My short bio:My name is Henry Miller and I started Henry's Humdingers after sitting next to a beekeeper on an airplane and learning about colony collapse disorder. My family lives on a 40-acre farm in Western Washington so I asked for a beehive for my 12th birthday. After that, I wanted to find a way to help save the bees and began selling honey on the side of the road. Eventually, I figured I wanted to be different. I checked out different recipes and thought about creating a shortcut to great food. And voila, Henry's Humdingers was created. There are four flavors: Grumpy Grandpa - cayenne & garlic, Naughty Nana - ginger & pepper, Phoebe's Fireball - chipotle & cinnamon and Diabolical Dad - habanero & lime. It's been a long road since with a lot of difficulty, but I was just on ABC's Shark Tank in March and it re-aired again in June. And Life has changed.

My Proof:

Comments: 133 • Responses: 52  • Date: 

parth55628 karma

Who is the best shark and why is it Mark Cuban?

Reallyorangesocks32 karma

I really love Mark Cuban, even though my deal did not go through he still emailed my family and I the day my episode aired and asked how everything was going. I think he knows everything doesnt revolve around money

seaslug115 karma

Was the show staged in any way?

Reallyorangesocks23 karma

No, I had no prior conversations with any of the sharks and they had no idea what my product was. It was all real and very nerve racking haha

seaslug18 karma

Were they as rude as they seem on the show?

Reallyorangesocks45 karma

Well when you think about it they are all very rich people who I am asking money from so I do not feel if they are being rude as much as asking questions and saying stuff that needs to be said. Because it is thousands of dollars of their money and when its your money you are going to play hard ball, and I was out in the tank for an hour and there are a lot of questions and answers not shown in the show

nkleszcz12 karma

For those who missed the episode, how did it work out for you?

Reallyorangesocks21 karma

I got a deal with Mark and Robert for 300k for 75% of my business. But after the episode was shot we negotiated for 6 months and in the end, we decided it was not the option for us.

nkleszcz10 karma

Do you regret the option never playing out, or does it not matter, since you got tons of powerful TV exposure?

Reallyorangesocks22 karma

Sometimes I think that if I had gone through with it that I could sit back and let them run the business and just collect checks for a portion of my life. But they said I would not be part of the board of directors when I was older and I was afraid that I would not be able to be a part of something that I created. And I fear that I would regret that scenario a lot more.

nkleszcz8 karma


I recall watching a lot of ST episodes where they offered to purchase 100% of a product, giving the inventor a royalty check in perpetuity, but that the inventor would no longer be a part of the business he helped create. They saw it as giving him free money, and the inventor(s) saw it as stealing his baby.

I've not seen your episode--I fell behind this season--so this is in no way a judgment on you, and I so really apologize if it comes out that way, as this really isn't my intent. <walking verrrry gingerly...>

BUT, I recall, by looking at those prior episodes from these disgruntled genius creators, is that they were not, at heart, businessmen, but creatives. Michael Gerber in the "E-Myth Revisited" goes into detail about three types of people to make a business hum, and, well, frankly, that was not them.

So, in light of that, and claiming total ignorance (not seeing the segment you were on), do you see yourself as someone who could grow in that position (of a business person), but Mark and Robert misjudged you due to your age, or do you think you are more of a creative?

Reallyorangesocks5 karma

I am a creative in some respect but I have yet to realize if I am a good one, true I did have a good idea but I don't know for sure if I have another one lying around in my head. I would hate to count on the fact of me being able to create another business. So it would suck to sell that much of my business and not know for sure what my back up plan would be. But for the most part I would like to maybe be a business man, but on the other hand it was my name on the label and my face and I couldnt imagine not being a part of that hands on.

nkleszcz3 karma

Fair enough. Thank you for answering. I find the whole entrepreneur process to be profoundly insightful. I wish your company the absolute best, and hope it comes around to southern Connecticut some day.

Reallyorangesocks3 karma

I am in Wegmans!

Butt-cheese5 karma

You're smart. You're going to be all right kid!

