August 30, 2014

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Sharks bite on Bubba Baker’s boneless baby back ribs

Al 'Bubba' Baker

Al ‘Bubba’ Baker

AVON — Al “Bubba” Baker is taking his famous no-mess recipe for boneless baby back ribs nationwide.

Baker, the former Cleveland Brown and owner of Bubba’s Q Bar-B-Q & Catering, appeared on the television series “Shark Tank” on Friday in the hopes of scoring a deal with one of the sharks for his rib-steaks — which are ribs without the bone.

The show allows entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their product and compete for financial backing among the “sharks.”

The sharks are a panel of judges, which on Friday included Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban; fashion guru Daymond John; entrepreneur Kevin O’Leary; real estate businesswoman Barbara Corcoran; and millionaire Robert Herjavec.

And he got a big bite.

Two actually.

Baker asked the judges for $300,000 for 15 percent equity in his company.

After tasting the boneless ribs (which are patented) dripping in barbecue sauce, all of the judges agreed the taste was out of this world.

But only two sharks wanted to take a chance on the former Cleveland Brown — John and O’Leary.

O’Leary agreed to give Baker $300,000, but wanted 49 percent equity.

John came in with a sweeter offer — $300,000 for 30 percent equity in the company.

However, the better offer came with a hitch — Baker must receive a licensing deal with a major meat distributor.

After debating between the two offers, Baker agreed to work with John and sealed the deal with a handshake.

After the show aired, fans took to the Internet in search of Baker’s now nationally known deboned baby back ribs.

On the company’s Facebook page, “Bubba’s Q” viewers of the show posted favorable comments, including “Just ordered mine — can’t wait to get to enjoy some ribs without wearing them!” and “Awesome! Way to represent your great product. Good Luck Bubba!”

Contact Melissa Linebrink at 329-7243 or mlinebrink@chroniclet.com.