Wild Squirrel Nut Butter

Wild Squirrel Nut Butter on Shark Tank

Custom Peanut Butter - Season 4 - Episode 315
Seen on the Shark Tank Show
Wild Squirrel Nut Butter is a classic business story
that began in the dorm rooms at college. While Erika Welsh and Keeley Tillotson were weathering a storm in their room at the University of Oregon one day, they ran out of peanut butter. While this may be a problem for a lot of struggling college students, this only meant an opportunity for the self-proclaimed "cooking fanatics" to do a little creating of their own. Welsh and Tillotson had a bag of peanuts and ran then through a food processor to a creamy blend. They then went looking for other ingredients already on hand and started doing a little creative experimenting with their home made peanut butter. A little honey here, a dash of cinnamon there, before you know it, they had the ingredients of success in their new creation.

 The peanut butter was SO much better than anything you could buy at the store, the two wild squirrels, Keeley and Erika, continued experimenting with other ingredient's long after that winter day. It didn't take long for their enthusiasm in their new invention to get the attention of all their friends and family. Everyone wanted a jar of their peanut butter they creatively called the "Wild Squirrel Nut Butter" and the demand grew far above what either of them could of ever imagined. Can you imagine that one day your scraping by and decide to make homemade peanut butter and before long your making thousands of jars worth out of that same little dorm room. 

Wild Squirrel Nut Butter on Kickstarter.com

Kickstarter Campaign for Wild Squirrel Nut Butter
Ericka Welsh and Keeley Tillotson
 "Rap about Peanut Butter!"
 Alongside a growing list of contestants that have been on the Shark Tank Show, Welsh and Tillitson first took their invention to Kickstarter.com to get the much needed capital to expand their business. In February of 2012, the Wild Squirrel Nut Butter Kickstarter page went live. The two put a reasonable goal of $10,000.00 of start-up capital they needed to raise and expand their business. The Duo didn't stop there during this critical start up phase and managed to make it to the Natural Product's Expo in March where they made several great contacts with store owners and distributors. The Wild Squirrel Nut Butter was also featured in Oprah's Magazine "O"  where Oprah declares the Pretzel Pizazz as her favorite in the Wild Squirrel Nut Butter Lineup. The hard work paid off and they reached their financial goal a full two weeks in advance. I tend to believe it was the rap video (see Kick Starter page) they made on peanut butter that put them over the top rather than Oprah, but I might be wrong.

Success Breeds Success

 Having a Successful Kickstarter Campaign is a very good thing to have on any new start-up resume. It proves #1 you are for real. You have a product that has demand and you have proven the ability to deliver. Personally I'm beginning to think this is one of the Shark Tank's Producer's favorite sites to find new contestants for the show. Sure, you can try out for the show, but it's also a proven fact that the Shark Tank Producer's actively go looking for contestants with unique inventions they like. I couldn't find out whether Erika and Keeley actually tried out for the Shark Tank or the producers got a hold of them first, but either way they made it on the show in May of 2012. 

Wild Squirrel UPDATE:
Seen on the Shark Tank Show The timeline was not adding up and after a little more research it is clear that the Kickstarter campaign was started after they knew their fate from dealing with the Sharks. Unlike a few other contestant's that chose to coincide their Kickstarter campaigns with the airing of the Shark Tank Show, the squirrels chose to do just the opposite. Never quite knowing if your product will even make it to the show (even if they film you) and already knowing your fate, you really are left with only two choices. They chose to move forward and risk not making their goal before the Shark Tank aired. This was a bold move that paid off especially when the Shark Tank Effect took a hold and they were already prepared to fill thousands of orders without the Sharks help.

The actual update on Wild Squirrel Nut Butter was actually filmed in September and shows a 300% increase in retail stores now carrying their product. As fast as this new brand of peanut butter is catching on, it would be most interesting to see how much farther they have come even since then. Maybe, just maybe, either Keeley or Erika can fill us in on current numbers on the New Wild Squirrel Blog.

11 comments:

  1. Anonymous9:26 PM

    Did Barbara from the Shark Tank help the girls or not? Last I saw she was willing to give 50K in exchange for 40% of the company. Confused...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Anonymous9:51 PM

    Yes she did help them. They originally rebuttled saying they would settle for 35% but Barbara stuck firm to 40% and they went for it.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This deal did not go through. The girls still have all of their equiy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous7:22 PM

      Hi TJ. How do you know this. The show just aired and they shook hands. Did it fall through later.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous12:19 AM

    I met the girls at a Costco Demo here in Tigard Oregon, a few weeks ago, they said the deal with Barbara did not work out, though they did not elaborate.
    Their Vanilla Espresso Almond Butter was amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous11:26 AM

    $50,000 for 40% is crazy! I own a nut butter company and would never agree to those terms and we are currently raising $50,000! The most I will agree to as an early stage company is 25% and I have a few interested investors on the line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous6:28 PM

      Yea but you dont get to pitch in front of 8 million viewers

      Delete
  6. Anonymous9:15 PM

    I just watched the show and the girls accepted Barbara's 40% for $50k. It may have faltered later, or the deal may have fallen through, but on the show it was accepted 40% for $50k

    ReplyDelete
  7. Anonymous11:26 AM

    Where can you buy it ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can buy it on Amazon!

      Delete
  8. Anonymous12:06 PM

    You know what, if you can get an offer from one of the sharks for your product/business idea, and you don't accept it, you still made out. Where else can you get about 10 minutes of advertising time for nothing?

    ReplyDelete

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