Marcus Lemonis Vs Sweet Pete’s
The Owner(s): Peter and Allison Behringer
In this episode of the profit, Marcus Lemonis visits Sweet Pete’s. Sweet Pete’s is a candy store located at Hogan Street, Jacksonville, Florida. They specialize on handmade chocolates and candies. This is owned by husband and wife, Peter and Allison Behringer.
Peter grew up in the chocolate industry. In 1985, his mother opened a family chocolate business named Peter Brooke Chocolatier. After Peter finished college, he applied his own experience with the industry to enhance his chocolate and candy making skills.
The business was doing fine at first. But in 2010, the family business was sold and Peter started the Sweet Petes’s candy shop. He applied his own expertise to create most of the company’s candies by hand. With only $10,000 as starting capital, the couple asked for help from a finance man, Dane Baird and here is where creepy things start happening.
What was thought as a solution at first, turned out of be a haunting nightmare for Sweet Pete’s. Peter and Allison felt they were like hostages to Dane. They had a $17,000 loss in 2013.
Problems/Issues In The Business Found By Marcus
- The business is located in a sleepy residential neighborhood with little traffic.
- The premises and workplace is small.
- The kitchen is outdated.
- Not enough manpower.
- A business partnership gone wrong.
- Sweet Pete’s unable to keep on the demands.
After Marcus sees the shop, the people involved and the business process, he made some decisions on how to help Sweet Pete’s recover. He asked Allison and Peter what they want to happen as well as Dane. The Behringer couple is frustrated for doing all the work while getting nothing from their investments. Dane insisted that his efforts and contributions should be recognized. Marcus doesn’t see anything that Dane is claiming.
Marcus proposed to invest $750,000 for 50% share, while the Behringers will receive the other half of the shares. He wanted to invest the $250,000 as working capital, while the $500,000 will be spent on facilities. Dane disagreed with the deal, because he thought that his contributions are worth more. Marcus said that he and the Behrigners will give Dane 5% to 15% annual equity if Dane shows his commitment to Sweet Pete’s. Everyone agrees, Marcus signed the check and the deal was made.
Solutions Suggested/Implemented by Marcus To Improve The Business
- Move to a business new location.
- Improve the process and let the production be handled by other candy makers.
- Build a commercial kitchen for more staff and supplies.
- Rent a commercial kitchen space while they are renovating the new place.
- Peter to handle more Candy making classes.
- Eliminate or dilute Dane’s shares of the company.
During The Show…
After the deal was made, Marcus and Sweet Pete’s owners talked with the staff about the changes in the company. Marcus will have the 100% control of the company and he will introduce new ways and approaches to earn more revenue. He encourages Peter to get out of the kitchen and give more Candy demos because they are gaining 500% margin with this.
They rented a commercial kitchen to make their production bigger and meet all the demands. Marcus brought Peter and Allison to their new location. He showed then the new business motto: “The Sweetest Place on Earth.” Manpower and new website were also added.
Creepy Dane asked for $150,000 to leave the company, but no one is buying his offer. They found a new solution to eliminate Dane in the partnership with the Article 3 of Capitalization of the Company. Later, Marcus surprised everyone with 3 new candy vehicles.
Conclusion and Updates on the Business
Sweet Pete’s opened a new business location in Seminole Club. This location hosted numerous popular visitors like Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy. The company with help from Marcus renovated the property. Today, Sweet Pete’s is considered as one of the largest candy shops in US.
Nowadays, Sweet Pete’s produces different types of quality candies and chocolates. The new location has 2 big retail areas, an interactive gallery, a rooftop patio, a full restaurant and bar and a dessert bar. It can cater field trips, parties and events. Peter holds candy making classes which are a huge hit with children. The education team of Sweet Pete’s is now hosting hundreds of children every week.
Looks like Pete can finally focus on his business and success without any more drama. His enthusiasm and passion is now repaying him and his wife. Marcus as well :)
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