Marcus Lemonis Gets Snookered by 240Sweet
240Sweet is a maker of marshmallows launched in 2008 just outside of Indiannapolis, Indiana. The owners are Alexa Lemley and Samantha Aulick, a married couple.
Frankly speaking, I don’t know where to begin with this episode. This could well be the most unpleasant episode of the past three years. If not, it certainly ties with Maarse Florists, LA Dog Works, Skullduggery, and WorldTrailers for the worst of the worst.
Right from the get go, the viewer picks up on the fact that something is terribly wrong with the situation and that it was likely going to result in Marcus walking away. First we discover that the marshmallows stink of various spices, onions, sauerkraut, and even garlic. When Marcus tastes some he winces at the unusual odors.
Then we learn that Alexa’s father’s spice business is responsible for the bad smells. Not only are Max’s spices ruining the marshmallows, but he has taken over about 90% of their total floor space. On top of all that he is about four months in arrears on his rent to Alexa and Sam.
At this point the viewer is left wondering if this is some sort of early April Fools gag Marcus is pulling on his audience. This cannot be real. No one can be in business selling garlic and onion flavored marshmallows, right?
But sadly it’s not a gag. 240Sweet is trying to be a real business.
For a few minutes I found myself thinking that if they could just get Max to move out with his spices 240Sweet might stand a chance, but I also suspected that there were bigger problems lurking under the surface.
Without getting into the ugly details, we discovered that Marcus had been lured in only to persuade Max to find new digs. A man was needed for the job. Otherwise Alexa and Sam had no real interest in having Marcus as their partner. This alone speaks volumes about the duo. Not only that but they passed on a golden opportunity to be mentored by someone who actually knows how to run a business and has access to capital. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid.
Kudos to Max for being a man of his word and moving out as promised although wouldn’t we all now prefer that he had stayed put? Garlic and sauerkraut marshmallows. Yum-yum.
At the end, Sam shows her true colors in the confrontation with Marcus. She admits on camera that she never had any real intention of working with him despite happily taking his money. (This also explains why both Alexa and Sam treated Pete from Sweet Pete’s so shabbily.) The sweet man came by to do them a big favor by showing them for free how to fix their drab tasteless caramel, and they behaved like a couple of teen ingrates.
And then finally, as if to leave no doubt at all about what kind of a person she is, Sam threatens Cindy, an employee who was unfortunate enough to be in the room at the time, for not jumping up to defend her when she was accused by Marcus of being a toxic personality.
Marcus needs to have better vetting of applicants for the show. This travesty should never have made it past the screening phase. I watch the show for its business lessons and not this kind of stuff.
The big lesson here is that you get what you see with people. Marcus should have spotted all the warning signs early on and left before he gave them a dime.
If you’re going to be unethical don’t do it in front of rolling cameras. It’s just plain dumb.
Maybe Marcus can do a deal with old Max who appears to have the business smarts in the family?
*** Could you be another Marcus? Find out. Here’s a career upgrade opportunity for you.