Victoria's Kitchen Almond Water: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

You may be drinking almond milk with coffee and slathering almond butter onto toast, but unless you've spent some time in France or Europe — gently coaxed by a grandma into eating her handmade treats — chances are, you've never heard of almond water. But that changed for many viewers when Deborah and David Meniane appeared on season 6, episode 16 of "Shark Tank" with their company, Victoria's Kitchen Almond Water.

The Menianes were childhood friends who had grown up together in Paris. As kids, they would visit David's grandmother Victoria every Sunday where they'd be fed apple cakes with glasses of crisp almond water. A staple in France, almond water was practically the equivalent of American sweet iced tea for the Menianes. Made from sirop d'orgeat, which is a cloudy syrup with almonds, sugar, and orange flower water, the drink is similar to amoretto in its distinct almond flavor, with subtle notes of rose and vanilla. Or as the entrepreneurs described it, the drink's taste is reminiscent of "lounging in the freshly-cut grass in the South of France."

When the entrepreneurs moved to the U.S. they brought David's grandmother's recipe with them. It was after serving the homemade almond water to thrilled friends and hearing rave reviews about the beverage that the entrepreneurs realized the business idea they had in their hands. So the duo took out all their savings and launched Victoria's Kitchen Almond Water in 2012, a beverage company fittingly named after David's beloved grandmother.

What happened to Victoria's Kitchen Almond Water on Shark Tank?

The food and beverage industry is a tough one to survive in, and the Sharks have always pointed out that it's even more troublesome for businesses that sell drinks. Distribution is a problem, and getting beverages into supermarket shelves that are dominated by big-name brands is a steep hill to climb — a concern that they voiced to season 11's Genius Juice as well. The Menianes were aware of the funding and investor backing they'd need to help Victoria's Kitchen grow despite the fierce competition, which is why they sought a $200K investment and were willing to part with 20% equity of their company.

While the Sharks had only good things to say about the flavor of the almond waters and their packaging, there were concerns about the company's sales. Victoria's Kitchen had made $160K in its first year and $330K the next, but the sales had dropped to under $300K during the year of filming because they had discontinued one drink.

To top it off, the entrepreneurs were willing to take on all advice — both from Sharks and customers — and tweak their business, which the Sharks pointed out wasn't always a good idea. Small businesses couldn't always listen to and please everyone — and the consensus was that the entrepreneurs were essentially yes-men. The result? The Sharks may have turned into almond water drinkers, but Victoria's Kitchen was leaving without a single offer on the table.

Victoria's Kitchen Almond Water after Shark Tank

Walking out of the Tank without a deal is surely a bummer for any entrepreneur, but the Menianes remained positive. Besides, being on the show has its benefits beyond raising funds and winning a Shark. Considering the number of viewers who watch "Shark Tank" (a figure that reaches millions), the publicity from simply appearing on the show is enormous.

The entrepreneurs told Specialty Food Resource that there was so much interest in their almond waters that the only downside of being on the show was, "angering potential customers because they couldn't find it, or stores ran out of stock." They also admitted that they "just weren't ready for this much new business." Being on "Shark Tank" also brought Victoria's Kitchen closer to its goal of making $100,000 in sales every month, but it couldn't be credited entirely to the show.

A few months before "Shark Tank," the entrepreneurs told Food Navigator USA that the key to success was scaling steadily. Their almond waters had generated interest on the East Coast, but the Menianes were focusing on building a strong base on the West Coast first. The steady growth in the years leading up to "Shark Tank" ensured that they were ready for all that publicity when it came. "Shark Tank is like adding fuel to a fire," the Menianes admitted to Specialty Food Resource, adding that, "If your product isn't ready, I'm not sure how much help Shark Tank can be."

Is Victoria's Kitchen Almond Water still in business?

During their time in the Tank, the Menianes expressed their interest in growing the company by adding new products and introducing more flavors. Mark Cuban (who is officially leaving "Shark Tank") also told the entrepreneurs that he would have been more keen on investing in the company if their drinks were zero-cal.

Taking the feedback onboard, the entrepreneurs launched a new line of drinks that slashed the calories from 110 down to 50. They also added a peach and ginger lemonade to the collection. The packaging was revamped as well: The new drinks were packed in 12-ounce cans instead of bottles, and these went on to win the Gold Award in the Liquid Refreshment category at the 2015 Global Packaging Design Awards. By 2017, Victoria's Kitchen had sold over a million drinks and had earned over $1.4 million in revenue since its launch.

Despite the significant progress, however, Victoria's Kitchen does not seem to be in business any longer. The website has been acquired by another brand, and its Instagram account has been inactive since July 2019. This comes after news that Victoria's Kitchen was to be acquired by Hispanica International in 2017 — a New York-based company that backs snack and beverage businesses with natural and exotic offerings. The move was meant to help Victoria's Kitchen grow and reach a broader network of distributors, but sadly its almond waters seem to have disappeared in the years since.

What's next for Victoria's Kitchen Almond Water's founders?

There's no official news on why Victoria's Kitchen went out of business; all that's known is that its founders have left behind their almond waters since the acquisition. David took his expertise to work as the Executive Vice President of L.A. Libations — a company that creates, incubates, and accelerates beverage businesses.

The world of drinks is no longer his calling though, as the entrepreneur moved to the automotive industry in 2019 where he worked his way up to be Car's current Chief Executive Officer and director. Deborah too has moved on from Victoria's Kitchen and now works at Los Angeles-based Wolcott Architecture as a junior designer.

If their flourishing careers are any indication, it seems unlikely that the entrepreneurs will ever return to their almond water business. The future of Victoria's Kitchen under Hispanica International remains uncertain, but if comments on the company's social media accounts are any indication, the almond waters have fans waiting for their return.

"This should be brought back. There's an entire fanbase that uses Almond Water, specifically this brand even," wrote one disheartened fan on Facebook, claiming that the company was years ahead of its time. This is because a similar-looking pack of almond water is now part of a cult video game called "The Backrooms," and fans insist that Victoria's Kitchen would be in greater demand due to the horror game's following if it were to be released again.