Located in West Palm Beach, Florida, Fuelfood is a health food company geared toward healthy, clean eaters as well as athletes. The company prepares meals that will then be delivered to customers once every few days. The company is off the ground and generating a good amount of revenue after some initial investments and some endorsements from successful athletes.
The owner wants to be able to deliver healthy food reliably to people who are trying to get into better shape. Considering the company’s location, West Palm Beach, where people are always walking around in bathing suits and bikinis, this seems like the type of company that can continue growing indefinitely. Building the company into a nationally-known clean food source can make the value sky-rocket. However, Erik Leander, the owner of Fuelfood, needed the help of a real professional to take it to the next level.
Fuelfood on The Profit
The Profit Season 3 Episode 5
When Marcus arrives on the scene, he has a good feeling about the company, seeing a tremendous amount of potential. Marcus first meets Erik, the owner, at a marketing event where Erik is giving out samples of the product. It is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the food appears to be of good quality and people like it. On the other hand, Erik is a rather loud and aggressive salesman, and Marcus finds it somewhat off-putting.
Erik takes Marcus to the facility where the food is processed, packaged, and sent out for the delivery. At this point in his business development, Erik has about 300 customers who are ordering food through plans at varying scales.
Erik is very large in stature, huge muscles, and all. He behaves as you might expect someone like that to act if it were a movie, with all of the worst assumptions being correct. Erik had a way of intimidating people just through his presence, including in his dealings with his employees; observing Erik’s interactions with his employees caused Marcus to have second thoughts about the whole company.
It is revealed that not only does Erik not treat his employees well, but he also doesn’t treat his customers well either. He rips them off in small ways and sometimes in significant ways. Throughout this whole interaction, Marcus learns two critical things. The first is that by his own admittance essentially, Erik doesn’t know the business very well. The second part, a critical note, is that Erik has a negative view of women, viewing them as inferior, and he doesn’t hide his sexism.
Marcus speaks to a few of the other workers at the business to get a better idea of the company and to let them know what needs to be addressed. He thinks that the most important thing is going to be improving customer retention since most only stay for three weeks. He speaks to Diana, who is the head of sales and works seven days a week. Marcus realizes that she is supporting a massive portion of the workload.
It is time to look at the financials, and things start to get even weirder for Marcus. He finds that an investment of $1 million was made, but all of that is gone now. Almost $150k was spent on a truck. Erik claims it was a marketing investment. Worse still, it turns out that Erik is also $200k in the hole after taking a loan of that much money. Marcus discovers that there are six investors in the enterprise.
Shareholders are a continual issue throughout the episode. Before making his offer, Marcus meets with Erik and asks about the shareholders, but he doesn’t receive more information. He decides to give Erik his offer, $300k, for 51% of the business. Erik is uneasy with the idea of giving so much ownership away, but he agrees.
Announcements are made to the employees about the investment and changes with the company moving forward. When addressing the company, Erik’s aggression continues to be an issue, and he seeks to dominate all of these interactions. Time and time again, Marcus tries to have meetings with all of the employees, and he comes up short every time. He finds that dealing with Erik is becoming increasingly problematic. He tries to blame Marcus for some issues that existed well before Marcus entered the picture. Marcus, the next day, goes to find new equipment for the kitchen. Upon returning, he finds that a lot of the staff quit after the terrible meeting the previous day. Confidence has been all but lost. Even Diana left, she revealed that Erik had cut the pay of all the highest-paid employees.
In the end, what finally made Marcus shut the deal down was some shady activity from investors. Erik tells Marcus that one of the investors is under some legal scrutiny and having his assets removed. Marcus is concerned but thinks it can probably be repaired. That is until Erik reveals that this investor holds a whopping 46% of the shares. Now, the SEC holds 46% of the shares of Erik’s company.
Things continue to worsen. It turns out, this investor was running a Ponzi-scheme, and that’s why he got brought down by the government. Marcus can’t have his name linked to someone running a Ponzi-scheme, and he’s amazed that Erik doesn’t seem to be too bothered by it. The only reason Marcus still wants to fix things is that he likes the employees.
The episode ends with Erik repeating over and over again: “You gonna walk out on your handshake deal?” He tries to intimidate Marcus, but to no avail. Marcus leaves, and Diana confirms that she is not going to stay at the company.
Fuelfood After The Profit
There is no Fuelfood after The Profit. In 2017 the company shut its doors for good. Along the way, it managed to receive an F rating from the Better Business Bureau. Marcus probably made the right move not to invest. The company had received plenty of funds in the past and managed to do nothing with it. Erik’s toxic personality made success nearly impossible.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Fuelfood, The Profit, or any of its subsidiaries.