Reallyorangesocks2 karma


NoDiggityNoDoubt3 karma

This is not a dig on you whatsoever, but they offer stuff like this because they are true entrepreneurs, and true entrepreneurs would have also taken the deal without thinking twice, collected their check, and started yet another venture.

Congrats on the success, regardless of the deal falling through, you'll go places.

Reallyorangesocks11 karma

That is their job as entrepreneurs, I myself on the other hand still have to ask to use the bathroom in chemistry. This isnt a job to me its a lively hood for my family and to place it in the hands of other people can be scary. If it succeeds and goes to the top I have every intention of being there for that moment

NoDiggityNoDoubt2 karma

I remember watching your episode. One of the most intriguing in my opinion.

As an entrepreneur, and an investor, it sounds like you're putting waaay too much pressure on yourself for this being a huge success to ensure your family is taken care of.

Entrepreneurs never create one business. We know that the chances of success are very, very slim, so when someone offers to buy us out, even in the very early stages, we tend to take it (unless other circumstances make it not worth it). Hedging the entire thing on it being a livelihood for a family, doesn't make it worth it, it just raises the stakes.

Regardless whether you're "there" or not when it makes it to the top, you still created the company, and that's something that can always go on your resume. They can never take that away from you, because the facts are the facts.

I'm not saying you're idea will be a failure, as it has more chance of being a success than most, but in the event of failure (which is a reality for every business), it'll be much, much worse to handle.

Again, congrats on the success; you will be going places.

Reallyorangesocks5 karma

I feel like it won't be worse to handle in some ways, I feel like I will be more comfortable with the business and know I personally did everything I could. My father lost his job after 25 years 2 weeks before my episode aired so this is our life. So I will try everything I can do to make it work. And thank you for your support :)

KING123456788 karma

For the lazy, Can you provide a link so that I may purchase some of your Honey? (if of course you sell online)

DallasAdmission6 karma


KING123456783 karma

You're the man. Is Diabolical Dad the most spicy?

Reallyorangesocks3 karma

This is true its the Habanero and Lime flavor

Brunozoombovier7 karma

What do you do with spicy honey? I ordered some of your honey after the show - it is fantastic!!! I especially like the Diabolical Dad.

Reallyorangesocks9 karma

Well the crazy thing is that as I become more involved with the company and product the more I discovered you can do with it! They can be used for glazes, or put on vegetables, or grill with them. The amazing thing about it is with the spicy sweet combination it becomes like a swiss army knife of the kitchen. And also there is a downloadable cook book on our website.

ThePigeonSquared6 karma

What was the most unexpected thing that you found out about the studio/sharks?

Reallyorangesocks27 karma

During a break for lunch I saw all the sharks heading to their trailers and I saw Mark Cuban eating a cheese stick. And I thought to myself, this man has BILLIONS of dollars and his choice of snack food is the same as a Second grader. It reminded me that even though they are super rich and on TV they are still just people like everyone else

Lisaddvm5 karma

I heard only about 30% of Shark Tank deals go through. Do you know if that's true? Do you know any of the other people on Shark Tank?

Reallyorangesocks8 karma

Yes there are a lot of cases like mine in which during negotiations the deal doesn't go through. And yes! I have been in contact with alot of them such as Wild Friends Nut Butter, Ryans Barkery, and Slawsa and Mango Mango Mango - they're all super supportive.

Choady_Arias3 karma

Just want to let you know that the honey is delicious. Also, would you think about updating your website?

Reallyorangesocks6 karma

And thank you for the compliment we work very hard and it means a lot being told its all worth it from consumers!

Reallyorangesocks5 karma

We have thought about it and are going to get around to it but its hard when we jar every jar ourselves and send out all the packages and basically do everything its hard to prioritize different aspects over the day to day work

nationcrafting3 karma

First, Henry, you're an inspiration to all teenagers. Keep it up! As a designer, I've always imagined that, when I have a kid, encouraging them to start thinking about creating their own products - making them, marketing them, distributing them, etc. - would be one of the best things I could teach them.

