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The Dough Bar on ‘Shark Tank’: A Look Inside the Unique Doughnut Collection

The Dough Bar entered the Shark Tank with their doughnut delivery service which includes flavors like Cake Batter, Cookie Butter and Apple Pie. When the doughnuts come to your door they are plain, and you add the toppings and glaze- which come separately.

We interviewed the husband-and-wife team behind the delectable desserts, Marquez and Ondrea Fernandez. The duo told us that sales commenced in June of 2015, tripling in 2016 and doubling in 2017.

Their mission was to make the a healthier snack option, so the doughnuts are baked, not fried. To create the first recipe, they likened the process to a science experiment, where they were trying to find the perfect balance between nutrition and taste.

As for their foray into the Tank, the couple dished that they were most nervous in the days leading up to filming, but once they faced the Sharks, it was the best adrenaline rush they’d ever experienced.

Here’s what else they told us about…

How the Idea Came About at the Gym

Marquez: We were at the gym one day and I was on the exercise bike, scrolling through social media, thinking about all the food I craved, but couldn’t eat. Namely – doughnuts! I’ve always loved eating junk food, but after a close call with diabetes several years ago, I started focusing on eating healthfully and intentionally. I still consistently look for ways to enjoy the fun foods I’ve always loved, so when I was at the gym craving a doughnut that day, I decided I wanted to find a way to make it healthy enough to eat every single day.

The Crispy Bar

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The Crispy Bar has been our labor of love. We worked hard for over a year to develop this new product, our health-conscious take on the classic rice crispy treat, because we wanted it to meet our high quality and taste standards. We’re proud to offer our customers a treat that’s gluten free, vegan friendly, and delicious. Just like our doughnuts, our Crispy Bars are a high protein, low fat, low sugar twist on a previously unhealthy, beloved dessert. We sell them wholesale to various nutrition stores and gyms all throughout the US. Because we just released the product, we’re still getting them in the hands of wholesalers.

Pros & Cons to Working With Your Spouse

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The pro for us is literally spending every day together. We happen to get along very well and genuinely enjoy one another’s company, so it isn’t a situation where you want to get away from that person and need space at the end of the day or you’ll tear your hair out. By having fun, laughing, learning and most importantly, treating the other person with respect, we make it work! If we had to choose a con it would be that it is indeed hard to separate “work” and “home” life. In fact, they are one in the same for us. In the beginning, we struggled with finding other topics of conversation, because The Dough Bar would always creep in on our date nights. But now we’ve found that we let the conversation lead where it may and if that means talking about our dreams, goals, visions for the business’s future, we don’t sweat it. We’re excited about building something together, so that’s something to celebrate.

Experience With the ‘Roller Coaster’ That Is Kickstarter

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Ondrea: We knew that we wanted to make a “protein rice krispy treat” and we wanted to build momentum on the project, so we decided to run a Kickstarter campaign at the last minute. At the time we decided to get folks involved, we had no idea the complexities and strategies necessary to run a successful campaign. But once Marquez was committed to the concept, I knew there was no stopping him. The best way I can describe Kickstarter is that it’s a roller coaster. In our experience, it was a lot of amazing highs and a considerable amount of lows. We had no idea that that creating a product from scratch would take the amount of time it did, so when we had to continually report to our backers that the project was going to be delayed, we experienced some negativity and disappointment on all sides, which made us even more bummed that the process itself was so prolonged. But we were very thankful to have some incredible backers who cheered us on to the finish line and that made it entirely worth the process.

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