What Happened To Slawsa After Shark Tank?

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If you're a foodie as well as a "Shark Tank" fan, then the word "Slawsa" probably rings a bell. In 2013, entrepreneur Julie Busha took to the "Shark Tank" stage to sell her unique product on the ninth episode of Season 5. This product was Slawsa, a brand-new condiment branded as "the gourmet topping for everything." It's kind of coleslaw, kind of relish, and kind of salsa, but it's not exactly any of those things, either.

When Busha visited the Tank, she let the Sharks taste her old family recipe and grew emotional while explaining how she and her husband had been living below their means to save up for her entrepreneurial dreams. The Sharks were impressed by Busha's pitch and her passionate, committed attitude, but despite the investors' respect for her, each was either underwhelmed by the product or believed her pitch wasn't worth the investment. Just because a product doesn't receive a Shark's backing, however, doesn't mean it's doomed to fail; many unsuccessful "Shark Tank" pitches go on to succeed elsewhere, so where is Slawsa today?

All about Slawsa's Shark Tank journey

Julie Busha dove headfirst into the Tank, requesting $150,000 in exchange for a 15% stake in Slawsa. Busha emphasized how Slawsa would alter the "boring" array of condiment options on the market and explained that she made each jar for $1.25 and sold it for $2.25. She also mentioned that she paid royalties to her partner from whom Slawsa originated as a family recipe. When explaining that this buyout was coming out of her own pocket, Busha quickly became emotional. She explained to the Sharks that she and her husband had saved up "a good amount of money" over many years, allowing her to pursue her business without taking a salary.

Her testimony undeniably impacted the Sharks. Mark Cuban said, "I love what you're doing," and added that Busha was "setting an example for people" by demonstrating to aspiring entrepreneurs how saving money in the present can help fund businesses later on. He even called her "an example like we rarely have in [the Tank]." Still, Cuban passed on the investment opportunity. Robert Herjavec called Busha "one tough cookie" but said he found her product too sweet. The rest of the Sharks also passed on the deal, with Kevin O'Leary adding that he didn't believe Busha's company was worth what she was asking.

Slawsa after Shark Tank

On Slawsa's website, Busha writes that she expected to get more than one offer on "Shark Tank" and was surprised to leave empty-handed. Nevertheless, she wrote a thank-you note to each Shark. She adds that she initially struggled to understand why the Sharks rejected her proposal and worried it was her fault: "I took it personally. I'll be honest, I took it really personally." Ultimately, she concluded that her product just wasn't the right fit for the Sharks' business interests. "I'll never let someone else's inability to see my value determine my worth," she explains. "There is nothing more fulfilling than waking up each and every day, knowing your efforts are the ones that have grown a great brand..."

According to Busha, she didn't know whether or not her "Shark Tank" pitch would make it into an episode. When it did, however, #Slawsa trended on Twitter, according to Busha, and she began receiving tweets, DMs, and emails from new fans. In the year and a half leading up to Busha's "Shark Tank" appearance, Slawsa had made it onto the shelves of over 4,000 stores across the U.S. In the decade after Slawsa's episode aired, the product doubled its reach. Slawsa is now available for purchase in over 8,000 stores in multiple countries (via 2X eCommerce).

Slawsa is still going strong

Slawsa is still in business, and while Busha didn't manage to snag an investor on "Shark Tank," her appearance on the show drummed up plenty of business. According to an interview Busha did for the podcast Entrepreneurs on Fire, prior to starting Slawsa, she spent some time doing marketing work for NASCAR champion Bobby Labonte. With this in mind, it's no wonder that she was able to keep Slawsa afloat, even without a Shark by her side. By August 2022, Slawsa was reportedly raking in $5 million in revenue each year (via BizNews). In addition to the reported 8,000 stores that carry Busha's product, Slawsa has also made its way into restaurants and stadiums.

The Slawsa company has expanded internationally, so in addition to the U.S., you can find Slawsa in Canada, Australia, and Germany. If you'd like to have its products delivered, you can snag Slawsa on Amazon or the company's website. Slawsa is now available in four flavors: Original, Garlic, Spicy, and Fire.

What's next for Slawsa?

Besides expanding to thousands of stores and going international, Busha has done even more to set Slawsa up for success: She scored a celeb spokesperson, NASCAR driver Kenny Wallace, to promote her company's products and even got Slawsa featured on T.V. programs like "Today." According to Busha, love for Slawsa has spread like wildfire thanks to its fans. "We've received many traditional media mentions ... but there is a huge community of BBQ, grilling, or food influencers who have just embraced Slawsa on their own," Busha told Earn the Necklace. "We also have sampling programs with retailers, in-store marketing, and other traditional things, too." Busha expanded upon the ways the brand gets its name and flavors out to the public, sharing, "One of the biggest food vendors (Giggles' Campfire Grill) at the Minnesota State Fair as he wanted to serve Slawsa on some 20,000 Turducken Sausages."

In January 2024, Slawsa announced on Instagram that the brand was at the Specialty Food Association Winter Fancy Food Show. A few weeks later, the account posted a photo of Slawsa jars and noted that there was "some interesting testing" being done. The caption added, "You never know what new opportunities may pop up from exhibiting at the Fancy Food Show. Let's see where this goes!"