Eat Your Flowers is a commercial bakery which produces a number of delicious, artistic, hand-decorated baked goods using a wide variety of edible flowers. But, will the Sharks want to take a bite out of these premium, artistic, flowery confectionery items? Check out our Eat Your Flowers Shark Tank update to learn all about it!
What is Eat Your Flowers?
Eat Your Flowers is a company which makes premium baked goods that are hand decorated with edible botanicals. The company is located in Los Angeles, California.
Eat Your Flowers transforms flowers, herbs, fruits, and vegetables into an array of delicious, nutritious, and beautiful treats, which are works of edible art. The company also makes pressed flowers for decorating, and edible flower confetti, which can be sprinkled on dips, salads, and desserts.
Who created Eat Your Flowers?
Eat Your Flowers was founded by California native Loria Stern. Loria grew up in the small town of Ojai, California, and as a child, she looked destined to become a professional tennis player. By the time she was 12 years old, Lori was ranked as the number one tennis player in the nation for her age bracket. After graduating from college, Loria continued in the tennis world, and she taught tennis for a number of years. However, what she fondly recalls from this period of her life is cooking and baking for the pros at the tennis club.
With the joy she discovered in cooking for her colleagues in the tennis world, she decided to pursue a career in the culinary industry, eventually working her way up to a position as a private chef and caterer. While working in the food industry, Loria often took photos of her creations and shared them on social media. Some of her photos attracted attention of the national press, who, in turn, featured stories about Loria’s creations in several well-known publications, and this notoriety led to the creation of Eat Your Flowers in 2016.
How did Eat Your Flowers get started?
Prior to founding the company, Loria Stern was working in the culinary field, and she became interested in edible flowers while she was living in a cottage of an 1890’s built Montecito, California estate. On the Eat Your Flowers website, Loria describes that she began experimenting with the edible bounty that grew freely on the grounds of the estate.
Loria also said that she studied medicinal and edible plants all through her years of culinary training, but she did not attend culinary school; rather, she acquired her professional training via the hard knocks way, by working long hours in dozens of kitchens and bakeries.
Trained in Visual Arts, Loria began using edible botanicals in her baking and cooking, and she worked on techniques to best extract flavor and manipulate natural colors. The result of her experimentation ignited the formation of Eat Your Flowers, where Loria transforms flowers, herbs, and plants into an array of decorative, nutritious, and delicious artworks.
What happened to Eat Your Flowers before Shark Tank?
Prior to entering the Tank, Loria Stern had transformed the publicity from the media attention she had received when she shared photos of her edible artwork on social media into her new company, Eat Your Flowers.
During her pitch to the Sharks, Loria revealed that the company had lifetime sales of $2.2 million, and for 2020, they had revenues of around $430k, which increased to over $750k for 2021, and for 2022, she projected sales of $1 million.
The company was quite profitable at the time Loria pitched to the Sharks, with all of the company’s sales coming from direct-to-consumer sales; they did not have a retail presence. Loria’s social media photos of her edible creations went viral to such an extent, that before entering the Tank, she had been featured in Vogue Magazine, Oprah Magazine, the LA Times, the New York Times, Goop, and Harper’s Bazaar.
The national media coverage had obviously given the company a huge boost in recognition, which led to rapidly increasing sales. During her pitch, Loria also explained that she was still handling all of the social media and the hands-on management of the business herself, and one of the main reasons that wanted to land a Shark was that she was in need of a mentor. She said that she really hadn’t intended to start a business, it just happened, and now she needed some help to take it to the next level.
What do customers think of Eat Your Flowers?
With the amount of sales the company represented in the Tank, we thought that it would be easy to find customer reviews for the edible-flower-based treats; however, most of the common third-party review sites showed no mention of Eat Your Flowers.
We did manage to find some reviews on Etsy, which is a somewhat unusual venue for a company which makes it to the air on Shark Tank. With 341 sales on the platform, there were 41 reviews on Etsy, with an average rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.
What are customers saying about Eat Your Flowers?
One happy Etsy customer bought a box of Eat Your Flowers Shortbread Cookies as a gift. He said, “I got these as a gift for my mother, and she was blown away with the quality and the taste! She said they were almost too pretty to eat and then ate the whole batch in two days.”
Another satisfied purchaser who bought cookies for a business function wrote, “Our clients were impressed with the quality and presentation of these unique and special cookies. I will definitely buy these again for thank-yous and gifts! Superb!”
Among the 41 reviews on Etsy, we found only two critical reviews. The first dissatisfied cookie customer wrote, “I had high hopes for these cookies; they were well packaged but were not vibrant in color or taste, very disappointing.”
The second unhappy customer simply stated: “Cookies were beautiful but didn’t taste good. Sorry it’s not worth the money.”
It will be interesting to see if there are additional customer reviews online as the company grows, or if as a premium niche product, there simply isn’t a more widely available forum to share reviews.
When did Eat Your Flowers appear on Shark Tank?
Eat Your Flowers appeared on Season 14, Episode 15 of Shark Tank, which aired on March 3rd, 2023. The company pitched to regular Sharks Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Kevin O’Leary, Barbara Corcoran, and Robert Herjavec.
Along with Eat Your Flowers, there were several interesting food companies in the Tank during Season 14. Some of these pitches were successful, and others were not. Check out our Long Table Pancake Mix update for another interesting food pitch, which included a surprise celebrity guest helping out in the Tank!
What happened to Eat Your Flowers on Shark Tank?
Eat Your Flowers founder Loria Stern entered the Tank and asked the Sharks for an investment of $250k for an equity stake of 12% in her company.
