shell-shocked, but quickly recovers. The pair offer Foster a deal: $200,000 in exchange for 50% of the company. She’s in desperate need of their business acumen, and she accepts. “That’s what makes America great; people like you,” says O’Leary in a rare sincerely emotional moment. Foster walks out with a Shark deal.

Mee-Ma’s Louisiana Gumbo Brick Shark Tank Update

Despite Kevin O’Leary’s reputation of having a cash register for a heart, it’s clear that Foster’s story got to him. Her dedication to her business, and to providing for her young daughter, moved the normally cynical Shark to make an offer on a product he believed in. Success came modestly at first, but Mee-Ma’s Louisiana Gumbo Brick is selling strong. The product is now a staple at Costco, Safeway, Publix, and several other retail outlets, as well as being available online. Landing a Shark deal provided Foster the boost she needed to take her gumbo to the next level. A once homeless truckdriver, Foster is now running a very successful company, all because a Shark saw potential in her story and invested in her determination to succeed.

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Comments

  1. Rick Morales says:

    I called Carol and found out where I can get some her Gumbo. I had to drive 30 minutes to the location and found it. Tonight I made us the Seafood Gumbo and it turned out great. The simplicity is exactly as advertised and it tastes great. Thanks Carol 😉

  2. Sherrie Patrick says:

    Why not sell it online ? Mee-Ma’s Louisiana Gumbo Brick Information. I live in TEXAS we need good base for Gumbo……HELP

    • Robert F Sawart II says:

      I would love to see the product offered on line. Yet knowing the food industry to ship it would have to be overnight and the cost of dry ice is expensive to buy and also expensive to keep, that the shipping cost would out way the real retail value. I hope to see it soon in the Grocery Stores World Wide.
      Best Of the World Carol
      Robert @ millenniumchess.com

  3. Barbara mcduff says:

    I live in Houston,Texas area to exact Pasadena , Texas, 77504 zip. Is your gumbo bricks available in my area? It sounds delicious, would love to try some. Waiting for your reply. thank you . Saw you on The Shark Tank tonight, it brought me to tears, so glad you got the help you need. I pray God blesses you abundantly. Barbara

  4. Gail Little says:

    I would love buy some of this gumbo. Will it be in Atlanta, Ga. soon or online?

  5. Pat Ellison says:

    Wow Mr Wonderful was wonder! Nashville TN. Where can I get the brick? Dying to try. 37075

  6. I’m in the Detroit area. Saw you on Shark Tank was wondering if your product is or will be in the near future available here. If not will we be able to order on-line? Dying to try it. Please let me know something.

  7. I just have to say….Carrol I came to the location on Vermont and 83rd this past Saturday 9/21/2013 and purchased a bowl of gumbo. That was the best gumbo I’ve ever had in my life!! I wanna thank you so much and I wish you much success and peace in life. I noticed you said you didn’t have a church home, well my home is your home come and visit us at cccla on 87th and broadway 90003 the website is http://www.cccla.org

  8. It’s been over a year. Where’s the update on the company and availability?

  9. Ronda mcclain says:

    Girl!!! You had me cryin and calling out Lori’s heart to open up for you! And lo and behold for Kevin to jump before Lori did! SMH! For me that was a miracle straight from God! Lori , Kevin and Carol May God’s Goodness and mercy follow you all along with your prosperity! One more thing! I’ll be looking for your blocks between Connecticut, Atlanta, California and Florida. From time to time, that’s how I move! If I can’t find it I’ll be lookin for it on line. God Bless.

  10. I saw Carol on Shark Tank last night and was delighted to hear her testimony. She sounds like an amazing woman with enough dedication, drive and now support from THE SHARKS to make her dream a reality. I am so happy that she did not give up and loose sight of the blessing God has for her. Carol, continue to trust God with your life totally and I guarantee He will direct your path. A great big THANK YOU to Mr. Wonderful (Mr. O’Leary) and Mrs. Lori Grenier for their support. Mr Wonderful, you are redeemed.
    Carol, please remain humble and always give God the praise for what He and only He has done.
    Thank you for allowing me to voice my comment. I appreciate it.

  11. Looks like meemas is one of the many shark tank deals that never went through. According to her twitter they threw her under the bus. Looks like they do this a lot. After due diligence many deals are never finalized. But they knew her story before they made the deal.

    • Only 1 in 3 deals made on the air get finalized. Sometimes the Shark backs out, sometimes the business backs out.

    • Billy Bob Thornton says:

      It is Reality Televison. It is FAKE, and all done for Ratings! Ratings = Dollars
      There has only been One True Reality Series, and it was called Cops, but even Cops had to have their Police Officers with film crews sent to calls out of their area just so they`d have action to film. Otherwise it wouldn`t have worked either.
      Dog the Bounty hunter is another one. If they don`t have anyone to catch, they just film an arrest of someone they Bailed out on a Bogus Infraction.
      Wake Up America!

  12. Hi I love to try this product love gumbo where can I buy this in louisiana

  13. A. Drew Walker says:

    Im sure the sharks have thought of this, why not repackage it in a vacuum sealed freezer bag, slap a company sticker on it (possibly using a different brand to not dilute the Mee-Mas branding, no pun intended) and sell it to the restaurant business through HUGE purveyors/distributors such a Sysco or US Foods? Almost every restaurant has a soup of the day, wouldnt it be great to occasionally serve a traditionally “time consuming to make” gumbo? Another caveat is utilizing and re-purposing meat that is at the end of its daily fresh cycle, one thing about gumbo, you can darn near add anything (if the roux n base are top notch, which Mee-Mas sounds like it is) and it will be great…Continued success…

  14. Joan Lowder says:

    Don’t like spicy but I’d like to try it.. made for 2 people.

  15. I am a Costco member in Wash., D.C. Hopefully, it’s in this location

  16. So you know I just heard the founder call a legal radio show syndicated and available via podcast called Handel on the Law.(really funny and great podcast by the way) What you saw on tv was just for the cameras. She never got any of that money. Listed to podcast Handel on the law 2/6/16 (The segment is called Trading one Ball and Chain for Another. Many viewers to Shark Tank may not know what many of the deals fall apart and never happen. The women is upset that they showed that segment 4-5 times via refunds and she never got any money. The product is on sale at some Costcos and via her website http://www.gumbobrick.com/

    • But people found out about her product because of the re-runs, so there’s that

    • North Carolina says:

      The contract they sign to appear on the show lays out the terms. They reserve the right to do due diligence on everyone they make an offer to after the show. Her deal didn’t work out, but she knew it was a 50/50 chance anyway.

      I heard her on a rerun of Handel today. She made that call just to get some free publicity. Handel pointed out the due diligence part and that they can rerun the show as many times as they want. She admits that she knew that. Ridiculous.

  17. I ordered over $80 of Carol’s products online and never received the shipment. She said one email and said she was a little behind on shipments so I politely said no problem. It is now Sept. and I still have not received my order. Basically stole money! So now I have a hard time believing anything with Shark Tank.

    • North Carolina says:

      That’s not the show’s fault. The woman stole your money. I hope you disputed the charge. Great example of not everyone is as they seem.

  18. JEFFREY TURNER says:

    I just heard this lady on the radio and shark tank reneged the deal after the show…

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