Do you see spiced honey as the business for you, or do you see yourself starting up other businesses / products in the future?

Reallyorangesocks2 karma

Hopefully it will work out and become big and if I do get it to that point I would maybe considered starting other businesses along with it if the idea seems good enough but right now I am just trying to get one company to work. I could not even imagine doing two at the same time right now, so I have no idea what the future holds

farmgirl34603 karma

So why did you get interested in honey? I've never heard of spicy honey before.

Reallyorangesocks5 karma

Well I started the business by getting a beehive for my 12th birthday and after having the hive for a bit I had so much sweet honey I had no idea what to do with it. So I looked up recipes that use honey in an attempt to get rid of some, but I noticed many of the recipes had spices in them as well so I figured they went well together so I started just mixing them together to try to create a shortcut for cooking

Brunozoombovier1 karma

Ummm why did you get a beehive for your 12th birthday? That is more than a little unusual.

Reallyorangesocks19 karma

I sat next to a beekeeper on a plane and talked to him for awhile and learned a lot about bees. Like the fact that many were dying from Colony Collapse Disorder so I wanted a beehive to help, and so I asked my mom for one and for some crazy reason she said yes. And now I donate a portion of my profits to the Foundation for the Preservation of Honey Bees

nickban3 karma

Thanks for taking the time to do the AMA. I have two questions How long were you actually in the room with the sharks? (How much do they edit out for the show?) And how long was it between when it was shot and when it actually aired?

Reallyorangesocks3 karma

I was in the room for a solid hour but it felt like 5 min. The editing wasn't crazy they simply moved parts of the session around to make it more clear.(But something I did say to Kevin got cut out). And shot it in September and my episode aired in March. They told me they shoot extra footage so a lot of people shoot an episode but they never go on TV it was a very long period and it seemed like a life time ago

ThatSteeve4 karma

Ok my curiosity is up! What'd you say to Kevin?

Reallyorangesocks23 karma

Well there was the part when Kevin went out and told me that other competitors were going to squash me like the bee I was, I looked him dead in the eyes and said "Well...Bees sting" and Cuban started laughing really hard and the other sharks giggled but for some reason they cut it out in editing. I felt kind of badass standing up to him but on the show they cut it so I said thank you instead

GG5123 karma

Did you have Mark and Robert in mind as the sharks you wanted when you went in there? And did it go the way you wanted? I mean did you mess up? Or did they ask you anything you really couldn't answer?

Reallyorangesocks3 karma

I went in wanting a deal with either Mark or Barbara. It went very well on the show though. I knew most of the answers but they did ask me some really random questions that I could not remember such as how many jars were in a certain order that happened 3 years ago, but they could understand how I wasn't able to recall it off hand.

KnowledgeNate3 karma

"was that a pun?"

Reallyorangesocks1 karma

Well, it wasn't from her - haha - Now everyone who meets my mom says something about the "Oh Honey" line. She'll never live it down.

KnowledgeNate4 karma

When you said "was that a pun?" totally in stride, I thought it was one of the most EPIC lines I have ever heard in my life. Seriously. I couldn't have been more tickled by it. I laughed my ass off. Couldn't believe how smooth it was.

Reallyorangesocks2 karma

Haha well thank you, to be honest we didn't even remember that happening everything afterwards went by so fast and all

Business862 karma

What are you doing now days? Are you planning on going to college? Also, I read below that the deal didn't work out and I think it was for the better. 75% of your company was too much and I remember my family thinking the same thing when we saw the episode. They were going to steal your business for peanuts. Keep it up bro and good luck, I know you'll find a way.

Reallyorangesocks2 karma

This summer I am working fulltime at the office. I do samplings at Costco and Whole Foods, I jar the honey etc. I will be a senior in high school in the fall - so my mom and dad will work at the office during the day and I'll do things in the afternoon. I am planning on going to college, but I am also considering taking a gap year. - I really did want to take the deal because I thought 25% of something huge would be great and knowing my parents would see their money again for sure was amazing. I was very disapointed it didn't work out, but now - like you I'm very happy with how it ended up.

miss_baerly2 karma

Is it true that the Sharks take 5% of all companies that appear on TV, even if no "deal" is struck? If so, what do you think the overall value of the exposure was vs giving up that small piece? Thanks!

