Buena Papa Update | Shark Tank Season 15

James and Johanna Windon pitched Buena Papa on Shark Tank 15. They demanded a $400,000 investment in exchange for 7% equity.

Buena Papa is a Latin-Colombian-inspired French fry bar, and the company’s goal is to open one corporate location every year for the next five years.

Robert Herjavac offered $400,000 for 20% equity, but James wanted to lower it to 15%. After a few minutes of negotiations, both agreed on 19% equity.

It has been a few months since Buena Papa appeared on Shark Tank, and we have some updates on this business.

Entrepreneurs James and Johanna Windon smiling confidently while presenting their business on Shark Tank, wearing branded polo shirts on the show's stage

If you’re short on time, here’s a brief overview of what happened to Buena Papa after Shark Tank!

Buena Papa secured a $400,000 investment for 19% equity from Robert Herjavac on Shark Tank 15. In terms of Buena Papa updates the company sales jumped by 50% when the episode aired.

Buena Papa announced their first franchise in Jacksonville, NC, and two more locations are coming up in Wayne, New Jersey, and Wynwood, Miami.

About Buena Papa

James Windon is the CEO and founder of Buena Papa’s food business, and Johanna Windon is the co-founder of the business.

The couple started this business in 2021 after the pandemic. One night in 2020, they made a Colombian dish called “Bandeja Paisa” for their family members.

The main ingredients for the dish were chorizo, chicharrón and frijoles. After this, they came up with the idea of creating Buena Papa.

They opened their first bar in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 2021. The couple invested $40,000 to start this business.

After one month, they had $18,000 in revenue. Then, two weeks later, they went viral on TikTok, resulting in significant exposure.

After that, they had 60 million views, and the business quickly became popular.

Buena Papa is a French fry bar franchise business inspired by Colombian culture. In Spanish, Buena Papa refers to “good people”. It also means “good potato”.

Although french fries are usually a side dish, in Buena Papa, they are the main dish on the menu.

Each dish starts with 33 ounces of fresh-cut fries and can be topped with any Latin American-inspired toppings of one’s choice. Their bilingual menu lets customers order in Spanish as well.

Buena Papa has French fries available in different flavors like Colombiano, Mexicano, Boricua, Americano, Italiano, Griego, Carolina, Healthy, and many more.

This Buena Papa french fry bar is mainly available at 3 locations, with 2 available in Raleigh and 1 in Miami. Buena Papa’s net worth is assessed at $2.5 million.

Buena Papa Shark Tank Pitch Recap

James Windon and Johanna Windon appeared on Shark Tank to pitch their french fry bar franchise, Buena Papa.

The couple asked for $400,000 from the Sharks and, in return, offered them 7% equity in their business.

Both entrepreneurs entered the tank, showing their little dance moves, which the Sharks seemed to enjoy a lot.

After explaining their business to the Sharks, they served the Sharks some of their french fry dishes. Different Sharks got different flavors, and they praised the taste of the food.

After the duo gave the Sharks some background information about themselves, the Sharks started asking some questions regarding their business.

Kevin O’Leary asked the couple about the cost of making and selling their dishes.

James said it costs about $3.50 per plate, and they sell their dishes for $13.50. Furthermore, their food margins are 28%.

When Robert Herjavec asked about their locations, James said that their first store location, which is 200 square feet, made $1.1 million in their very first year.

Then, they invested all of their profits in another 700-square-ft location.

With both locations combined, they aimed to finish the year around $2 million in revenue. In the year before filming, they made $120,000 in revenue.

Robert asked, “Did you pay yourselves?” James said that they had previously paid themselves $80,000.

James and Johanna shared that their main goal was to start franchising their french fry bars across America.

The initial franchise cost is $29,500, with the business recouping an 8% royalty and a 2% marketing fee. They were looking for a strategic partner to help them further grow their brand.

Lori Greiner loved the concept and told the couple, “You are doing everything right,” while wishing them good luck. However, it was not the right business for her, so for that reason, she was out.

Mark Cuban said I was interested until you mentioned that you’re heading toward a franchise business model. It might end up crushing them, so he was the next Shark to go out.

Kevin said the food was delicious; however, with the recent change in his eating habits, he could not get behind a product he would not eat. For that reason, he also opted out.

Barbara Corcoran didn’t think they needed a shark to pace their process. She said they were moving forward nicely and will continue to do well, but she’s out.

Robert was the only Shark who wanted to make them a deal. However, he did not like the company’s valuation. So, he offered the couple $400,000 for 20% equity, but James countered him at 15%.

Unfortunately, Robert declined right away. James and Johanna kept trying to convince him to come down on the equity, and finally, Robert agreed to come down to 19%.

The couple ultimately left Shark Tank with Robert Herjavec’s deal of $400,000 for 19% equity.

Buena Papa Shark Tank Update

Buena Papa secured a $400,000 investment in Shark Tank 15 from Robert Herjavac. It is also featured in various food blogs and news portals.

We got a chance to interview James and ask about the agreement with Robert Herjavac.

“The agreement isn’t finalized yet; however, Robert’s team is discussing it. We’re optimistic about this deal”, says James.

Our next question was about the founders’ experience after Shark Tank.

“Shark Tank provided us an opportunity to promote our dishes nationwide. Our menu page was flooded with millions of visitors the day the episode aired.”, says James.

In terms of revenue updates, Buena Papa saw a 40- 50% jump in sales after the episode was aired and surpassed their projection for 2023.

Buena Papa has received thousands of franchise inquiries from across the nation. The company aims to set up at least 1 franchise every year for the next five years.

On January 10, 2024, they decided to close the Durham, NC, location to refocus resources on the upcoming franchise openings.

Buena Papa announced their first franchise in Jacksonville, NC, near the prestigious Camp Lejeune Military Base.

As per their website, Buena Papa has two new locations coming up in Wayne, New Jersey, and Wynwood, Miami.

We’re thankful to James for providing us with a Buena Papa update. Our team is following up with the founders, and when we get more news, we will let you know!

In the meantime, check out our other company updates from Shark Tank S15E04:


Buena Papa successfully secured a deal on Shark Tank 15 from Robert Herjavac. In January 2024, it announced the opening of its first franchise location in Jacksonville, NC. As of March 2024, Buena Papa is still in business and expanding their franchise at new locations.

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