Humdingers
  • Henry’s Humdingers is a subsidiary of The Basics Company.
  • Spiced raw honey with an environmentally responsible aim
  • Price: $150,000 for a 25% ownership stake.
  • Final Offer: $300,000 for a 75% stake in the company (later scrapped)
  • Mark and Robert were the sharks that took the bait.
  • Season/Episode: Episode 20 of Season 5

When Henry Miller was 11 years old, he fell in love with bees. (And no, we’re not referring to Henry Miller.)

He was sitting next to a beekeeper on an aircraft. The beekeeper taught him everything about bees throughout the flight: how they operate, what they give to the planet, and how essential they are as a species. Scientists have reason to believe that if bees become extinct, so will all the plants they pollinate. Bees seem to be essential to all of our vast and delicate ecosystems.

All of this sparked Henry’s interest. What could he do to assist bees, who are so essential to our planet and way of life? Henry requested a beehive as a gift for his 12th birthday from his mother. Henry learned all he could about beekeeping from his parents, and from there he taught himself what he knew about beekeeping.

One of his first realizations was how much honey the bees produced. He and his family couldn’t possibly go through anything. They had an abundance of honey, more than they could use. As a result, he decided to start selling it, with all profits going to the Honeybee Preservation Foundation. It was simply a roadside honey kiosk at the start, but Henry wanted to expand the business. With stiff competition and a plethora of other honey-peddlers on the shelf, Henry devised a novel strategy. With his homemade honey, he began to mix spices and create unique tastes. This broadened the product’s appeal and guaranteed that Humdingers Honey could be used in a variety of applications and culinary procedures.

He believed that his company would bring attention to the world bee population’s fast decrease. It would be in the name of the noblest of causes. It would be a successful company in the long run, not just in terms of profit, but also in terms of public awareness and environmental health.

On Shark Tank, Henry’s Humdingers

Episode 20 of Season 5 of Shark Tank

Henry, dressed as a beekeeper, takes center stage, confident and animated. He’s spent a lot of time practicing his pitch and making sure it’s as good as it can be. He cracks a few jokes and exudes charm before removing the beekeeping costume and revealing a suit beneath.

He’s looking for a $150,000 investment in exchange for a 25% interest in the business from one or more Sharks. He gives each of the Sharks a taste of the spicy honey he’s trying to sell. Each of them takes a taste of the honey and seems to like it.

Henry says the company has been in operation for three years and has made $67,000 in sales as of the air date. He informs them that Humdingers can be found at 300 retail locations throughout the United States.

The lack of access to finance is the main reason why Henry and his family’s company has not expanded as quickly as they would want. The only way they’ll be able to substantially expand output is if they make a big investment. The family has already put $150,000 into the company and cannot afford to put any more money in.

A few Sharks have reservations about the business and have expressed their worries. One of them is that this honey product is much too specialized; the spices and tastes make it a niche item. Although there may not be a demand for it right now, if any big honey businesses realize that they can make a good profit, they will follow suit – and most likely drive his little company out of the market completely.

In response to one of Mark Cuban’s worries, Henry explains that the majority of the marketing is done at trade fairs throughout the nation. He also mentions that he was able to work out a deal with Wegmans.

Henry chose to present his business to the Sharks in order to recoup his $150,000 investment from his family.

Following the departure of a few more Sharks, Robert Herjavec discloses that he has a relationship with one of Canada’s biggest honey distributors. Between Henry’s presentation and Robert’s connection, Mark Cuban decides to make a pitch: Robert and Mark agree to buy 60% of the business for $300,000. Robert believes it’s a wonderful idea, but he chooses to increase his share in the firm to 75%.

In essence, Robert and Mark want to take over the business, leaving Henry with a stake. Henry chooses to accept the offer after some thought.

What Happened to Them?

Unfortunately, not all bargains are as good as they seem. Mark and Robert’s plan was thwarted shortly after the program aired.

The television portrayal isn’t entirely true, as it is with so many things. If you saw this episode of Shark Tank, you may think Mark and Robert are now operating a successful (or perhaps failing) honey business with Henry as a partner. That isn’t the case at all.

Following the airing of the program, the parties agreed that it would be better not to proceed with the transaction. Henry’s Humdingers had always been a family enterprise, and he intended to maintain it that way. To develop and manage the company, Henry collaborated closely with his mother and father. Perhaps they didn’t want to give up everything; it was a project that drew them all together.

Henry had his ups and downs on Shark Tank. Initially, the business saw a surge in revenues, with sales rising by about 300 percent. That success, however, brought its own set of problems, as the tiny family business battled to keep up with the rapid rise in demand.

Humdingers

The business is no longer in operation today. According to the company’s Facebook page, it was shut down in January 2019. Several variables had a role, but the timing was the most important. Henry was in college, completing his degree at Washington State University, and he just didn’t have enough time to manage the company.

He says he’s pleased he took the risk and appreciates his participation on Shark Tank. Even if it was only in a tiny manner, Henry expressed appreciation for being able to increase public awareness of bees and their alarming worldwide decrease. Meanwhile, Mark Cuban has maintained touch with Henry and kindly promised to help him with any new business endeavors he may encounter in the future.

Disclaimer: This material is for informative purposes only; Royal Pitch is not connected with Humdingers, Shark Tank, or any of its subsidiaries.

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