Moink Before Shark Tank
Lucinda Cramsey’s family has lived the hard life of a farmer for eight generations. Often, times were so tough that the family went hungry. She knows all too well how difficult it is to compete with Big Agriculture and decided to make it her mission to start a company that would benefit small family farms. Her subscription meat company, Moink, sells grass-fed or grass-finished beef, pastured pork and chicken, humanely-treated lamb, and wild-caught salmon. She’s asking the Sharks for $250,000 for 10% of the company.
Moink on Shark Tank – Lucinda Has the Meats
Shark Tank Season 10 Episode 15
Lucinda entered the tank and related her family’s plight. When she was only 11-years-old, her father took his own life and her mom had to take two jobs to feed the six kids. She thought it was ironic that the very people who put food on America’s tables can’t afford to put food on their own. With only four companies controlling 80% of the meat industry, small family farmers have trouble surviving. Farmers don’t want a handout, she said. They just want a level playing field.
Her first attempt at fighting for the little guy didn’t go too well. She tried to market fruits and vegetables with a delivery model, but a company that tried to “help” her took 51% of the company, and she never received any payout. She sold the remaining 49% for $5,000 and said she learned a valuable lesson.
Her next endeavor was working much better. Moink (a combination of “moo” and “oink”) was a subscription company that sold boxes of humanely-treated meat and fish, sourced from small family farms. In only one year, her sales jumped from $85,000 to $730,000.
She then served the Sharks samples of her ribeyes, bacon, and pork. They all agreed it was delicious. Lucinda touted her 71% retention rate, which even Kevin said was an impressive number. All subscription boxes were priced at $159 and included 13-16 pounds of meat. That translated into $4.50 per serving.
But Kevin wanted to know how she acquired customers. Lucinda said she used inbound marketing. But what she said next made the Sharks groan. For every subscription box sold for $159, Moink spent $127. That meant extremely low margins. Lucinda admitted she only netted 10%.
Kevin had more to say. Although he really liked her story, he had a problem with her $2.5 million valuation. He pointed to other companies in the direct protein market – like Omaha Steaks – which are able to achieve higher margins by including some lower cost items in the subscription box. That led Lucinda to say one of the best lines ever uttered on Shark Tank: “I didn’t come here today to fight you about my valuation. Do I think it’s worth more? Sure. But I also think my husband’s the most handsome man in the world – doesn’t mean I’m willing to go to war to prove it.”
Lucinda asked Daymond what he thought. He said he understood she was apprehensive about forming a partnership after she was screwed so badly the first time. But he found her to be too defensive, so he was out. Lori, who eats mostly vegetables and some fish, said the company wasn’t a good fit for her, so she opted out too. Mark was already an investor in another meat company – Echo Valley Meats, which also appeared on Shark Tank – so a partnership with Moink wasn’t a fit for him. Kevin had already been very outspoken about his issue with the company’s valuation, and as a potential investor, he couldn’t justify a partnership with the company.
Then Jamie Siminoff – a Shark Tank applicant who had failed to get a deal on the show but later sold his company, Ring, to Amazon for $1 billion – jumped in. He stated that the other Sharks were accustomed to investing in more established companies with higher margins, and that he could relate to Lucinda since he was once a small fish like her. He offered to give her more than what she asked – $400,000 for 20% of Moink. He believed that the company needed more cash in order to scale, and he really appreciated Lucinda’s passion.
Lucinda hedged because she was afraid of uncontrolled growth, but Jamie responded that the company was already growing very quickly and that more money could build the infrastructure necessary to lower margins. That argument was convincing, and Lucinda said, “Let’s get ‘er done!” The deal was made.
Moink After Shark Tank
Moink appeared on Shark Tank in early 2019. Soon after the episode, the company added $2.8 million in sales. Lucinda had to move to a new facility to keep up with the rapid growth, and she’s since added fifteen new farms to her network for a total of just over 100 family farm partners. The company expects to achieve $6 million in sales for 2019, up from $1.2 million in 2018.
Customer response has been favorable, and Moink earns a rating of 4.8 out of 5 on its Facebook Page. The company offers five different box options, one of which is a sampler, and every box costs $159. The high price is one of the few criticisms the company receives; a smaller box option would be more affordable and pose less of a storage problem for all that meat!
Lucinda says that her relationship with partner, Siminoff, has been a good one. And she has big goals for the future of the company. She and her husband would like to eventually sell in grocery stores, although for right now they’re focused on increasing online sales. Currently, they’re able to ship to every state except Alaska and Hawaii. An even bigger dream is to one day compete with Tyson. She believes that consumers don’t intentionally walk into a grocery store and think, “Oh, yes, let me screw a farmer and eat funky chicken today.” She says, “… if you do the right thing, people will taste the difference.”
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is strictly informational; INSIGNIA SEO is not affiliated with Moink, SharkTank, or any of its subsidiaries.