Scratch & Grain Baking Co. was started by an unfortunate baking experience, which led to two moms on a mission to make homemade baking fun and easy. Taya and Leah met in Portland, Oregon as neighbors. They lived across the street from one another and were casually nice as neighbors generally are.
Taya had been talking about starting a business after she had her first son Lincoln. So, after Leah spent 3 hours in the kitchen baking cardboard cookies with her daughters, she sent Taya a text message and said “I have this business idea, want to come over and talk about it?,” Taya said “sure.”
As they discussed the concept of the product as well as the vision for the company, they knew it was something that could really happen.
- In what year did your company begin operation? April 2013
2. How long did your initial roll-out for the above product line take (months or years?) about 6 months and how much did it cost? ($5,000? $20,000?) = $30,000
2. What kind of funding was available to you other than a Shark Tank investment? Bank loans.
3. Did alternative funding materialize after your appearance on Shark Tank? Yes
3. Please describe the long term benefits and any drawbacks resulting from your Shark Tank appearance?
We aired only 4 months ago, so I am unsure about the real long-term benefits, but having been on the show opens up a lot of doors that would otherwise be extremely hard to open. Also, each time your episode re-airs, you experience a spike in sales and reminder to customers about your product. This drives them to the stores to purchase again.
One of the main drawbacks are the comments viewers latched on to from our pitch. One Shark thought we needed to get our costs down to increase our margins. The viewing public heard “make the product less expensive to the consumer” which is not what was meant, but rather increase the profitability to produce the product.
One of the most common things we hear now is “I hope you get your costs down so I don’t have to pay so much” which we never heard prior to appearing on Shark Tank. Viewers cling to things they hear and interpret them how they want.
4. How do you define success? Are you there yet? Did the Shark Tank experience add to your success?
We feel we will become “successful” when we are carried at the majority of national grocery stores as an item on their schematic. We were well on our way prior to Shark Tank, and Shark Tank has definitely added to our success. Prior to airing we were in about 400 stores nationwide, and 6 months after airing we are in over 800. We anticipate having product in at least 1,000 to 2,000 by the end of 2015.
We are not sure how much of this success is really attributed to Shark Tank vs. our exhibiting at Expo West in March. This show generated most of our large, new accounts. But I am sure the fact that we were on Shark Tank played a roll in the buyer’s decision to add us quickly.
From another perspective, our appearance on Shark Tank drives all of our online website sales which were virtually non-existent (<8% of sales). Our online sales now account for 50% of our YTD sales.
5. How do you define your “vision”? Where do you want to be in 5 or 10 years?
Our vision is to change the way people bake, making it fun and easy, and creating an “experience” for our consumers. Our goal in 5-10 years is to sell the company to a large competitor with in-place infrastructure that would take what we have done and do it on a larger scale faster and more efficiently. [Editor comment – Vision: Our efforts to change the way people bake have successfully attracted a large competitor that has purchased our firm. What we do now can be done a larger scale, faster and more effectively.]
6. Did you participate in the 2015 Winter Fancy Food Show in January in San Francisco? If yes, what was your total investment (booth, travel, etc?)
No, but we did attend ExpoWest. Best investment we have made so far as we received $185,000 in purchase orders within 30 days of the show. This added exposure in 450 stores and increased our potential to reach over 4,000 more including all Albertson’s/Safeway and Kroger.
Our total investment into ExpoWest was $8,500. We will be attending the Summer Fancy Food Show in New York at the end of June and expect similar success and expenses.
Scratch & Grain Baking Company
Taya Geiger Founder & CEO
16285 SW 85th Avenue
Portland, OR 97224