In season 2, episode 4, Johnny Gennaro brought the Broccoli Wad to the Shark Tank. After seeing a series of documentaries about “Wise Guys”, he developed the concept to another whole new level.
- 1 Company Overview in Shark Tank
- 2 What is Broccoli Wad?
- 3 How Does Broccoli Wad Work?
- 4 Who Founded Broccoli Wad? Founder Backgrounds
- 5 Broccoli Wad Business Before Shark Tank
- 6 Broccoli Wad During Shark Tank Pitch
- 7 Broccoli Wad Closing Deal in Shark Tank
- 8 Broccoli Wad After Shark Tank
- 9 Current Update: Is Broccoli Wad Still In Business?
|Company Name||Broccoli Wad|
|Website / Social Media||No website|
|Episode||Season 2, Episode 4|
|Product Offering||Money band for holding cash|
|Founder||Johnny Gennaro and Vinny Pastore|
|Required Investment||$50,000 for 20% share|
|Closing Deal||$50,0000 for 40% share|
|Offered Sharks||Barbara Corcoran|
|Current Business Status||Out of Business|
What is Broccoli Wad?
The Broccoli Wad is a gadget created to assist men in keeping track of their cash. Simply put, it is a rubber band that closely resembles a supermarket’s fresh foods section.
According to the founder’s theory, mafia members would frequently use an elastic band from a broccoli bunch as a clipper for cash instead of carrying a wallet.
Broccoli Wad works like an elastic binder created to hold cash and has the shape of broccoli. The set includes four bands and four metal slides. This item can be sold for between $10 and $14 at retail.
Johnny developed the concept at a deeper level by developing a silicone band that is tougher and more versatile than the broccoli bands previously available.
In an attempt to take his concept to the Sharks, he asked Vinny Pastore to collaborate with him, earning the name “Broccoli Wad.”
The founder considers the product a novelty item that can be purchased in stores, online, or through advertisements.
Johnny Gennaro, a Miami-based creator, created the Broccoli Wad. In one of his innovations, he was fascinated by a story he was watching at the time. This documentary was known as the Mafiosos series.
While viewing, Johnny witnessed that those wealthy mafia members would remove elastic bands from bunches of broccoli and then use them as a clipper for their tons of cash.
At this point, the founder was absolutely inspired by the idea to create a cash holder in a firmer and more adjustable version of these rubber bands.
Johnny was partnering with Vinny Pastore while launching his firm and developing an initial design of his invention. It is worth noting that Vinny is a well-known performer in mafia roles in films.
Making Vinny a member of the company helped enhance their company’s growth, but it wasn’t literally sufficient. Therefore, they started putting up their invention and driving it to ABC’s Shark Tank, believing that one of the Sharks would recognize the genuine potential in their creation.
Johnny Gennaro and Vinny Pastore entered the Shark Tank show, asking the Sharks for $50k for 20% ownership of his business.
Johnny displayed the Broccoli Wad while carrying a large sum of cash. He told how he got the concept for this item after seeing a documentary. He observed that wise men don’t carry their wallets around. Instead, they hold their cash in a rubber band from broccoli.
Kevin was curious about where those wise men kept their payment cards and license. Jeff Foxworthy interrupted that those witty people don’t use credit cards. The reason is they don’t like to be stalked or exposed.
Johnny plainly joked that those men might have their cards at hand, but those cards are usually expired or invalid. That impromptu assertion made both sharks laugh out loud.
Johnny was distributing samples to all of the Sharks, whereas Vinny was explaining how he found the concept was crazy at first. At the end of the day, he realized that the item was too adorable to handle. So, he changed his mind.
Robert was stunned by the $250k worth of a rubber piece. Vinny replied that if the firm could sell many units and receive only a $0.5 royalty fee per unit, he could afford a Malibu home.
While other Sharks laughed at the jokes, Barbara wasn’t convinced by this concept. She thought that the founders were insane. Barbara expressed this invention might be one of the unprecedented things she had ever seen on the program. So, she left immediately.
Johnny explained that women might not feel related because they love carrying wallets, so he understood.
