Kevin O’Leary gives corn chip startup a sour reaction on ‘Shark Tank’

Cameron Sheldrake isn’t a man who lets food go to waste.

When this third-generation farmer realized that his family’s supply of fresh sweet corn often outweighed the demand for the product, he made a solution only a true entrepreneur could make: Build a tortilla chip empire.

After just 13-months of selling his product, Sheldrake pitched Off the Cob Sweet Corn Tortilla Chips to “Shark Tank,” moving one-step closer to building a healthy household brand everyone can enjoy.

“My business is really important to me because it’s helping to sustain my family’s farm,” Sheldrake said on the show. “If I don’t get a deal from the Sharks, I don’t know what I’ll do.”

Sheldrake asked for $100,000 in exchange for a 15 percent stake in his company. After giving the Sharks a quick taste test, it didn’t take long for the investors to crave more.

“I was surprised by how much the Sharks liked my product,” Sheldrake said in an email to CNBC. It seemed like as soon as I gave them a bag of our sweet corn chips, they were so excited.”

Sheldrake jokingly commented that the timing may have had something to do with it, having just caught them before lunch. But despite the possible luck in timing, he said that overall their reactions and feedback were encouraging.

Of course, there’s always one tough Shark in particular that doesn’t swoon so easily. After learning that sales were just $45,000, Kevin O’Leary was quick to point out the obvious.

“You’re not making any money yet.”

Sheldrake jumped to the defense of his product and assured the Sharks that his company was on track to boost revenue, with the help of the largest distributor of natural foods in the U.S.

Still unconvinced, O’Leary added: “You know, I have a very simple model. If a business after three years isn’t making money, I call it a hobby. And if it’s not a hobby of yours, you should take it behind the barn and shoot it.”

Will the taste of Off the Cob Sweet Corn Tortilla Chips prevail? Or will Sheldrake walk away without a sweet deal? Find out on “Shark Tank” Sunday at 8P ET on CNBC

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