Tuesday, February 6, 2018

The Profit - Southern Culture Artisan Foods Update

Tonight on The Profit, Marcus Lemonis is in Atlanta, Georgia hoping to make a deal with Southern Culture Artisan Foods.  Southern Culture Artisan Foods is a packaged foods business known for its flavorful food mixes and for using non-GMO ingredients.  The owner Erica Barrett has issues running the business and supposedly has close to $500,000 in debt.  The debt has caused problems both in her business and with her family.

Let's take a look at some information related to Southern Culture Artisan Foods as well as what kind of deal was made on the show.

News and Links Related To The Company:
  • Here is the Southern Culture Artisan Foods website and Facebook Page that has about 17k likes.
  • Southern Culture Artisan Foods appeared on ABC's Shark Tank in 2014 and agreed to a deal with Barbara Corcoran for $100,000 for 38% of the company.  That deal later fell through, so the only thing they gained was publicity.
    • Here is a link to a video of the Shark Tank episode.
  • In a 2016 interview, owner Erica Barrett said her business exploded after being on Shark Tank and sales went from $150,000 in sales to $500,000 in sales in 12 months.
  • She also said in that interview that she planned to open a catering business in New York.  An Instagram post in 2016 advertised catering at www.shortstacksbreakfast.com, but that domain has since expired.
  • Erica got a $10,000 loan on the website Kiva to gain working capital and move into a bigger warehouse. (Link)
  • In July 2017, Marcus Lemonis posted a six-minute video on social media from Southern Culture Artisan Foods.  He explained they were liquidating all inventory and asked fans to go to the website to purchase at a discounted rate.  
  • Southern Culture Artisan Foods sells their products on Amazon, and there are actually more options on Amazon than their website at the moment.

The Deal From The Episode Plus Post-Show Updates (this will be updated continually):

  • The Deal - $75,000 to find co-packers, pay down debt, get rid of excess inventory and improve packaging.  Once Erica proves herself, they will talk about equity.  Erica proved herself and Marcus allowed her to cash the check with Marcus receiving 50.1% equity.  Marcus later gave up some of his equity to Erica's mother.
  • Owner Erica Barrett said the following about being on The Profit - "It was an awesome experience.  I had a lot of debt but I felt like I had a great viable business. Marcus was able to fix and identify the problems. He really helped us re-brand our business and gave us some home." (Link)
  • The Southern Culture Artisan Foods website was updated and the items offered for sale are fried chicken mix $6.99, cornbread mix $5.99, pancake & waffle mix $5.99, and a recipe box $24.  The pancake & waffle mix was listed as sold out before the episode even aired.
  • The Southern Culture Foods Instagram page says they plan to launch Southern Culture TV on YouTube in February. (Link)
    • Here is a trailer of Southern Culture TV which Erica says will launch Thursday.
  • Pelican Bay, the co-packer on the episode, has "Southern" pancake, fried chicken, cornbread, and biscuit mixes on their website as new products. All of these items seem to be out of stock at the moment. (Link)
  • Southern Culture Artisan Foods are available on Mouth.com with the fried chicken, pancake & waffle, and cornbread mixes all selling for $14.  The sizes look the same, so I am not sure why it is more expensive than buying directly from Southern Culture's website. (Link)  UPDATE - The price is now $7 for the mixes.
  • UPDATE 12/2020 - Erica has opened a restaurant in Mobile, Alabama called SOCU Southern Kitchen and Oyster Bar. (Link)
  • UPDATE 3/2021 - Southern Culture Artisan Foods hasn't posted anything on social media since 2019, but it appears they are still selling things directly from their website. There are some complaints about not receiving orders and not getting responses from the business on bbb.org.

*To see how all of the businesses from The Profit are doing, go to the The Profit Updates page, and also Like us on Facebook or Follow Us on Twitter to stay up to date with all things involving The Profit.

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