Everything Legendary, a new-to-the-market, plant-based meat company located in Maryland, recently scored a big deal with Mark Cuban on ABC’s “Shark Tank.”
Cuban offered the company $300,000 for a 22 percent stake.
“So many people watch ‘Shark Tank’ all the time. But very rarely do people take that next step,” said Duane “Myko” Cheers, the CEO of Everything Legendary, an innovative business launched by a team of African-American entrepreneurs.
Along with Cheers and his partners, Danita Claytor and D.C.-area chef Jumoke Jackson, the company has touted plans “to disrupt the plant-based meat industry with high-quality, great-tasting product presented in brightly-colored packaging that features an edgy, urban vibe.”
“We took that next step and applied” to appear on “Shark Tank,” Cheers said. “It was a long process and we kept going, and, you know, the dream came true and we went on ‘Shark Tank.’ Just to get on was a dream.”
While Cheers graduated from Morgan State University, Claytor matriculated from both Howard University and Bowie State University.
With Chef Jackson, the trio has shared their collective HBCU education and experience in finance, education, multi-media production and hospitality to create the business model that fuels Everything Legendary.
Launched two years ago, Everything Legendary is sold to grocery stores and restaurants in the Greater Washington Area. The entrepreneurs expressed their desire to “make the world a healthier place and educate everyone on the benefits of going vegan.”
Cuban, owner of the Dallas Mavericks, is also a vegan and the group’s soy and gluten-free Legendary Burger helped win him over.
“The burgers are amazing,” Cuban tweeted. “The entrepreneurs are legendary, too.”
A news release noted that the plant-based market counts as one of the hottest categories in the food industry and Everything Legendary has added to that growth, having sold $250,000 worth of burgers within 24 hours of the “Shark Tank” broadcast on the East Coast.
The entrepreneurs also strongly target Black millennial consumers because they believe the demographic will help drive their success.
“This is a purpose-driven company,” Cheers said. “My mom has battled Lupus for the past 35 years and it’s affected her lungs. She’s on oxygen 24/7 and she’s been a strict vegan.”
“One of the reasons why she has survived so long is because of her healthy diet. She just celebrated her 71st birthday last December,” he said.
Cheers admits that his mother takes medication for her condition but she’s discovered the need for just a limited amount because of her healthy lifestyle.
“That’s where it started. My ‘ah-ha’ moment to get into the industry was when I was in the grocery store with my mother and we were walking around and tried all the plant-based burgers that were there. But none of them had flavor, though,” he said.
That’s when he says he began to develop the idea for Everything Legendary.
“My two partners stepped in. I called Danita and then from there, I called Jumoke who I had known for years. We put it together and the product is just amazing.”
Cheers proclaimed that Cuban’s investment was “an absolute game-changer” for their brand, allowing them to increase product capacity and assure seamless national distribution.
“This gives us the resources that allow us to position our brand against any competitor where I know we will win on the flavor and quality,” Cheers stated in a release following the Feb. 26 broadcast.
“For me, this investment is extremely personal. It is a validation of my ‘never give up’ philosophy. I heard ‘no’ 1,000,001 times over the years but this one ‘yes’ moment changes everything.”