Jackson’s Honest

Company: Jackson’s Honest

Founders: Megan and Scott Reamer

Season: Appeared on the season 9 premiere

Jackson’s Honest offers organic, coconut oil-based potato and tortilla chips. Flavors include sea salt, sweet potato, barbeque, salsa fresca, maple cinnamon and more.

According to their website, their “goal is to make clean, simple products with as much of these nutrient-dense fats as we can in a great tasting and convenient form while spreading the word that ancestral fats are a critically important part of a balanced diet.” The business, with a mission of “goodness: pass it on,” was created to provide digestive comfort to their late son Jackson, who was diagnosed with Aicardi–Goutières syndrome, a rare autoimmune disease, in 2015.

When the Reamers originally appeared on “Shark Tank,” they came in asking for $1.25 million for five percent equity. The sharks agreed that the chips tasted amazing and guest shark Rohan Oza praised the duo for breaking the mold in the food industry. But while the sharks all liked different elements of the business and were inspired by their story, Robert Herjavec, Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran and Mark Cuban went out—leaving only Oza. He ultimately offered $1.25 million for 20 percent equity and, after several counteroffers, they accepted a deal at $1.25 million for 15 percent.

Scott Reamer spoke with Business 2 Community about Jackson’s Honest’s experience on the show and what their next steps are. Take a look at the Q&A below:

Q&A with Jackson’s Honest’s Co-Founder Scott Reamer

What was your strategy for navigating “Shark Tank”?

Honestly, we just wanted to be ourselves and make a personal connection to the Sharks. Because we prepared so intensely for several months, we were confident we knew everything about our mission, products, and business; that there wouldn’t be any question from the Sharks that we couldn’t answer. We also didn’t wed ourselves to a particular outcome: we were fully prepared to accept the fact that we might not get a deal at all and, if so, we were ok with that regardless of the outcome.

Make no mistake—we were incredibly psyched to have done a deal, but we came to accept the fact that we might not for any number of reasons that we couldn’t control. And we were ok with that. If we were anxious about anything, it was how to tell the story of our son and his 16 year battle with a rare disease—and how that disease and that battle made us all so much stronger as a family and served as the inspiration and fuel to start Jackson’s Honest.

How has Jackson’s Honest changed since the episode was first recorded? Since it aired?

Well, we certainly have been inundated with calls, emails, and reviews from new customers that never heard of our brand before the “Shark Tank” episode aired. And for that we are eternally grateful. To have had a chance to tell millions of people about our son Jackson, his story, our mission, and our products has been a real blessing. Of course, working with our particular shark investor—Rohan Oza—has been incredible as well: he has already helped inform so many parts of the business, from strategy, packaging, R&D, to financing, marketing and branding.

Is there anything you would have changed about your time spent in the tank, including your pitch and valuation?

Nothing—we felt great about how we interacted with the Sharks, how we answered their questions, how we pitched our company and financing needs and ultimately how it resolved in the deal that we received.

Who’s your favorite shark?

Each of the sharks bring very unique skills and experiences to the show and to their companies. We don’t have a favorite Shark at all, but clearly working with Rohan Oza has been wonderful post-airing and we couldn’t have more positive things to say about that experience.

Do you think “Shark Tank” was the right move for your business?

We absolutely do. The entire experience from application to airing made us better entrepreneurs: we became more driven; more knowledgeable about our business; even more passionate about our story; more appreciative of our good fortune; smarter about pricing, margins, distribution and competition; and more aware of just what it takes to succeed as a start-up.

What are Jackson’s Honest’s next steps?

We have a huge new product announcement that is going to happen in the next handful of weeks—something that we have been working on all year that is a world’s first, very hard to create and tastes absolutely amazing. This will be the biggest new product launch for Jackson’s Honest since we first started selling potato chips!

Where do you see this industry in 5-10 years?

The snack food industry in 2027 will be fundamentally different—and better—than it is today. There will be whole classes of snack foods that are not only hyperpalatable, but they will also serve important functional needs in delivering good fats, complex carbohydrates and a wide variety of trace minerals from the sea. These are the snacks of the future. Instead of being laden with guilt and nutritionally void, many snack foods in 5-10 years will become an important, nutrient dense part of a balanced diet that focuses on supplementing the critical 2-3 meals that we eat each day. We hope and pray that Jackson’s Honest is part of that future snack food chain.

What would you say to people who want to start their own business?

We would say—absolutely do it. Succeed or fail, it will be one of the most challenging and fulfilling things you may ever do in your life. And there is no better time than right now to start a small business. There are so many advantages that entrepreneurs have today that were not available to them 5, 10 or 20 years ago. And do not put it off thinking there is a better time to do it in the future. Start right now; it is so self-empowering that it will make you a better person, even if it doesn’t succeed.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs who want to make it on “Shark Tank”?

Be passionate about your mission and always emphasize why you decided to start your business. No one else will ever have the same “why” as you – so really focus on that as your differentiator.

Anything else you’d like to add?

Just how absolutely humbled we are to have been selected from more than 40,000 applicants to appear on “Shark Tank” among the 100 or so other entrepreneurs that also will make it into season 9.

Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length