Chet Beiler, CEO of OverEZ Chicken Coop, grew up on a 100-acre dairy farm in Pennsylvania, along with three brothers and four sisters. In the early 80s, a fire at the farm caused his family to lose everything, and Chet had to delay his education in order to help take care of his family. After two years, he was able to attend Pepperdine University on a scholarship. Chet studied economics, business and international studies. After graduating, he started Amish Country Gazebos. Over the past 33 years, he and his brothers have built the business into one of the nation’s largest gazebo retailers.
OverEZ Before Shark Tank
In 2020, Amish Country Gazebos purchased OverEZ Chicken Coop as part of a growth strategy. In a January 25, 2022 article by Sean Sauro of Lancaster Online, Chet explained that OverEZ was founded in Colorado by a group of Lancaster County men who moved out west, and had the same high-quality standards that Amish Country Gazebos had maintained over its 30 plus years.
In just two years, OverEZ has expanded beyond a 70,000-square-foot facility in Manheim, Pennsylvania, to an additional 75,000 square foot space in Dublin, Georgia. In both locations, Amish carpenters in Lancaster County, PA and Amish-trained carpenters in Georgia make every coop for customers across the country. The coops are easy to ship and can be assembled in 30 minutes to about an hour, depending on the size of the coop. Optional wheels for moving the coops around are available, as well as other accessories.
Currently, OverEZ does business in the United States and Canada. His goal is to continue to grow, hopefully with a facility in the Czech Republic to serve a European market. It is this potential expansion into Europe that Chet is hoping one (or more) of the Sharks will invest in. Interest in raising backyard chickens has grown significantly since the beginning of the pandemic, and interest in Western Europe is even greater than in the US.
OverEZ Chicken Coop was awarded the 2020 Retailers’ Choice Award by the North American Retail Hardware Association (NRHA). Each year, this award is given to standout products that are showcased at the National Hardware Show. The coops can be purchased on the website, or at various local dealerships.
OverEZ in the Shark Tank
|Shark Tank Air Date||01/28/22|
|Season||Season 13 Episode 13|
|Pitch||$1 million for 4% equity|
|On-air Deal*||No Deal|
Entrepreneur Chet Beiler entered the Shark Tank seeking a substantial $1 million investment for a 4% equity stake in his venture, OverEZ. This audacious valuation of $25M triggered a series of decisive responses from the Sharks.
Lori Greiner was the first to disengage, citing her inability to discern the distinctive qualities of OverEZ chicken coops in a market teeming with alternatives.
Robert Herjavec swiftly followed, emphasizing the daunting learning curve and time investment required to understand the business, making it unsuitable for his portfolio.
Kevin O’Leary, the pragmatic dealmaker, stepped in with a unique offer, proposing a $1 million debt investment for the same 4% equity stake, with a repayment term spanning three years at an 11.5% interest rate.
While Kevin was willing to structure the deal as a debt investment, Mark Cuban questioned Chet’s expansion aspirations in Europe, given the existing demand challenges in the domestic market.
Daymond John, despite his concerns about potential margin erosion and the valuation, extended an offer of $1 million for a 25% equity stake, giving them a valuation of $4M.
Instead of considering the offers at hand, Chet diverted his focus, attempting to re-engage Robert in the deal while seeking commitments from Kevin for funding beyond the initial $1 million debt investment, a proposition to which Kevin tentatively assented.
Ultimately, Chet’s failure to decisively respond to the existing offers led to Daymond John’s withdrawing his offer. With Kevin as the sole remaining Shark with an offer on the table, Chet momentarily agreed to Kevin’s terms but continued to seek Robert’s participation.
His lack of commitment to the deal prompted Kevin to withdraw his offer as well. Consequently, OverEZ Chicken Coops left the Shark Tank without securing an investment deal, underscoring the importance of clear and focused negotiation strategies in the pursuit of venture capital funding.