Loria entered the Tank and welcomed the Sharks to her garden, “Where you don’t just smell the roses, but you can eat them, too.” She told the Sharks that “Eat Your Flowers bakes gorgeous treats, each one bespoke, and each one hand decorated with edible botanicals.”
Loria explained to the Sharks that she uses a wide variety of nature’s beauties to top cakes, cookies, key lime pies, and even chocolate bars. She noted that everyone loves flowers and baked goods, so she combines these two things to create something totally unique. Loria said that her treats “look so beautiful that you don’t want to eat them, but they’re so delicious that you can’t resist.”
Loria ended her pitch by asking the Sharks, “Who’s feelin’ the flower power?” She next explained to the Sharks that they were tasting her signature flower-pressed shortbread cookies, and that these treats were gluten free and vegan. While the Sharks sampled the cookies, everyone was in agreement that they were truly incredible.
Lori began the questioning by asking Loria how she came up with the idea for the edible botanicals, and she learned that Loria had been a nationally-ranked tennis player as a young girl, and after college, she taught tennis for a number of years. However, what Loria liked most about working at the tennis club was cooking and baking for the tennis pros at the end of the day.
This interest in cooking led her to a change of career, so Loria went out to work in the culinary industry. Without attending culinary school, she worked her way into a career as a high-end private chef and caterer.
Kevin O’Leary was now ready to get down to business, so he asked about sales, and he learned that Eat Your Flowers had $2.2 million in lifetime sales, with revenues of around $430k in 2020, $750k in 2021, and Loria was projecting $1 million in sales for 2022 when she pitched in the Tank.
Mark Cuban asked Loria if she was profitable, and she half laughed when she said, a bit sarcastically, “Am I profitable? I am very profitable. For the beautiful box of cookies, my cost is $7.50, including labor, and we sell them for $50 per box.” Nearly all of the Sharks reacted strongly to this margin.
Loria then explained to the Sharks that she had never intended to start a company, rather, she was just cooking and baking and posting photos of her edible botanicals on social media, and several of her posts went viral, leading to interest from national media, and her work had been featured in Vogue Magazine, Oprah Magazine, the LA Times, the New York Times, Goop, and Harper’s Bazaar.
Mr. Wonderful then inquired who was doing her social media, and Loria responded that she was doing everything herself, and this was why she was in the Tank, to look for a mentor to teach her how to hire and hand off some of the operations.
There was then some discussion after Loria indicated that she would like to develop a product for retail placement, and most of the Sharks advised her to remain in the premium category because there is far too much competition in retail.
At this point in the discussion, at least one Shark looked ready to take a bite out of this premium pressed-flower baked goods business.
Did Eat Your Flowers get a deal on Shark Tank?
Eat Your Flowers successfully got a deal on Shark Tank. Barbara Corcoran agreed to invest $250k for a 15% equity stake in the business.
In a somewhat unusual move for him, Kevin O’Leary made the first offer in the Tank. Mr. Wonderful said that he felt that he had heard enough to make an offer, but he thought that the business was going to be a lot of work for him, so he offered $250k for 25% of the business, more than double the equity which Loria was offering.
Loria asked O’Leary to explain his vision for her company, and Kevin replied that he believed that the company couldn’t compete in the low-priced confectionery space, so he would keep it premium, and blow Loria’s story up. He told Loria that she was the brand, and he needed to promote her as the flower girl, but this would take a lot of effort on his part, and he wanted to get paid for the effort.
Lori spoke next, and she agreed that this was a luxury item; it was beautiful, but it just wasn’t the right fit for her. Robert followed Lori by telling Loria that it is really difficult to establish a brand right away and get a high price point, but she had done it; however, he did not see an investable side to the business.
Mark Cuban remarked to Loria, “The brand is you. The products are incidental; when you deal with the media, the story has to be about you, and building yourself to be the Martha Stewart of flowers.” He then said that the business was just not a good fit for him.
After a bit more discussion among the Sharks of whether or not the company should be in retail, Barbara Corcoran spoke up and said to Loria, “What I like about you is you’re ambitious. The part that bothers me is not because I don’t believe in you, or the product, I’m all in on that, but I don’t get, again, why you need a partner. I like to be valuable to somebody; I like to make a difference.”
Loria told Barbara, “I think you’d be very valuable for my business. I want to keep growing. I work so hard. I do everything, and I need to hire an operations manager, someone to take me out.” Barbara replied that the best investment of your money is in the right people. “If that’s what you need in a partner,” she said, “I am your girl.” She then made an offer of $250k for 15%.
Mark Cuban quickly spoke up to say, “Wow, you just say yes!” And Loria replied, “Barbara, you have a deal.”
Eat Your Flowers Shark Tank update, what happened next?
Like many Shark Tank businesses, Eat Your Flowers saw an immediate surge in sales from the Shark Tank effect when its episode aired. The day after the Eat Your Flowers episode aired, the company had completely sold out of their most popular product, their flower-pressed cookies.
Eat Your Flowers continued to grow its social media presence after Shark Tank as well, with their Instagram account now showing more than 250k followers. The company has also expanded their offerings on the website, including a new cookbook by Loria, and various pantry items, including cocktail cubes and flower salts. They also offer merchandise like hats, sweaters, T-shirts, and even online cooking classes. Finally, Eat Your Flowers also offers specialized catering services starting at $4,000.
It is not yet clear whether or not the deal between Eat Your Flowers and Barbara Cororan has closed; however, it is clear that this edible flower-based baking business has continued to sprout new products and increase its online awareness, so it looks like there are more good things in store for the flower girl from a small town in California.