By Dawn Pearson
On the ABC television show ‘Shark Tank’ investors Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O’Leary circle contestants, waiting to take a bite of their business.
As a young Ball State University graduate at his first job back in 1998, Matt Griffin was thinking of a way to escape the cubicle life and came up with an invention while eating a warm corner of a brownie on his lunch break.
Sixteen years later Griffin and his wife, Emily, have been chosen to see if any of the “sharks” sink their teeth into their invention on how to make the perfect brownie with their line of unique and high-quality bake ware.
“We own a small bake ware company called Baker’s Edge. We launched in 2006, after we cleaned out our savings account to make the first prototypes in 2002.” Griffin said. “We launched it with our Edge Brownie Pan.”
And that invention was born out of a particularly frustrating day at the office, Griffin said.
“I was eating lunch and thinking about inventions as a means to escape the cubical, then it suddenly struck me while I was finishing my lunch with a warm brownie. I love corner brownies and a simple redesign of the conventional pan could give me a pan full of them.”
So how do you catch a shark?
“In 2013 we missed all the open casting calls, so I emailed the show via their website and voiced our interest in participating, thinking we would never hear back,” Griffin said. “A month or two later I got a call from the show saying they were interested and would like me to fill out the standard application forms and shoot a video. We did and make it to the next round with multiple rounds of paper work, phone interviews and conference-call pitches.”
So off to Culver City, Calif., they traveled and got to pitch their brownie pan to the sharks.
“We were told over 35,000 applicants go for the show every year and of those, only 140 or so get filmed, and even 20 percent or so of those never make the air,” he said. “So it’s been a wild ride for sure, and we are really happy our tiny company made it over all the hurdles.”
So what makes their product good shark bait?
“We make high-quality, heavy gauge, cast aluminum bake ware in the USA, that is meant to last years and years of use. It’s the stuff your grandma used but better,” he said. “We got our foot in the door with our game-changing brownie pan, the Edge Brownie Pan. We think the best brownies have moist centers, a paper thin crackly crust and lots of chewy edges.”
The show airs May 16.