- Company: Henry’s Humdingers
- Product: Spiced raw honey with an eco-friendly mission
- Asking Price: $150,000 for 25% equity
- Final Deal: $300,000 for 75% equity (later scrapped)
- Sharks Who Took The Bait: Mark and Robert
- Season/Episode: Season 5, Episode 20
Henry Miller fell in love with bees when he was just 11 years old. (And no, we’re not talking about that Henry Miller.)
He was on a plane, seated next to a beekeeper. During the flight, the beekeeper told him all about the wonders of bees: how they work, what they provide to the world, how incredibly important they are as a species. How scientists have good reason to think that if bees were to go extinct, so would every plant they pollinate. All our vast and fragile ecosystems, it would seem, depend on bees.
All of this ignited a fascination in Henry. If bees are so important to our world and way of life, what could he do to help? Henry asked his mother if he could have a beehive as a present for his 12th birthday. His parents obliged, and from there, Henry taught himself everything there was to know about the care and keeping of bees.
One of his earliest realizations was that the bees produced a lot of honey. So much, in fact, that he and his family couldn’t go through it all. They had a surplus, more honey than they knew what to do with. So he decided to start selling it, with all proceeds going directly to the Foundation for the Preservation of Honeybees. At first, it was just a roadside honey stand, but Henry wanted the enterprise to grow. With a steep competition and tons of other honey-peddlers on the shelves, Henry came up with a unique angle. He started adding spices and making original flavors with his homegrown honey. This diversified the product and ensured that you could Humdingers Honey on all sorts of things, and in all kinds of cooking processes.
His business, he hoped, would draw attention to the rapid decline of the global bee population. It would be for the noblest of causes. Ultimately, it would be a successful business not only in terms of profit, but in terms of public awareness and planetary health.
Henry’s Humdingers on Shark Tank
Shark Tank Season 5 Episode 20
Henry takes center-stage in a beekeeper suit, confident and full of energy. He’s worked very hard on rehearsing his pitch and made sure it’s as perfect as it can be. He throws in some jokes and shows off some charisma, and eventually takes off the beekeeper suit to reveal a suit underneath.
What he wants, from one or multiple Sharks, is 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 seems to genuinely enjoy the product.
Henry describes that the business has been operating for three years, ans as of the air-date, has done $67,000 in sales. He tells them that Humdinger’s is available in 300 retail 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. The family has already invested $150,000 of their own money into the business and can’t afford to invest any more.
A few Sharks take issue with the company and raise some concerns. One of which is the fact that this honey product is too specific; the spices and flavors make it a niche product. 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.
Henry decided to pitch his company to the Sharks to get enough money to 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 go 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.
Where Are They Now?
Sadly, not all deals are as sweet as they seem. The deal that Mark and Robert cooked up was nixed soon after the episode aired.
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, the parties decided it would be best not to go through with the deal. Henry’s Humdingers had been a family affair – and the family wanted to keep it that way. 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.
Shark Tank had its ups and downs for Henry. Initially, the company received a boom, increasing sales by about 300%. However, that success presented its own host of issues, as the small family company struggled to keep up with the exponential increase in demand.
Today, the company is no longer operating. It shut down in January of 2019, according to the company’s Facebook page. There were several factors that contributed, but mostly it came down to timing. Henry was in college, finishing up a degree at WSU – and just simply didn’t have enough time to run the business.
He says he is glad he went for it and is thankful for his appearance on Shark Tank. Henry expressed gratitude for being able to raise public awareness of bees and their frightening global decline, even if only in a small way. Mark Cuban, meanwhile, has continued to stay in contact with Henry – and has graciously offered to assist him with any new business ventures he might come across 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.