A Black-owned business has gone from securing what was initially a promising deal to facing a “nightmare.”
Back in 2013, Al “Bubba” Baker, former NFL player and owner of Ohio-based Bubba’s Q barbecue restaurant, appeared on “Shark Tank” alongside his daughter, Brittani Bo Baker. The barbeque brand landed an investment from Daymond John. Initially offered $300,000 for a 30% stake in the company, John later changed his offer to $100,000 and a 35% stake.
However, nearly 10 years later, the Bakers have come forward to shed light on what happened after the show.
Following a published article in the Los Angeles Times on May 18 about the aftermath of their “Shark Tank” experience, Brittani posted a TikTok to further amplify their story.
@bubbasqfoodtrucks #greenscreen I have so much more to say about our #SharkTank nightmare #wheredidthemoneygo #Sharktanknightmare #DaymondJohn #AlBubbaBaker #BubbaBakerSharkTank #BubbasBonelessribs #FYP #foryoupage #viral #smallbiznessesmatter #storytime ♬ Spooky, quiet, scary atmosphere piano songs – Skittlegirl Sound
Brittani claims that after taping their episode, John advised them to set up a website to capture all of their sales expected to come in once the episode officially aired. The business mogul is said to have set them up with one of his business partners, Nate Holzapfel — who also appeared on “Shark Tank.”
After setting up the business and merchant accounts for the website sales, Brittani says that red flags started to pop up from Holzapfel such as him failing to pay vendors on time. The team told John about the issues at hand, but he said for them to trust him because he was an “expert.”
Then, Brittani claims that the red flags escalated with Holzapfel allegedly not setting up the website to deduct sales taxes on Bubba’s Boneless Ribs sauces, which resulted in the company having to refund $30,000 worth of sauces the day after its episode aired. What’s more, Holzapfel allegedly closed the business account that is said to have had over $100,000 at the time and only sent the Bakers an $8,000 check.
“I called Daymond and told him about it, and he said to his understanding that’s what Nate deserved,” Brittani said in her TikTok video about the missing funds.
According to the Los Angeles Times, other people have allegedly had issues with Holzapfel as well. Additionally, he is awaiting trial in Utah on 15 felonies and five misdemeanor criminal charges related to communications fraud, theft, and forcible sexual abuse, and is currently out on bail.
Following the Bakers’ tell-all, John is seeking a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction against Al, Brittani, and Al’s wife, Sabrina, according to the lastest Los Angeles Times article.
Along with losing money from doing business with the Bakers, John claims that the family “violated a confidentiality provision laid out in the parties’ operating agreement and the terms of arbitration and mediation settlements in 2019.”
John’s spokesperson, Zach Rosenfield, shared in a statement, per the outlet: “After repeated attempts to give the Bakers the ability to correct their violations, it is unfortunate that it has come to this. This temporary restraining order is due to the Bakers’ blatant actions to undermine a business partnership and the legal parameters they agreed to 4 years ago. Their belief that they can unwind poor business decisions through slanderous social media posts and articles will no longer be tolerated.”
Prior to the restraining order, John posted a TikTok to refute the allegations against him. Watch the full video below.
@thesharkdaymond I’m not one to give oxygen to false information and bogus claims – especially ones that are rehashing things that were addressed through the legal process nearly 4 years ago. But I know when I need to stand up for myself. Here are my thoughts on the recent @latimes story that has tried to take down Shark Tank and go after me. I have nothing at all to hide whatsoever because I know the truth is on my side. #sharktankupdate #SharkTank #FinancialIntelligence ♬ original sound – Daymond John