Reallyorangesocks10 karma

Actually they started doing that in the earlier seasons but Mark Cuban spoke out against it and they discontinued that in season 5 which is when my episode was on.

miss_baerly3 karma

Nice! Free publicity FTW!

Reallyorangesocks3 karma

Haha it never hurts that for sure

EpicTaco99012 karma

Are you still answering questions? My question is being 17, you are probably in (high?) school. How has your business changed your publicity among school, friends, or your town?

Reallyorangesocks4 karma

It mostly changed how people view me anywhere but in my town. I urged my friends not to treat me differently and they wouldn't have anyway. In fact I am more well known at school for being the only male cheer leader (Not Gay just saying because that is the question that usually follows that statement) and also for the fact that I do a bunch of back flips thanks to 10 years of gymnastics. Except for some kids parents referring to me as Bee Boy nothing has really changed

dozafolks2 karma

What was your favorite part of being on the show? I was also wondering did anything take you by surprise?

Reallyorangesocks4 karma

My favorite part about being on the show is that I know now if the business ever fails or doesn't work that show will continue to help me for college resumes or (hopefully not) a future job interview. Plus its a great conversation starter with girls! And it was very surprising how long I was in the tank, first off by the fact that I was in there for a full hour and second off it felt like five min had passed. And I wasn't even able to recall a good amount of it until the show aired, a lot of it was a blur which was a very weird feeling - another weird thing was when I was standing there it was almost like watching an episode, but they were saying my name.

tlanders922 karma

Since airing on the shark tank, have you seen spikes in sales and profits? Total amount sold since started? How much does one jar cost you to make and how much do you sell it for?

Reallyorangesocks8 karma

Yes! I have seen tremendous growth in sales. Profit? Well, that's another matter. I have a lot of things I need to do and I reinvest the money into the business. - Let's just say I had my best year of sales 15 minutes into the East Coast airing. The Shark Tank Effect is INSANE! And I do find people are repeat buyers. Some of the comments about how much they like it are amazing. - as far as my COGs vs. what I sell it for - well that's no one else's beeswax.

jack_lumpus2 karma


Reallyorangesocks2 karma

No, the producers may have done that in previous seasons, but they had nothing to do with it after I walked off the set. The deal fell apart for different reasons with Mark. Mark did say - if you saw the episode - that he didn't really like to get involved in Family businesses so if he was going to do it that meant we were going to basically be completely out of it -among other things. Mark was very upfront and it was a mutual decision, he didn't want me to do anything I wasn't comfortable with in the end.

ailee432 karma

Does adding additional flavors to honey affect its ability to keep almost indefinitely? Id be concerned about botulism/etc.

Reallyorangesocks2 karma

Nope. I use dry spices and my products have been tested.The honey is an antibacterial - I have a very low moisture content.

IndiGamer2 karma

I have a question. How did you convince your parents to give you the 100k it took to start the business? (or am i mixing you up with someone else?)

Reallyorangesocks2 karma

No, that was me. It sounds much more dramatic that it was. You see, at 12 I didn't ask for any money we just started spending money on small things. First, jars and then labels then the entry fee at the fair, next came travelling to tradeshows and licences, insurance, money to form an LLC and so on. They never gave me a lump sum - they just spent money for things I needed - a hand operated label machine, a filler, money to rent space at a commercial kitchen and so on.

IndiGamer2 karma

Ah I see. Good to know. Good luck in business!

Reallyorangesocks2 karma


Yuri_Is_Master2 karma

Nobody has ever answered my AMA questions.

How is your business doing now, and what have you learned from the sharks in the process?

