Sweet Ballz entrepreneur James McDonald introduces his cake balls to the Shark Tank in the season 5 premier. McDonald has been making cake balls for years and went from baking them for friends and family to nationwide distribution in over 5,000 retail locations. With tongue firmly in cheek, McDonald says of his business start-up: “It took balls for us to do this.” The company conducted a fund-raiser for testicular cancer in June 2013 – a move that led some Dallas area news outlets to question whether or not the announced fund-raiser was a prank! Double entendres aside, Sweet Ballz has a dynamic business model and distribution through thousands of 7-11 stores. There is no online ordering mechanism on the company website, but the 7-11 deal was announced in March 2013. Sweet Ballz hopes to be to cake balls what Wicked Good Cupcakes is to cupcakes.
Sweet Ballz Shark Tank Recap
James McDonald and Cole Egger came into the Tank seeking $250K for 10% of their business. They asked the Sharks “which Shark is ready to make some sweet sweet dough with our sweet balls?” The Sharks quickly entered into feeding frenzy mode when they found out Sweet Ballz had over $700K in sales in just 90 days – mostly through 7-11 stores.
Barbara tried to grab Sweet Ballz first, offering $250K for 40%. Kevin followed her offer with $250K for 30%, but wants a monthly distribution based on McDonald and Egger’s compensation. Lori’s also a player; she wants to put Sweet Ballz on QVC and offer $250K for 36% with a similar distribution arrangement as Mr. Wonderful. The feeding frenzy is now in full force!
Robert wants to get in on the deal and offers $250K for 25% of the business; he thinks he can put Sweet Ballz in Costco stores with his connections. Mark hasn’t been heard from yet and he offers to come in with Barbara at $250K for 25%. This prompts Robert, Lori and Kevin to join forces with an offer of $250K for 30%. All five Sharks want some Sweet Ballz! James and Cole elect to go with Mark and Barbara and leave the Shark Tank with a Sweet Deal; unfortunately, their deals sours quickly after the show airs.
Sweet Ballz Shark Tank Update
After scoring a deal with Mark and Barbara, things went sour for Sweet Ballz. The Sweet Ballz website went down and the partners ended up in court. This tale of greed, stupidity, and wasted opportunity may be the sorriest Shark Tank failure ever insomuch as this business was poised to make a killing and they never got the chance to capitalize on the Shark Tank Effect. Read the full Sweet Ballz update: Sour Ballz: Sweet Ballz Deal in Court