Couple-turned-founders Whitney and Chaz Gates experienced overnight success following their appearance on “Shark Tank.”
As AFROTECH previously reported, the Gates are the founders of Wondry, a Dallas, TX-based company that promises to deliver a “premium wine experience” through its 100% natural wine and sangria collection, which integrates “organic berry, citrus, and exotic fruit extracts.”
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Since that time, the couple has secured a multi-year partnership deal with Southern Glazer’s to distribute their beverages, which was later extended in August 2023.
What’s more, this isn’t the only favorable update to have come their way lately. CNBC reports the pair returned to “Shark Tank” for the Nov. 3, 2023, episode and revealed they have more than quadrupled their sales in less than a year after receiving backing from Cuban. Wondry has earned $1.1 million in revenue over the past 11 months.
“Before ‘Shark Tank,’ we were just a local Texas business,” said Whitney, according to CNBC. “But after, we became a nationally recognized brand overnight.”
The Gates noted their milestone was made possible after Cuban introduced them to Southern Glazer’s, enabling them to secure placements in a variety of establishments nationwide, including restaurants, retailers, and airlines. Wondry can now be purchased at over 400 stores across the United States, which is a significant increase from 50 stores in 2022.
To no surprise, the company’s production has greatly expanded, leading the founders to scale from a 1,400-square-foot facility to a 10,000 square-foot space.
Cuban acknowledged the “rarity” of their success as there are few Black winemakers, and he expressed confidence that their growth will inspire others.
“When you’re a Black winemaker, you’re a rarity,” Cuban said on the Nov. 3 episode, per CNBC. “And as a rarity, their community looks up to them. And you compound that with them being successful and growing so quickly, they’re going to be encouraging entrepreneurs across the country.”