Reallyorangesocks2 karma

My business is doing well but it could always be better, as I said in some of the earlier questions in negotiations my deal ended up not going through. So now my family and I work everyday on the business to make it work without the help of the sharks. I hope it was a good first answer!

jamaicanjesus1 karma

I remember watching your episode! Did they edit out any important parts of your presentation or was it all pretty much the same?

Reallyorangesocks3 karma

AS far as my presentation it was pretty much un edited that was all how it happened some of the questions were moved around but all an all the show conveys what happened in the hour I was in the tank

lemonadeandlavender1 karma

  • Can you explain why you named your flavors the way you did?

  • Also, what sort of foods do you recommend making with your spicy honey? I have never heard of spicy honey before and I don’t know what I would even do with it, although it sounds delicious!

  • What are you current marketing goals? I have never heard of this honey before, and it makes me sad that I haven’t had the chance to buy it!

  • How many bees do you have? Do you produce all your own honey?

Reallyorangesocks1 karma

Well, I started naming them when I was 12 so I did what I knew. My first flavor was named after my grandpa - he could be like many other grampus - grumpy. He played jazz in Paris - he loved spicy food so I named my cayenne & garlic flavor after him. Then Naughty Nana was after my grandma who like to break all the rules. Phoebe's Fireball is after my coulsin Phoebe, who could be a little bit bad & Diabolical Dad is pretty clear. My mom will be next, I'm working on her flavor now. People told me the names weren't explanatory enough at first, but a lot of people love the names and some people even buy them for their names. One thing I've learned is to ask a lot of opinions and then go with your gut. Everyone always has a safe opinion and a reason why not to do something. Don't get me wrong I've made a lot of mistakes, but it feels better making them if I felt the decision was right in the first place instead of listening to someone and making their mistake.

As far as what to do with them - I guess what can't you do with them is would be a easier question to answer I like to call them the Clever Cook's Secret Ingredient. You see, you can add to anything and everything from in meatloaf & coleslaw & hot chocolate or mashed potatoes. to on chicken & prawns the possibilites are endless. So many fantastic dishes call for honey and spices. These unique blends are a shortcut to fantastic meals. There is a downloadable cookbook to ignite your imagination, but once you start cooking with them you'll toss them in

I used to have A LOT of hives, but now I only have a few and do not harvest their honey. My demand out grew my ability to produce it so I buy raw honey from other beekeepers. I had to decide if I was just going to be this awesome beekeeper or be a business guy and I decided to go the business route. I felt like I could do more good for the bees this way.My family and I do jar every jar of honey in our small factory.

My goal is to get Henry's Humdingers in every condiment basket on every coffee shop table across America. However, that's going to take some time. Right now I'm just trying to get people to hear about spicy honey.

anaiis021 karma

How hard/easy was it to get on the show? Also, how did you feel when you were in the "tank" (ie, excited, nervous)?

Reallyorangesocks4 karma

It was very difficult to get on the show, it was a process of 14 months from when I applied to when I aired. When I went into the tank I felt calm and wanted to be myself. There was no point in being nervous because the more nervous i acted or stressed the worse I would preform. A level head is the way to approach things in life I feel - and I sang songs from Disney's Mulan song to keep me calm - that's when my mom knew I was going to be ok

AlexBerghe1 karma

Who's the person that inspires you the most ? :D

Reallyorangesocks4 karma

I know it sounds corny but it would have to be my parents, I couldn't have started it without their help and the fact that they believed in me enough to fund my business is just astounding. They are either crazy or the best parents any kid could ask for.

IrishClarence1 karma

So how did you get picked? A lot of people apply

Reallyorangesocks3 karma

Well 35000 people applied this season and only 128 get on. I emailed them in January then I got a call from a producer in March. Then I had to do an audition video, then I had to fill out A TON of paperwork it was like my business got a colostomy. And then we waited for a call which took forever. It was all a shot in the dark I never actually dreamed I would get on.

Anonasty1 karma

Do you think that "the spice must flow!" ?

Reallyorangesocks2 karma


ninjaginga441 karma

Were the sharks as intimidating as they seem on the show? I'm 17 and would be terrified to stand there and present to them! Very cool of you to do it even if it didn't work out.

