Where Is Pinole Blue From Shark Tank Today?

Growing up, Eddie Sandoval visited his family's hometown of Chihuahua, Mexico twice a year. While there, he fell in love with one of his family's favorite ingredients: pinole. The powder is a nutrient-rich mix of roasted, ground maize, often used as an addition in smoothies or coffee. Sandoval and his family missed the easy access to pinole while living in the United States, and he decided to make his own.

In between classes at Wichita State University, at the encouragement of his professor Kate Kung-McIntyre, Sandoval converted his dorm room into a processing space. He made his pinole with organic blue heirloom corn, packaged it as a drink mix, and sold it locally. His efforts won him a competition put on through his university, and he won a $10,000 prize.

Although Sandoval was seeing success selling the pinole locally, he wanted to expand his business to reach more people. To achieve his goals, he sought help from the "Shark Tank" investors.

The Sharks weren't convinced it was worth investing

Eddie Sandoval appeared with Kate Kung-McIntyre and Kyle Offutt in Season 13, Episode 14 of "Shark Tank." The trio asked the Sharks for a $300,000 investment in exchange for one-tenth of the company. They brought drinks, cookies, tacos, and protein bites for each of the Sharks to taste.

Mark Cuban was concerned that the company's name didn't fully explain the company's products and that the tortilla market was already too oversaturated. Despite the novelty of the tortillas being stone-ground, he wasn't sure people would be interested, so he was out. Barbara Corcoran thought the business was still too new, and she decided not to invest because it was too early. Guest Shark Emma Grede praised the trio's ambition and hard work. However, she agreed that it was too early to invest, so she was out. Lori Greiner chimed in that the samples she'd tried tasted good but also said it was too early for her to invest.

Kevin O'Leary agreed that the products were worth purchasing, but mirrored Cuban's comment; consumers would have to do extra research to understand the products. He noted that he didn't want to discourage them, but he still felt it was too early to invest — and the last Shark was out. However, Kung-McIntyre wasn't done. She and the other two continued pitching, though they still weren't able to get an investment. Eventually, Cuban cut them off, and they left, disappointed and without the money.

The company persevered

As they left the show, in their exit interview, Kyle Offutt said the Sharks declining to invest was "a huge mistake" as the company had been able to "do something really great out of nothing." Eddie Sandoval, however, was optimistic about the future of the company. "The grind never stops," he said.

Today, Pinole Blue's website is still up and running. All of its products are non-GMO, vegan, and gluten-free. The company sells its tortillas, the powdered drink blend, cookies, and protein bites online. Additionally, a portion of the money earned from sales is sent to the Tarahumara people, benefitting the women who inspired Sandoval's stone-grinding process.

The Pinole Blue website also features a store locator, and its products can be found in select Whole Foods locations, as well as a number of health food stores. It even has a physical store in Wichita, Kansas. While Pinole Blue didn't receive a "Shark Tank" investment, the company has made its own success.