Santa Barbara Mariculture
Santa Barbara Mariculture

This week, Tilman Fertitta meets with Bernard and Adrian of Santa Barbara Mariculture.

Santa Barbara Mariculture is a mussel company “dedicated to the development of open ocean aquaculture.” According to their website, their “mission is to provide sound environmentally grown shellfish as fresh and local as possible.” Their eco-friendly methods allow for sustainable fishing and protecting the ocean’s vast resources. However, if they cannot fix their troubling business structure, they may not stay afloat.

Fertitta immediately puts the process to the test out on the water and says he’s worried that the business is so dependent on Bernard. He worries that there would be inconsistencies and thinks that the price is too high for individual direct sales to restaurants. He wants to put the mussels to the test and his restaurant and see how his customers respond.

At the blind taste test in Mastro’s Restaurants, Santa Barbara Mariculture decisively comes out on top. He challenges them to get the product into restaurants, however, Bernard is concerned that there would not be enough of a consistent supply since they are such a small business. Fertitta hopes to scale down in order to help Bernard better grow the business. He also wants Bernard to make Adrian a captain in the event that he is unable.

In a six-week test, demand greatly increased, however, there were some shortages. Fertitta is also disappointed with an email Bernard sent saying that he would not be able to supply for the next day. Confronting them in the boardroom, Fertitta is disappointed that they failed to provide their product efficiently. Bernard apologizes for his mistakes and Fertitta ultimately decides to buy 20,000 pounds at $3 a pound.

According to CNBC, the reality television show “introduces promising companies across the country to one of America’s most successful businessmen: billionaire hospitality mogul Tilman Fertitta, Chairman, CEO, and sole shareholder of Landry’s, Inc.” Featured entrepreneurs present their small business to Fertitta in the hopes that he will place a large purchase order. But before they make their pitch, they must prove to the hospitality mogul that their product is worth it through challenges and customer feedback.

Social Media Reacts to Santa Barbara Mariculture’s Appearance on “Billion Dollar Buyer”

What are your thoughts on Santa Barbara Mariculture? Did you like Fertitta’s offer? Sound off in the comments section below!