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Recent NYU graduate, Melissa Bartow, has turned her obsession with dates into a business by creating an array of date-based spreads in a variety of flavors. All of her spreads are vegan and dairy-free and at only 30 calories per serving, can be used to replace traditional spreads like butter and syrups. By adding only water and no oils to her products, she helps to preserve the health benefits from the dates as they are one of the healthiest fruits on Earth.

Wanna Date? has been in operation for ten months and has brought in $31,000 in sales. Her sales are divided from her website (10%), market sales (35%) and wholesale (55%). Melissa is able to sell her product for $12 per jar and makes the product for $2.40 but feels she can get her costs down to about $1.80 per unit. She shares with the Sharks that she goes out in NYC every day trying to make contacts and sell her products, but they are concerned that she has not done any formal market research to see how the industry would respond to her product and how much business potential there is for her in this market.

Daymond is concerned that there will be a lot of market education needed to convince consumers why they should buy the product and give it a try. Barbara does not want to invest because Melissa is being supported financially by her father. Barbara feels that as long as she has a safety net of someone financially supporting her, she will never fully feel the desperation of needing her business to succeed. While the other Sharks do not agree with Barbara, they are concerned that she is in the Shark Tank a little early. She is seeking $100,000 in exchange for 20% equity in Wanna Date?.

Mark Cuban decided that he would invest in Wanna Date? if Melissa was willing to make some changes including making the product smaller, cheaper and adding a plain date flavor. Mark offered Wanna Date? $100,000 in exchange for 33% pending Melissa’s willingness to make his proposed changes. Melissa agrees to the changes and accepts Mark Cuban’s offer.

Would you have invested in Wanna Date? if you were a Shark? Do you think that Mark’s offer was a fair one? Start the conversation in the comments below!

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Shark Tanks airs Sundays at 9pm on ABC.


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