Where Is Veggie Mama From Shark Tank Today?

Things often get heated in the Shark Tank, whether it's the Sharks grilling the featured entrepreneur or the entrepreneur firing back in defense of their idea. Even so, it can be shocking when the Sharks start squabbling among themselves. That's exactly what happened on Season 5, Episode 5 of "Shark Tank" (which was extra-surprising considering the entrepreneurs played it cool while pitching a frozen food).

Theresa Fraijo and her husband, Robert, created Veggie Mama to make vegetables more appealing to consumers, especially kids. Her solution was to make frozen veggie (and fruit) pops that were free of artificial additives. Together, the couple offered the Sharks a 15% stake in their company in exchange for a $75,000 investment. Mark Cuban wasn't "ready for the scramble" of expanding and Barbara Corcoran didn't like Veggie Mama's numbers, so both quickly bowed out.

Then, a bidding war began. Kevin O'Leary offered $75k for royalties, no equity. Robert Herjavec countered with $150k for 25% equity. Lori Greiner wanted to do $75k for 20%. O'Leary then doubled the money he was offering, so Herjavec and Greiner teamed up to undercut him, offering $150k for 20% plus royalties. Ultimately, Cuban and Corcoran got annoyed with the demands for royalties and struck a deal: $150k for 20%, no royalties.

Herjavec called Corcoran "crusty." O'Leary claimed Corcoran and Greiner were having "a catfight." Cuban even implied the Fraijos were "suckers." So, was Veggie Mama really worth all this bickering?

Veggie Mama kept its cool

Veggie Mama was fortunate to be one of the food pitches funded on "Shark Tank" Season 5, but securing an investment doesn't necessarily guarantee success. The good news was that Theresa and Robert Fraijo were prepared to hit the ground running. Prior to sealing the deal, the business had already gotten its Garden Pops into local Whole Foods and nationwide Sprouts locations, according to the Orange County Register. This was all thanks to the Fraijos pitching their wares at social gatherings and health stores, which came in handy when they appeared on TV.

Although their "Shark Tank" segment only ran about a dozen minutes, the Fraijos were grilled for an hour. "It was definitely nerve-wracking," Theresa told the Orange County Register shortly after the episode aired, "but we had done our homework. We knew every Shark, what they were into, and what we were willing to give up." As a result, Veggie Mama was funded, and it pivoted to ramping up production, gaining more retail space, and striking deals with distributors.

When Theresa spoke to the Orange County Register again, about a year after their episode premiered in 2013, it sounded like all was going well. She continued to attend company meetings and trade shows. While it was not clarified whether or not the deal went through, Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran were mentioned, implying they were partially responsible for Veggie Mama's busy schedule. But the business didn't last.

Veggie Mama's success melted away

Theresa and Robert Fraijo put a lot on the line to make their startup successful. They poured their savings into the venture, sold the diamond from Theresa's wedding ring to raise funds, and borrowed money from family and friends. Additionally, their family moved in with Robert's parents, Robert quit law school to focus on their company, and Theresa went from stay-at-home mom to working mother. Not to mention, they went into business with two Sharks who didn't even seem to like their idea; Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran seemed to invest in the company just to spite the other Sharks. But now, Veggie Mama no longer appears to be thriving.

The Veggie Mama website still exists, advertising its Garden Pops and Jams, but its e-shop is not currently functioning. Similarly, neither Whole Foods nor Sprouts carry Veggie Mama products these days. What happened?

A look at social media indicates the startup shut down in late 2018. Veggie Mama last tweeted in the summer of that year. On Theresa's LinkedIn — though she notes the venture reached a high of 1,200 retail locations nationwide — her time as Veggie Mama national sales manager and co-founder came to an end in December 2018. Nowadays, she works as a contract administrator for the State of Colorado, far from the company's old home-base in California. There's certainly an appeal to healthy ice pops you can feel good about snacking on, but it appears Veggie Mama specifically just wasn't appealing enough.