The show focuses on revitalizing the economically struggling Gordon Square neighborhood of Cleveland. Adkins and Gulley wanted an investment of $175,000 in return for 25 percent equity in their company.
Old City Soda began a little over five years ago in Gulley's apartment. Though he and Adkins have enjoyed steady growth, they still can't quite make it over the hump to be a truly profitable business. Their vision is to expand the brand into a full retail café while also ramping up production and national distribution.
"We want to change the face of the soda industry, one consumer at a time," Adkins said.
Leading up to the show, Old City Soda was spending between $0.55 and $0.65 per unit. Wholesale for one bottle was $1.50. With weekly sales averaging nearly $3,000 and a 60% profit margin, the company was netting a little more than $1,700 a week.
To see how their product would perform in real time, Arora challenged them to open a one-day pop-up store within 72 hours. Their goal was to make $1,000 through combined daytime and evening sales. The catch was that they had to cater to kids and families from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m., and an older crowd after 7 p.m.
This was all about finding their target audience. Would the soda drinks be a bigger hit for kids as ice cream floats, or adults as cocktails?