MOORESTOWN, NJ – Over the years many people have said, “If you think about it, you can accomplish anything. One of them is Jared Cannon, a Moorestown resident, and when he says it, it’s hard to disagree.
Yes, he will have a unique experience when he appears on ABC Shark Tank at 8 p.m. on Friday evening. And yes, its Simply Good Jars generated over $ 100,000 in the company’s first year of existence, in 2017.
But there’s more to the story than a young entrepreneur who put aside a six-figure job to try his luck selling salads in mason jars to the public. And that implies a pandemic.
“This year has been tough for all of us,” Cannon said. “Ninety-eight percent of my business was gone in April.
That’s when the closures linked to the coronavirus pandemic began to wreak havoc in the country, and when Simply good pots almost went bankrupt. Cannon said if it hadn’t been for loans from the federal government, there would be no business to present to the world on Friday night.
Cannon’s business story begins in October 2017, when he decides to quit his comfortable job and try his luck. Taking what he calls a “leap of faith or a stupid leap,” Cannon secured a $ 1,000 loan to start his business.
“I didn’t know what was going to happen,” Cannon said. “If I missed it I would just say it was awesome, at least I tried it.”
This is not what happened, however. Through methodical planning and persistence, Cannon has built his business from a fledgling organization at the Enterprise Center in Philadelphia to one that spans 11 locations in multiple states across the country.
Simply Good jars are available at grocery stores and natural retailers, and Cannon is close to making deals to make its jars available through Amazon Fresh and 6,000 convenience stores nationwide.
If all goes well, Moorestown residents might see their neighbor’s product the next time they visit a theme park in Florida.
It is growing exponentially and it started when he and his now wife were engaged and living in Cherry Hill.
“My wife has been my greatest lawyer,” Cannon said. “She supported me financially for the first six months. This wouldn’t be possible without her. She was a huge part of my support system, and she’s still a part of the company today.”
After making $ 102,000 in the first year, things were looking up for Cannon.
“If I came back and tried to repeat it all, I don’t think the same would have happened,” Cannon said. “It was one of those places where I was in the right place at the right time. There was no science in it.”
Then came 2020, and everything changed.
It wasn’t just because they became residents of Moorestown on March 15, 2020, something he said was the “best thing that ever happened to them”.
“We had a one year old and were looking for a bigger place,” Cannon said. “We looked around and there was something lovely about Moorestown.… We moved into town and loved it. Four days later the whole world stopped.”
The pandemic presented yet another challenge for a man who says he never backs down from a challenge. It’s a challenge his company has taken on so far. Then came the invitation from the Shark Tank casting team.
“They asked if we had ever considered applying for the show, and I said ‘absolutely’,” Cannon said. “But how do you find enough time when there are already not enough hours in a day.”
Now that the opportunity was there, Cannon couldn’t say no. Everything else was left out by the unique opportunity. They went through the application process, which included a series of interviews.
Cannon calls the moment they found out they would be on the show “surreal.”
“I have practiced on my phone hundreds of times,” Cannon said of his preparation for the show. “My phone heard my pitch more than anyone.”
He said “all intentions were on the table” during the actual appearance, meaning he wasn’t just looking to be exposed. He wanted to make the most of his opportunity. And he said looking at home and doing it are completely different animals.
“When you look at home as a spectator, you think: what would I say? “When it comes to my business,” Cannon said. “You realize that when you do it, it’s a whole different animal. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience I’ll never forget.”
The Delaware native who was trained to be a chef at the Culinary Institute of America in New York City and has moved across the country is preparing for what will come after the apparition.
Win, lose, or draw, he’s gearing up for a whirlwind of messages, questions and demands following his appearance on Friday night. He hopes that among this sea of viewers he will touch someone.
“I hope someone who is struggling right now can see this and know that anything is possible if you think about it.”