A Gap man who showed up for US House throws chicken coops on Shark Tank; here’s what happened | Local company



Chet Beiler, a Lancaster County entrepreneur who previously ran for Congress, pitched an expansion of his Gap chicken coop business to a group of celebrity investors Friday night on “Shark Tank.”

Beiler, 58, of Penn Township, the latest contractor to appear on the ABC competition show on Friday night, received offers from two investors but let them slip away and returned home empty-handed.

Beiler entered the “Shark Tank” scene in black clothes, smiling, with a chicken in his arms.

“Sharks, I’m Chet Beiler from Lancaster, Pennsylvania,” he told investors Kevin O’Leary, Daymond John, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec and Mark Cuban. “My business is OverEZ Chicken Coop. And this is my buddy Chuckles.”

This made Greiner laugh.

Beiler said he developed OverEZ Chicken Coop because America is crazy about backyard chickens right now, families want more sustainable lives and self-sufficiency, and they love having fresh organic eggs every day. .

He showcased one of his company’s chicken coops with live chickens, including Chuckles, outside the coop. His presentation also included a time-lapse video demonstrating assembly of the chicken coop, and he added that his company offers them in four different sizes that can accommodate between five and 20 chickens.

“America is such a cuckoo for these co-ops that we can barely keep up with the demand,” Beiler said. “We’re chickens running around with our heads cut off. Sorry, Chuckles.”

This made several investors laugh.

“Sharks, I need a partner so I can finally stop having all my eggs in one basket,” he concluded.

After Beiler finished his presentation, he offered investors 4% of OverEZ Chicken Coops for a $1 million investment, which drew a collective “Woah” from several investors and a laugh from Herjavec.

Belier said his business is worth the investment because his intellectual property is locked, his cash register is ringing, and they’re just getting started.

“We’re well on our way to becoming the category king for backyard chickens in America, and with your help maybe,” Beiler said, pointing to Herjavec, who is from Europe, “or any other anyone interested, we will expand into Europe, where the interest in backyard chickens is even stronger than in the United States.”

HerJavec responded by saying, “Chet, you’re a crazy chicken.”

Beiler provided each investor with a golden egg with a mini-brochure inside each that provided quick company information.

Greiner was disappointed.

Beiler said OverEZ Chicken Coop this week surpassed $21 million in sales over the life of the company, prompting another collective “Woah” from several investors. Year-to-date since the show was taped, Beiler said, the company, which he wholly owns, has made $9 million in sales and $1.35 million in profit. Beiler noted that due to supply chain issues, skyrocketing lumber prices, and being unprepared for the demand for his product during the COVID-19 pandemic, the profit from the business was below expectations. He said he came to “Shark Tank” to earn more money for inventory.

Although Beiler provided his company’s data, a few of the investors said Beiler omitted important details about his product and showed a lack of clarity and consistency in some of his responses to their questions.

“My fear of doing business with you is that it will take me longer than the life of a chicken to learn the details of your business,” Herjavec said.

Both Herjavec and Greiner dropped the offer partly for these reasons.

Cuban dropped the offer, saying Beiler’s talk about business in Europe seemed to be aimed at impressing investors, but didn’t appear to be projected.

Although O’Leary said he thought Beiler’s speech was “wandering”, he made him an offer of $1 million in the form of a loan at 11.5% interest for a 4 stake. % in the business.

“It’s an offer,” O’Leary said. “At least you can peck that one.”

John also made an offer to Beiler: $1 million for a 25% stake in the company.

However, Beiler was still focused on winning Herjavec as an investor, which seemed to confuse O’Leary and John.

“Chet, I asked you not to entertain him – you’re an adult, you can do whatever you want – but you have two offers on the table, and you keep getting distracted,” said John. “I just have to say that I think that’s exactly how it’s going to be in business with you. I like you, but I’m out.”

O’Leary’s deal was still on the table, which Beiler agreed to, saying, “We have a deal.”

But Beiler quickly focused on his aspirations for the European market and brought Herjavec to invest and be part of it.

Frustrated, O’Leary withdrew his offer and encouraged Beiler to leave. Beiler tried to reiterate that he had accepted O’Leary’s offer, but by then it was too late.

“Well, it looked like I had a shark, but then it got away,” Beiler said afterwards.

Beiler purchased OverEZ Chicken Coop in 2020 as part of a growth strategy for her 33-year-old Manheim-based outdoor structures business, Amish Country Gazebos.

Already, OverEZ has expanded beyond a 70,000 square foot facility on Hostetter Road in Manheim to an additional 75,000 square foot space in Dublin, Georgia, he said. In total, he said the operation supports about 100 employees.

He expressed interest in expanding his business to include a facility in the Czech Republic to serve the European market.

The OverEZ website markets the coops, which range in price from around $1,200 to around $3,500, as being easy to ship, assemble, and move.

A former Lancaster County Republican committee chairman, Beiler ran two unsuccessful primary campaigns against U.S. Representative Lloyd Smucker. Earlier this month, Beiler said his political aspirations were on hold.

“Right now I’m focusing on business,” he said.

[Click here to learn more about Beiler and his business.]

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