Joe’s Fish Fry

Summary

SEASON 9 EPISODE 16

PITCH

seasoned seafood breading mix

ENTREPRENEUR

Joe Dowell and Maranda Dowell

ASKED FOR

$150,000 for 15%

GOT

$150,000 for 25%

SHARK

Daymond John

STATUS

IN BUSINESS

Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry is a renowned seafood company based in Atlanta, Georgia. This company makes its staple product, a seafood breading mix so that customers can replicate the delicious taste of Joe’s signature fried fish at home. In addition to seafood breading, Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry produces a range of other seafood products, including gourmet shrimp.

Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry was started by Joe Dowell III. Dowel worked with his father, Joe, to start the company using the money that his father, a veteran of the Vietnam War, had saved up throughout his life. Though the men have faced hard times, they managed to build their business from the ground up. Now, Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry is an icon when it comes to homestyle, Cajun battered fish.

This successful seafood company shows no signs of slowing down. With a physical location in Lithia Springs, Georgia, Joe serves up delicious fish and chicken meals daily. They also have a partnership with one of the largest retailers in America, Walmart, to stock their savory herb and spice mix. To top it off, Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry works with aspiring entrepreneurs across the country for franchising opportunities.

grilled fish with cooked vegetables and fork on plate

Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry: How They Started

Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry was founded by Joe Dowell in New Orleans, Louisiana. Joe opened the business with his father, also named Joe. Joe was a veteran of the Vietnam War. He decided to give his life savings to his son to support his entrepreneurial spirit. The two men started their company as a food stand in Louisiana. After a few years, the business grew tremendously. Joe opened a whopping six franchises after grinding away and dedicating himself to his passion for cooking.

Joe’s is not a story of easy success. In 2005, Hurricane Katrina battered New Orleans. Two of Joe’s locations were destroyed. The other four quickly shuttered. However, Joe Dowell was not deterred. Instead of calling it quits, Joe gathered up his two remaining fry ovens and hit the road. He traveled to street corners, festivals, and events. His culinary expertise did not fail him. Quickly, he developed a loyal following among festival junkies. The only problem was that Joe was constantly on the move and customers wanted his delicious battered fish without waiting for him to return to their town. To solve the problem, Joe began to sell his batter mix.

The mix was a hit. After a short while, Joe began to focus on the business of breading. Within a few years, his mix appeared on shelves across the region.

dowell group photo

Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry: On Shark Tank

Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry appeared on Shark Tank for episode 908. Though Joe Dowell started the company with his father, he appeared on Shark Tank with his loving wife, Maranda, who joined the company in 2015. Now, the company is a husband and wife operation. Before joining Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry, Maranda worked as commodities professional and a retail real estate specialist.

This Shark Tank episode opened with the details of Joe and his family’s backstory. It told the impact of Hurricane Katrina on their lives and the money and energy that Joe and his family put into the company. Then, the episode jumped right into the details of the business.

When Joe and Maranda walked out onto the set, they made it clear that they meant business. Maranda told the Sharks, upfront, that their mix allows anybody to cook up a delicious meal in a deep fryer, an air fryer, or a pan. With little effort, these two natural salespeople convince the Sharks to try their food.

Next, came the numbers. Joe and Maranda were making real money selling individual bags of mix for $5 a pop. In the year that it appeared on Shark Tank, the company made about $270,000 in sales and projected to earn $450,000 the next year. All of these details intrigued the Sharks. Though many of the Sharks liked the product, all but one backed out before making an offer. In the end, the man who made an offer came to play.

Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry: Where Are They Now?

When Joe and his family went on Shark Tank, they wanted $150,000 for a 15% stake in the company. This offer was not picked up by the Sharks. However, Daymond John, the entrepreneur and founder of companies such as FUBU, offered Joe and his family the same amount, $150,000, for a 25% stake in the company. Though Maranda asked for a lower percentage trade-off, they eventually struck a deal. When Joe and Maranda left the floor of the Shark Tank, they had partnered with a multi-millionaire.

After appearing on Shark Tank and securing a lucrative investment, the story of Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry is one of continued success. Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry partnered with Walmart, one of the largest and most well-known retailers in the United States, and Joe’s products appeared on shelves in countless towns and cities across the country. Now, Joe’s mix can be purchased at over 1,200 locations nation-wide, with the majority of its distributors located in the eastern half of the country. You can buy Joe’s mix in stores such as Winn Dixie, Ultra Foods, Publix, Meijer, Rouses Markets, and Langenstein’s.

Joe’s Gourmet Fish Fry has a popular website and a presence across social media channels such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. On Facebook, the company has an impressive 4.9-star rating.

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