For Henry Miller, it all started when he was 11 years old.
He was on a plane, seated next to a beekeeper, where he learned all about the wonders of bees, how they work, what they provide to the world, and just how important they are as a species. To the extent that scientists think that there is potential that, if bees were to go extinct, so would every plant they pollinate.From there, it is possible that the entire food chain would collapse.
All of this ignited a fascination in Henry with bees. If bees are so important to our world and way of life, what could he do to help? 11-year-old Henry asked his mother if he could have a beehive as a present for his 12th birthday. They obliged, and from there, Henry learned everything associated with beekeeping for himself.
One of his realizations was that the bees produced a lot of honey. Too much for just him and his family, so he decided to start selling it. At first, it was just on the side of the road, but Henry wanted the enterprise to grow. But how? There are plenty of companies that sell honey, so Henry knew they needed an angle. He started adding different spices and different flavors to the honey. This way, you could Humdingers Honey on all sorts of things, not necessarily just sweets.
It had the added benefit of being for a good cause, rather than being purely for profit, which was a big part of why Henry pursued a honey company in the first place. He was made aware that beekeeping is one of the best things that humans can do for the bee population.
Henry’s Humdingers on Shark Tank
Shark Tank Season 5 Episode 20
Henry walks out in front of the Sharks, confident and full of energy. He had worked very hard on rehearsing his pitch and making sure it was perfect. He even threw in a couple of jokes, showcasing some of his charisma. When he enters, he’s wearing a bee-keeper suit, which he eventually takes off, revealing a suit underneath.
What he had in mind from one or multiple Sharks was a $150,000 investment for a 25% stake in the company. He offers each of the Sharks some samples of the spiced honey he is looking to sell. Each of them tastes the honey, and they are enjoying it.
Henry describes that the business has been operating for three years, and, at that time, it has done $67,000 in sales. He tells them that the honey is available in 300 different stores across the country.
The primary reason that the business has not grown as fast as Henry and his family have wanted it to is that they do not have enough access to capital. The only way they’ll be able to increase production significantly is with a large investment. And, as it stands during Henry’s presentation, the family already invested $150,000.
A few Sharks take issue with the company and raise some concerns. One of which is the fact that this honey product is more specific, the spices and flavors. There might not be a market for it at the moment, but if any major honey companies see that it can generate nice profit, they will follow suit and probably push his small company out of the market entirely.
Henry describes to Mark Cuban, addressing one of his concerns, that most of the marketing is done at trade shows across the country. He also reveals that he managed to get a deal with Wegman’s.
One of the primary reasons that Henry decided to pitch his company to the Sharks is to get enough money to hopefully pay back his family’s $150,000 investment.
After a few more Sharks drop out, Robert Herjavec reveals that he happens to have a connection with one of the largest Canadian honey distributors. Mark Cuban, between Henry’s pitch and Robert’s connection, decides to make a pitch: Robert and Mark going in on a deal, acquiring 60% of the company for $300,000. Robert thinks it’s a good idea, but decides to up the stake in the company to 75%.
Essentially, Robert and Mark want to take the company over, leaving Henry with equity. After consideration, Henry decides to take the deal.
Life After Shark Tank
The deal never went through.
As with so many things, the TV depiction isn’t completely accurate. If you watched this episode of Shark Tank, you might be under the impression that Mark and Robert are currently running a successful (or maybe unsuccessful) honey company, and Henry has equity. That is not the case.
After the episode aired and the behind-the-scenes business was being done, the parties decided it would be best not to go through with the deal. It seems that one of the reasons for this is that Henry’s Humdingers had been a family affair. Henry worked closely with his mother and father to build and maintain the business. Perhaps they did not want to give all of that up; it was a venture that brought all of them together.
Time after Shark Tank had its ups and downs for Henry. Initially, the company received a boom, increasing sales by about 300%. However, that presented its issues, is that the small family company ran into production issues keeping up with the demand.
Today, the company is no longer operating. It shut down at the beginning of 2019, according to the company’s Facebook page. There were several factors that contributed, but mostly it came down to a time issue. Henry didn’t have enough time to devote to the business, especially being in college.
He says he is glad he went for it and is thankful for his appearance on Shark Tank. Henry expressed gratitude at being able to raise awareness about bees, even though he described that sentiment as corny. Mark Cuban has continued to stay in contact with Henry to assist him with any new business ventures in the future.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Humdingers, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.