MN business Bee Free Honee went on 'Shark Tank': How'd they do?


A Minneapolis-based vegan honey business got a chance to score some big-time funding on "Shark Tank" Friday night.

Bee Free Honee is an alternative to normal honey that's made from U.S.-grown apples.

It was created – accidentally – by Mound, Minnesota native Katie Sanchez in 1999, according to its website (though she also told this story on the episode). She was trying to make a less sweet version of apple jelly, messed up, and the result was "honee."

She met co-owner Melissa Helms in 2013 at an industry food show, and the two teamed up.

And on Friday, both appeared on ABC's reality competition show "Shark Tank" to pitch the business.

The full episode isn't available on as of Saturday morning – and was still not up as of Sunday night. (Click here to check.) Here's a small preview though.

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Three keys to their pitch:

1) It takes pressure off honeybees. Making real honey takes a lot of work from the insects (for 1 pound of the stuff, bees need to visit nearly 2 million flowers and can fly as much as 50,000 miles, the Canadian Honey Council says). And right now, honeybees are dying off at an alarming rate.

2) It's vegan. Many people don't realize that vegans often don't eat honey since it comes from an animal, the duo explained to the sharks.

3) It's competitively priced. Sanchez and Helms said Bee Free Honee is less expensive than locally-produced real honey competitors, and in line with the cost of standard honey.

Did they get a deal?

Warning: If you're saving this episode to watch later and don't want to find out what happens, stop reading.

Seriously, spoilers after this point.

The duo went into the tank looking for $100,000 in exchange for 10 percent equity in their company.

After some back-and-forth between the sharks (Kevin O'Leary was not impressed, but the other four were intrigued), Bee Free Honee landed a multi-shark deal.

They got Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, and guest shark Chris Sacca – at $210,000 total, for 30 percent equity (split evenly among all three investors).

Daymond John had offered $100,000 for 10 percent, plus 20 percent of online sales. But Bee Free went with the other offer.

Here's some of the Twitter buzz during and after the segment.

The state is 2-for-2 when it comes to "Shark Tank" appearances this year, after a Minnesota-based Extreme Sandbox business landed a deal earlier this year.

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