Will the Sharks taste a good deal from a couple of beef jerky entrepreneurs? Perhaps — because their product is “the filet mignon of beef jerky,” most literally.
Jordan Barrocas, a Miami resident and University of Miami alum, will be appearing on ABC’s Shark Tank with his co-founder, Daniel Fogelson, on Friday night to pitch their company, Three Jerks Jerky. They are seeking $100,000 in funding for 15 percent of the business. The company makes five flavors of premium beef jerky, all made with 100 percent filet mignon.
The show was recorded earlier this year, and like all Shark Tank entrepreneurs, Barrocas is sworn to secrecy about whether any of the Sharks decided to fund the company. But whatever happens, the show will put the young brand in front of millions of viewers — and potential customers.
Three Jerks Jerky was hatched during a discussion between friends about why beef jerky doesn’t taste better. “The next day we made jerky and it was awesome,” said Barrocas, who likes to cook. They began sharing their creation made with filet mignon with friends and getting a great response. About two years ago, they incorporated the business, taking it from the kitchen table to a commercial kitchen.
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“We started literally from nothing,” said Barrocas. The 30-year-old received his MBA from UM and worked in the footwear industry before starting the company, his first entrepreneurial adventure. “We raised $45,000 on Kickstarter and after that quickly built our wholesale business, which started with one New York City store. . . . We went door to door handing out samples.”
They still go door to door, and today Three Jerks Jerky products are in about 120 specialty stores and high-end hotels. Barrocas said sales grew 150 percent in the last year. A two-ounce pack (two servings) of Three Jerks beef jerky sells for $11.99 on www.threejerksjerky.com.
About the name Three Jerks, there was a third partner in the beginning, but they parted ways. “The rest is kind of obvious — we’re nice guys most of the time but also jerks sometimes,” he said.
If the Sharks — Mark Cuban, Lori Grenier, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John and Robert Herjavec — don’t take a liking to the “Original” flavor, the best seller, they may like Memphis BBQ, Chipolte Adobo, Maple Bourbon Churro or one of the company’s newest flavors, “Hamburger.”
Yep, “Hamburger” made with filet mignon, Barracos said. “It’s called ‘I can’t believe it’s not hamburger.’ ”
Nancy Dahlberg; 305-376-3595; email@example.com
UPDATE AFTER THE SHOW: Mark Cuban bowed out, but Lori Grenier, Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John and Robert Herjavec were eating up the deal. They all made offers; the entrepreneurs asked about how active the Sharks would be in the company. In the end, the team chose Daymond John -- $100,000 for 15 percent, and if the partnership works out after the test drive, an option for another $100,000 for 15 percent. They have their new third Jerk.