Reallyorangesocks3 karma

It was intimidating in a sense like their seats are raised so they are looking down at you and you are looking up at them. But in the end they are still people and if you are acting terrified and nervous that is just going to hurt a presentation I knew if I approached with confidence everything would go better

anon_jedi1 karma

Henry, I loved your pitch. Best of luck! Did they tell you to say "was that a pun?" at the end when your mom hugged you? Or was that in the moment?

Reallyorangesocks1 karma

That just happened haha, it wasn't staged honestly that was right as I came out of the tank and my parents were kept in a room the whole time and hadn't seen anything that had happened. We didn't even remember it happening.

Swagfag90001 karma

hello! i recently saw your episode of shark tank and i loved it! How is the business doing so far?

Reallyorangesocks6 karma

It's been fantastic since the show. I did over 20,000 jars online within two days which was completely nuts. Now I'm doing Costco Road Shows in Washington. I just got into some Whole Foods and I'm going to some more trade shows in September. The hard part continues to be getting people to try it. Once they do-it's easy. With the proceeds from the orders I was able to buy new equipment which is part of what I wanted the deal for.

maxroar6191 karma

what episode in season five is it?

Reallyorangesocks1 karma

Season 5 episode 20 - It's the "kid" episode. It aired March 14th and repeated June 6th

TheotheTheo1 karma

Do you have a working plan for getting your product into stores? What are the obstacles you face? Which stores are your ultimate targets?

Reallyorangesocks1 karma

I do have a plan and I am in over 300 stores nationwide at the moment. Currently, I am doing Road Shows with Costco, my products are in Wegman's on the East Coast - some Whole Foods, Haggen's and small retailers. My biggest problem is awareness - people don't know what Humdingers are or what you can do with them. I do have a downloadable cookbook on my site for this reason and I try and do taste demos instore but it is time consuming and expensive. Ultimately, I'd like to be in all the Whole Foods and I think I'd be a perfect fit for Cracker Barrels

Hellscreamgold2-4 karma

Also, considering that your idea really isn't patentable, and anyone else can do what you're doing (and likely will, and do it better, cheaper, and make more money), again, why didn't you take their money?

Reallyorangesocks4 karma

Coke doesn't have a patent either - they have a secret recipe. And your right some people will probably copy and that isn't always a bad thing. You know, the more people who know what spicy honey is the better.

Hellscreamgold2-7 karma

You're right - they don't. But you and me can't hope to make something at home that tastes like coke.

It's not difficult for someone to add in spices, herbs, etc, into honey to replicate what your product does at home.

So, again, I'll ask, why didn't you take the money (since you ignored that part)?

Reallyorangesocks5 karma

They are sharks for a reason, there is no such thing as free money. And sometimes what looks good in the moment isnt always true. They didnt get rich by giving out that much money without fine print. Trust me though you wouldn't have signed it either.

Hellscreamgold2-11 karma

There's a reason people like you go on the show looking for money - because you don't have it yourself, your product isn't making enough to do the expansion you want, and/or you can't borrow it from any more family/friends/banks/whatever.

So, why is it that you decided to turn down the money? Considering that you did, I don't really see you ever "making it" beyond what you've done.....because, well, if you were going to, you wouldn't have needed to go on ST anyways...

Reallyorangesocks7 karma

You're right I needed the money. My mom and dad have given me what they can and they don't have an endless supply. I wanted to take the deal and I DID take the deal on air. I had every intention of going through with it and it was 6 months of back and forth with attorneys etc. Finally, it was decided there there was some "fine print" that was not going to be good for our family. So with my parents support I didn't take the deal. The thing you have to understand is the Shark Tank Effect 8 million people now know about my business that didn't before

Hellscreamgold2-19 karma

I understand. I saw the show where they offered (and you accepted) the deal.

And now I found out you backed out. So now I won't worry about buying your product.

Reallyorangesocks9 karma

Its not always that simple