Sabeena Ladha is an entrepreneur who took her company Deux (pronounced dough) to the sharks on “Shark Tank” to see if she could get one of the sharks to invest in her company during the November 12, 2021 episode of the hit ABC show.
The episode synopsis revealed, “A health-conscious entrepreneur from Los Angeles, California, introduces her nutritious take on a classic dessert enhanced with immunity-boosting vitamins.”
The entrepreneur pitched her company to sharks Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec and guest shark Nirav Tolia, founder of NextDoor.
Here’s what you need to know about Deux on “Shark Tank:”
1. Deux Makes Eating Cookie Dough Good for Your Health
Sabeena Ladha, like many people, found herself obsessing about her health during the pandemic. She was, as she revealed in an interview with Heavy, taking fistfuls of supplements and wanted a better way to take her vitamins. She said, “This transformed into a functional foods concept – edible cookie dough – where we clean up the ingredient list and add in good for you functional ingredients to make you feel good about dessert.”
Just about a year ago, Ladha launched her enhanced cookie dough with three flavors: Chocolate Chip with immune support, Brownie Batter with collagen support, and Ginger Doodle with stress-relieving ingredients like ashwagandha, Who What Wear reported.
Ladha reveled the challenges she faced launching her company, saying, “We grew pretty quickly early on, so at one point I was making product until 3am and then waking up at 7am to fulfill orders. The demand was so great for the company early on, but we needed to launch with a co-packer asap and ended up raising capital for our first production run.”
2. Sabeena Ladha Has a Background in the Food Business
Before Sabeena Ladha founded Deux, she got her bachelor’s degree in business and supply chain management from the University of Texas at Austin, her LinkedIn profile reveals.
She then went to work for Diamond Foods and PepsiCo before moving on to a consultant position at McKinsey & Company. In that role, she worked with early stage companies, an interview with Who What Wear reported.
All of the steps Ladha has taken prior to founding Deux, gave her a deep knowledge of consumer packaged goods and supply chains.
3. The Pandemic Ended Up Helping Deux Grow
While many businesses and complete industries faced epic issues doing business during the pandemic, for Sabeena Ladha and Deux, the pandemic brought about some unexpected benefits.
In an interview with Heavy, she said, “There were some tailwinds with the pandemic – the fact that people were more likely to buy food online than ever before. On top of that people were looking for healthy indulgences, something they could feel good about.”
That said, Ladha did face some challenges. She continued, “The challenges came mostly on the supply chain side. Ingredients and materials are more expensive than ever, and transportation is wildly expensive. But it does give us hope that if we can get through these supply chain challenges early on, we can deal with future ones with a little more ease.”
4. Deux Is Sold at Erewhon in L.A., Online, and at Whole Foods
Sabeena Ladha scored big in Los Angeles when she was able to get Deux sold in the health food mecca Erewhon. Delivery service Pink Dot also sells Deux in LA, the official website reveals. And, in a lucky twist of fate, on the day Sabeena was taping her “Shark Tank” segment, she found out Deux was going to be carried in a region of Whole Foods stores, she told Heavy.
This summer, Ladha closed a $1 million seed-round of funding, Forbes reported. The outlet also reported that Deux grew 600% in sales in the first half of 2021 and is one of the top-selling desserts at Erewhon.
Ladha also expanded her product line with Drip, a healthy take on Nutella.
5. Her ‘Shark Tank’ Experience Was an ‘out of Body Experience’
Sabeena Ladha’s experience inside the “Shark Tank” was, in her words, “wild!” She said,
“The viewer sees only 6-7 minutes of a pitch but it must have been 100+ hours of prep, practicing, watching, and learning. The process is generally pretty exciting if you keep tempered expectations, and the pitch itself is kind of an out-of-body experience. I remember evaluating what was going on while trying to field questions at the same time – it makes every other investor conversation feel like a piece of cake.”
Like other founders, Sabeena found she suffered from “tank amnesia” and doesn’t remember exactly what she said in the tank. She told Heavy, “I still randomly remember moments but let’s see what happens when it actually airs – maybe I’ll be surprised (hopefully in a good way) by one of my responses.
Sabeena also said it was pretty funny when, “I told Mr Wonderful that he wasn’t exactly our target consumer (our target consumer is a Gen Z or Millennial female) but I’m not sure if they will air that!”
Deux on ‘Shark Tank:’ 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know