Bob Kroupa created small containers filled with sugar-free mints or gum that clip onto backpacks, purses, overnight cases or anything that keeps them handy so that you can freshen your breath wherever you are. He had recently produced a Clip N Go case for contact lenses that was not yet on the market and planned to produce cases for vitamins and antioxidants.
The sharks were confused. Was he selling gum and mints? The containers? How did contact lenses fit in with gums and mints? Bob said the common denominator among his products was that they are all for people on the go. He had impressive sales. He invested $2 million of his own money (made in real estate) and grossed $800,000 in one year. The problem was that he made no profit. The overhead was excessive; he paid large salaries to two employees. He took no salary for himself. He was completely out of money. The cases were sold in retailers such as Walgreen’s as novelty items, but they did not “earn their keep.” The retailers replaced them with more profitable novelties.
Bob did not get a deal, but he appreciated the sharks’ comments and criticisms so that he did not keep pouring money into a losing idea. He went back to real estate. Later, he hopped right onto the need for Personal Protection Equipment in response to the COVID pandemic and founded SureWay Health. He also formed a foundation and authored Just Like You, an anti-bullying children’s book that inspired an “All Kids Included” festival in Miami.
New Era Brands is no longer in business.