Off the Cob Sweet Corn Tortilla Chips Enter the ‘Shark Tank’: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

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Off the Cob, who make a Sweet Corn Tortilla Chip, enters the Shark Tank on November 21.

The product is organic, non GMO and glutten free.

Heavy interviewed Molly Willsallen, who assists her boyfriend and founder of the company, Cameron Sheldrake.

For all of Heavy’s Shark Tank coverage, click here.

1. A Boyfriend/Girlfriend Team Is Behind It

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Sheldrake, now 24, launched the product in December of 2012, while he was studying at Babson College in Boston.

The couple lives in Philadelphia, where the company is based, and Willsallen designs their graphics.

She defined her role in the business by saying, “My role often changes, but for now I am doing all the graphic design. On the weekends, I become Cam’s secretary, making sure all the weeks’ tasks get done. It can be hard at times, but we always agree on what is best for the company.”

To read about more companies that appeared on Shark Tank, click here.

2. They’re the First to Make Chips Out of Sweet Corn

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Other companies use grain corn, which is machine harvested in the fall, for their chips.

Off the Cob hand picks sweet corn in the summer.

The reason others shy away from using sweet corn is because it doesn’t have a long shelf life.
If it is not frozen, canned or dried, it will only last for a few days.

The sweet corn is picked while ripe and therefore tastes fresh. Natural sugars and vitamin A are retained in the process as well.

3. The Owner Grew Up on an Ithaca, NY Farm

Off the Cob Sweet Corn Tortilla Chips Kickstarter CampaignThe first tortilla chips with real sweet corn on the cob, savory sweet flavor and 6 ingredients. Great Taste. Naturally.2012-09-11T03:19:47.000Z

Watch the Kickstarter video Sheldrake made on his family’s Early Bird Farm in Ithaca, New York. His family has grown sweet corn there since the 1960s.

The Sheldrakes sold their corn at a self-service roadside stand, and what they had left went to waste, since sweet corn spoils quickly.

The idea for the chip was born from Cameron seeing the crop go to waste.

He began to cut the kernels off the cob, and bake them into tortilla chips and the rest is snack history.

The Kickstarter campaign, which he began in September of 2012, went on to raise $15,000.

4. Whole Foods Was Their First Customer

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While he studied at Babson, Sheldrake connected with Youthtrade, an organization that connects young entrepreneurs to companies.

They connected Sheldrake to Whole Foods, and 20 of their stores in New England were the first to buy Off the Cob’s products.

Now, you can also find them at Wegmans.

5. They Don’t Advertise

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Besides a required minimum of one ad per year in a distributor’s catalogue, they do not advertise.

Instead, they promote their business in more creative ways.

“We are proud that all of our growth has been organic…We can’t afford to pay for clicks online so we stick to simple direct marketing and donate chips to events, give samples in stores and promote on social media,” said Willsallen.

Interested in Off the Cob? Read customer reviews and buy the product here.

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