These days, veganism is gaining popularity. As a response to the growing demand for meatless alternatives, Atlas Monroe developed a vegan version of their popular fried chicken, which was presented by Deborah and Jonathan Torres on the hit ABC show Shark Tank. Attempts to acquire the company by Rohan Oza and Mark Cuban were turned down. Seven million dollars is what Atlas Monroe is valued at in the year 2022.
About the Founders
The Torreses are a married couple from San Diego, California. Their names are Deborah and Jonathan. Deborah was the main chef in the making of their revolutionary dish, which they both proposed to Shark Tank.
Despite the fact that she spent her childhood in Silicon Valley, neither of her parents is a U.S. citizen. Her father is originally from Guyana, while her mother grew up in the UK.
For this reason, she grew up consuming a wide variety of cuisines. Two of her grandmothers were also businesswomen in the restaurant industry, thus fried chicken held a special place in the family’s history.
Founding the Company
A diagnosis of type 2 diabetes meant that Deborah’s father needed to make immediate and long-lasting changes to his diet in order to prevent the progression of his disease. The daughter took issues into her own hands since she was worried.
While watching the video Simply Raw, she learned that people with diabetes who switched to a raw vegan diet for a month noticed significant improvements in their condition. And so Deborah educated herself on the art of vegan cooking.
Her father’s condition improved, and she decided to try her hand at vegan meat substitutes. She used this strategy to create the Atlas Monroe vegan fried chicken, which she entered into the VegFest competition and won Best Dish for.
Appearance on “Shark Tank”
Deborah and her husband took their product to Shark Tank in 2019. In exchange for $500,000, they were willing to give up 10% of their company. The Sharks raved about the free samples of fried chicken they were given.
The conversation became contentious and confusing as opinions and estimates were exchanged.
Even Barbara Corcoran had reservations about investing in such a fledgling company. Mark Cuban, a vegetarian himself, was, nonetheless, quite interested.
That’s why his first offer was $500,000 for 30% ownership. At a later time, he convinced guest Shark Rohan Oza to join forces and purchase the entire business. They offered the Torres brothers $1 million up front and a 10% royalty on future profits, but they turned it down.
After Shark Tank
A huge offer from Cuban and Oza made the ambitious entrepreneur see the possibilities of her firm. They now feel secure in their company’s ability to succeed even without the Sharks’ investment.
Deborah has guided Atlas Monroe to success as a privately held firm. It spent several million on a facility that now produces several hundred thousand tonnes of vegan goods every year. They diversified into producing various mock meats besides chicken.
Deborah, the company’s CEO, said in an interview that they were on target to earn $5 million in revenue for 2021 thanks to the site’s $2 million in sales. They also began supplying food to several eateries all around the country. Currently, Deborah and her crew are on track to become the world’s largest producer of plant-based fried chicken.