Back in January I got a press release that a Dallas-based company called Sweet Ballz was raising money for the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation. I was obviously hesitant to take the bait. Who wants to have their byline associated with an article about a company that turns out to be a prank? Who wants to write about ballz on a food blog at all for that matter?
But an interview with co-owner James McDonald convinced me to seek out the boxed confections, and they turned up at the first 7-Eleven I checked. I was forced to admit that if Sweet Ballz was a prank, it was a very convincing one. I just wish it had been a little more delicious.
And I'm not the only one who's taken the bait.
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Earlier this week I got an email from a distant reader asking me if I knew if the cake balls from Sweet Ballz were available in Colorado Springs. She'd seen the company featured on ABC's Shark Tank, a show that lets fledgling companies compete for the attention and resources of big-time investors.
Apparently Sweet Ballz sales have been so high investors on the show were forced into a feeding frenzy, despite their concern that the company sold nearly all of its product through a single vendor. Hometown hero Mark Cuban ended up with the most attractive offer, buying 25 percent of Sweet Ballz for $250,000.
If you want to watch the whole show, ABC has it here. When you're done you can spend the rest of your day wondering why a company that might be worth a million dollars can't keep up their website. It's been down for the past five days.