Henry's Humdingers
Source: Henry's Humdingers Facebook

Unfortunately, Henry's Humdingers Is Not a 'Shark Tank' Success Story

Danielle Letenyei - Author

Sep. 28 2022, Published 10:02 a.m. ET

Washington resident Henry Miller was just 12 years old when he founded his honey company, Henry’s Humdingers.

Miller’s goal in creating the line of spicy honey wasn't just to make money but also to help the plight of honey bees that were suffering from Colony Collapse disorder.

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So, what came of Henry's Humdingers after Miller appeared on Shark Tank? We have all the details.

What happened to Henry’s Humdingers after appearing on 'Shark Tank?'

On March 14, 2014, Miller appeared on Shark Tank’s Young Entrepreneurs Special (Episode 516), looking for some financial assistance with moving his company forward.

Henry’s Humdingers was a line of spicy honey that could be used on everything from peanut butter sandwiches to meatloaf and even in martinis. The different kinds of honey had fun names like Naughty Nana, Grumpy Grandpa, and Phoebe’s Fireball.

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henry humdingers shark tank update
Source: Henry's Humdingers Facbook

Miller’s family had already put up $150,000 to get the business off the ground. Miller asked the sharks for an additional $150,000 to repay his parents in exchange for a 25 percent stake in the business.

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All the sharks were impressed with the young man’s entrepreneurial spirit and success with the company before he came on the show. According to Shark Tank Blog, in the four years since launching the business, Miller had grown his business from selling honey on the side of the road to distributing Henry’s Humdingers in 300 stores across 30 states.

shark tank
Source: Henry's Humdingers Facebook
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Sharks Mark Cuban and Robert Herjavec offered Miller a deal.

The business wasn’t a fit for Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, and Kevin “Mr. Wonderful” O’Leary, and the three sharks bowed out. Mark Cuban was interested but didn’t offer up a deal right away.

When it came to Robert Herjavec’s turn to weigh in on Miller’s business, he was just about to bow out when Cuban offered up a proposal to go in together on a deal that would give Miller $300,000 in return for a 60 percent share of the company.

Herjavec upped the ante to $300,000 for 75 percent. With the deal, the two sharks would take control of Henry’s Humdingers and build it up, while Miller kept his equity in the company.

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Miller accepted — but later turned down the 'Shark Tank' deal.

After thinking it over, Miller agreed to the deal. However, after the show, Miller changed his mind and turned down the offer, preferring to keep the business in the family, according to the Shark Tank Blog.

The family business seemed to thrive for a few years after Miller appeared on Shark Tank.

Source: Henry's Humdingers Facebook
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His appearance on the show helped boost Henry’s Humdingers sales by 300 percent.

The distribution increased with new partnerships with grocery store chains like Meijer and Haggen, the Bellingham Herald reported. Retail giant Target was even entertaining the idea of carrying Miller’s honey.

Unfortunately, Henry’s Humdingers closed in 2019.

But the success of Henry’s Humdingers eventually ended. On January 2, 2019, Miller announced on Facebook that he was closing the business, which hadn’t “made any profit in some time.”

The Miller family had suffered some setbacks. They had lost their family farm, and Miller’s mother was recovering from cancer.

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Source: Henry's Humdingers Facebook

“Of course, the products are amazing, but business is hard, and there are many unforeseen costs,” Miller said in the Facebook post. “I know that this has been a very difficult time for my family, and I've struggled with the fact that I was unable to succeed, but as corny as it sounds — we have each other, and I was able to raise awareness for the bees.”

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Tragedy struck the Miller family again in 2019.

The Miller family faced another tragedy in April 2019 when their rental home was destroyed by fire. Miller was away at Washington State University at the time of the fire. His parents escaped the fire, but the family pets didn't.

A GoFundMe page raised over $52,000 for the family.

Considering that Miller started the company from scratch, his success is impressive even though Henry's Humdingers eventually shut down. Would it have been a different story if Miller had accepted the Shark Tank deal?

We'll never know, but hopefully, he's successful in his future endeavors.


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