But, Jeff admitted that he was presently opting for a better gadget to hold his cash. The reason is many clippers for money don’t function very well. So, he appreciated Johnny’s suggestion.
Kevin wondered how they planned to market the product. Johnny indicated that each box has two elastic bands with two metal sliders. All of these would cost in a range of $10 and $14.
At that moment, Jonny had prepared a short advertisement casted by Vinny with several of his former colleagues. He was also convinced that the firm was about to begin an advertisement, and Vinny was already committed to making public participation at Atlantic City casinos.
Daymond John was intrigued by the total money that had already been capitalized in the business. The Sharks were astonished when Johnny revealed that he had already invested $200k in it. However, Vinny revealed that $190k of the total expense was paid off to him.
Kevin O’Leary inquired whether the founders needed the $50k to advertise the product.
Johnny made it clear about his requirement. He needed sales and marketing exposure in his business.
Robert was pondering why Vinny’s image was not featured in the box. That was when Barbara got back into the negotiation.
She wondered why the business should be named Vinny Wad instead. The other sharks agreed that it would be a fantastic marketing strategy.
Daymond questioned Johnny whether he viewed Vinny, the co-founder, as the product’s symbol. Johnny mentioned that if there were no Vinny in this production, it would be nothing more than an elastic band.
Recognizing that Vinny’s participation may improve the company’s brand image, Barbara would consider coming back if the founders were willing to reinvent the product’s name as the “Vinny Wad” and put Vinny’s photo on the packaging.
Robert added that Vinny would be the biggest asset of the company.
When questioned if the actor was ready to keep with the label in the long run, Vinny stated it was basically dependent on supply and demand, indicating it would rely on how much he was paid.
Kevin declined since it appeared too pricey to him. Then, Daymond and Jeff both left as well. Not long after, Robert claimed he was out too.
Barbara, on the other hand, was eager to renegotiate the investment price. She did, however, point out to Vinny. She would like to offer Johnny $50,000 for 40% of firm ownership.
Besides, she could divide her total share with Vinny. Yet, she required Vinny’s names and faces for the company’s brand image.
Vinny said it was a fantastic offer from Barbara. So, the founder instantly accepted the contract with Barbara.
Kevin was shocked by what had just happened.
Barbara Corcoran made an offer for Broccoli Wad.
She was willing to give them the $50,000 in return for 40% of the company. If Vinny agrees to be the face of the company and rename the Broccoli Wad the “Vinny Wad,” she’ll give him half of her percentage.
Pastore accepts immediately, even though he was not the decision-maker. Gennaro looks shocked and uncertain, but he accepts the deal.
After Shark Tank, the Broccoli Wad is still available for purchase at Amazon.com. But, it is marketed and distributed by a business called “Wise Guy Productions,” which is in no way associated with either Johnny or Vinny.
Nevertheless, the product’s price has climbed significantly. It now costs roughly $55 for two rubber bands and metal sliders. This is a substantial increase from the previous price. Despite the company’s existence controversy, its product has received many favorable ratings.
The truth is, after only a couple years of Johnny Gennaro’s supervision, his product was discontinued.
According to the founder’s LinkedIn profile, he has pursued other endeavors. For example, he collaborated with the successful entrepreneur of Twinstars Productions, LLC, developing unique home items and hair care products.
They created iCurler, a product that he has tried to bring to market but was in vain. To use this product, users must first put part of their hair into an appliance that resembles a blow dryer; after that, the equipment sucks the hair in and curls it.
While Johnny claims to have a patent for it, there is no web page for the business, and it doesn’t seem to be accessible for purchase elsewhere yet.
Vinny, on the other hand, is doing just well. He is still working as an actor. These days, he presumably has numerous shooting projects at hand.
An update in July 2021 showed that Broccoli Wad by the Wise Guy Productions LLC was still licensed with the State of New Jersey.
However, their site appears stagnant due to a lack of maintenance. At this point, their social media has also been deafeningly quiet.
Even though the merchandise is still accessible through Amazon and other web-based shops.
After all, the company’s internet persona appears to have gradually disappeared.