Mee-Mas Gumbo is founded by Carol Foster who has been selling gumbo to her friends and relatives for many years. When she first appeared on Shark Tank, her audition tape was played for the audience. Here, Carol and her 12-year-old daughter were shown living in a one-bedroom apartment that did not have much furniture. With them, lived their grandmother who passed down her gumbo recipe to Carol. It did not take much time for Carol to perfect this recipe and soon, she was selling street food and her business grew popular by the day. She sacrificed a lot for her dream and was willing to put in all the hard work with a little bit of help from the Sharks.
The idea behind her business is that good gumbo Is not easy to make- it takes a long time and is not available in grocery stores or restaurants. Carol has been around the country and has tasted all the gumbo she could find. She knows the secret to the best gumbo which is why her friends and relatives are so fond of it. In fact, over the holidays, she receives orders from her friends but all of them want their gumbo to be customized- something she does not have the time or money for since each batch of gumbo takes hours to prepare.
Instead, she came up with the idea to make a spicy gumbo base that her friends can personalize depending on their preference and taste. Her business idea encompassed a couple of varieties of gumbo base including seafood, chicken, and pork. When she makes the Sharks try her gumbo, each of them falls in love with it. There is not a single Shark who does not compliment Carol’s gumbo recipe. There is some frozen okra in their gumbo too which receives special praise from the Sharks.
Carol has been selling the gumbo brinks at church events and also supplies them to the Local Costco stores in her neighborhood. Even though her business is only regional right now, she wants to make it national but lacks the funds to do is. The recipe is simple- a customer would have to add 8 cups of water to each gumbo block, along with up to 5 pounds of any meat that they preferred. The gumbo would then take 45 minutes or less to prepare. Even though her gumbo has been doing wonderfully well, Carol has had a hard time keeping up with the inventory that she was meant to supply to stores.
Every gumbo that Mee-Mas Gumbo sells takes $4 to make and is sold at $9.99. So far, the company has made half a million dollars in profits- an impressive amount. If Carol was able to make the gumbo in bulk, she could get the costs down, allowing the profits to double.
Carol came to Shark Tank asking for $200,000 in return for 20 percent equity in Mee-Mas Gumbo. All the Sharks genuinely loved the gumbo but felt that Carol was not ready to handle the money or that the business was not where they wanted it to be. However, Kevin and Lori placed an order. Kevin was ready to offer half the amount that Carol had asked for but Lori decided that she would invest $200,000 and asked for 50 percent equity. She believed that Mee-Mas Gumbo made the perfect gumbo but a lot of work needed to be put into the business side of things.
Our Review of Mee-Mas Gumbo
Mee-Mas Gumbo is a great initiative by a struggling mother who aims to keep her grandmother’s recipe alive.
Pros of Mee-Mas Gumbo
Mee-Mas Gumbo sells authentic gumbo bricks that only take 45 minutes to make. Gumbo itself is a complicated recipe that has to stay on the stove for hours at a stretch to attain the best flavor. However, with Carol’s recipe, customers can choose between a wide range of gumbos, including seafood and chicken, add some water and meat, and wait for 45 minutes before the gumbo is ready to be consumed.
The best part is that Mee-Mas Gumbo makes the best gumbo. It is authentic and delicious, and leaves no one unsatisfied. We also think that Carol is a wonderful business owner and is putting in her 100 percent to ensure that her business is successful so that she can take care of her daughter, as well as of her siblings.
Cons of Mee-Mas Gumbo
Since Mee-Mas Gumbo has just begun, the risks are high. The business is still in its early stages to judge so even though it has a great product, it needs a lot more work before it can be deemed successful. Moreover, in a food business, the profit margins usually get smaller, especially when it comes to seafood.
Who is Mee-Mas Gumbo for?
Mee-Mas Gumbo is for anyone and everyone who enjoys good gumbo but does not have the time or energy to make it since it is a complicated dish that takes an entire day to prepare. With the customizable options available, individuals can use Mee-Mas Gumbo bricks to make their gumbo the way they like within an hour.
Are There Any Alternatives?
As of now, there are no alternatives that are stocking in Costco or making fresh gumbo like Mee-Mas Gumbo is.
Mee-Mas Gumbo has a lot of honest and great reviewed. Even though gumbo is a complicated dish that is extremely time consuming, Mee-Mas Gumbo makes the process a lot easier and simpler. The dish itself takes delicious, giving people a run for their money.
As long as Carol is able to expand and stock her gumbo bricks at a national level, we believe that the business has a lot of potential and will be extremely popular someday. Afterall, who doesn’t love excellent gumbo flavor and texture?