Few stories capture the entrepreneurship imagination quite like those that unfold on the hit TV show “Shark Tank”.
Among these, the tale of Toast-It, a company that brought Latin American culinary delights to the forefront, stands out.
This blog post delves into the journey of Toast-It, from its inception to its current status, including its exciting venture on “Shark Tank“.
The Genesis of Toast-It
Toast-It was founded in 2019 by sisters Mafe Cabezas and Coco Viete. Their journey began in their kitchen, driven by a passion to bring the authentic flavors of Latin America to a wider audience.
Their flagship product, the Toast-It Arepa, is a testament to this mission, offering a ready-to-eat, guilt-free version of the traditional Latin American arepa.
The Unique Appeal of Toast-It Arepas
What sets Toast-It Arepas apart is their commitment to authenticity and convenience. These arepas, made from pre-cooked cornmeal flour (Masarepa), offer a quick yet satisfying culinary experience.
They can be prepared in just five minutes using an air-fryer, toaster, or conventional oven. Emphasizing health, these arepas are gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, and use high-quality ingredients.
The range includes flavors like Cassava Arepas and Chia Flaxseed Arepas, catering to a variety of tastes.
Toast-It’s Shark Tank Spotlight
The big break for Toast-It came when the founders appeared on Season 15, Episode 2 of “Shark Tank”.
They pitched their business, asking for $100,000 in exchange for 5% equity.
The Sharks were impressed, and ultimately, Daniel Lubetzky, the founder of KIND Snacks, offered $150,000 for a 20% equity stake. This deal valued the company at $750,000.
Post-Shark Tank Progress
Since their appearance on “Shark Tank”, Toast-It has seen a significant uptick in its business.
The company expanded into the Florida retail market and continued to grow its presence in stores like Walmart, Publix, Whole Foods Market, and Winn-Dixie.
This rapid growth is a testament to the product’s appeal and the strategic boost provided by the Shark Tank appearance.
Challenges and Strategies
Despite its success, Toast-It faces challenges typical of the food industry, such as maintaining a balance between cost and quality.
The cost of manufacturing an arepa is $2.30, and they retail for $3.23, leaving a relatively slim margin.
Addressing this issue, the founders are exploring ways to reduce costs without compromising on quality.
Current Valuation and Future Prospects
As of 2024, Toast-It’s estimated net worth stands at $400,000. With its expanding retail presence and growing brand recognition, the company is poised for further growth.
The founders’ commitment to delivering authentic Latin American flavors in a convenient format continues to drive the brand’s popularity.
Toast-It’s journey from a home kitchen in Miami to a nationally recognized brand is a story of passion, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit.
Their appearance on Shark Tank not only provided the necessary capital but also catapulted them into the national spotlight, proving that a good idea, backed by hard work and the right opportunity, can lead to remarkable success.