May 27, 2018

Williston business owner survives ‘Shark Tank’


The tie-dyed shorts suit Glickman wore in his appearance on ‘Shark Tank’ is on display in his Church Street store. (Observer photo by Rachel Gill)

Observer correspondent 

Resident David Glickman—wearing a tie dyed blazer, dress shirt and shorts ensemble—swam with sharks and survived.

These particular sharks made up the five-person panel of millionaire investors on ABC’s hit show “Shark Tank.” Glickman appeared on the show Friday, May 3.

“Shark Tank” gives entrepreneurs a chance to bait one or more sharks to invest in their businesses. Glickman asked for $400,000 for a 25 percent equity stake in his Williston-bsed Vermont Butcher Block & Board Company, which creates hardwood cutting boards, bowls, utensils and more. While he got the sharks to nibble, they didn’t bite.

“In hindsight it was a great experience,” Glickman said. “They all told me I am a smart and bright business man and that I can do it on my own and that I don’t need them, I need a bank.”

Glickman is currently in the process of securing private funding, as well as state agency funding.

“I am just going to focus on growing my business,” Glickman said. “You can’t tell an entrepreneur ‘no,’ they will do what they want, and that’s what I’m going to do.”

On the show, Glickman’s pitch included his $2.9 million in sales since the company’s inception in 2004. Last year, the business made $800,000. To grow, Glickman wanted help from the sharks.

“I was particularly interested in working with sharks Mark Cuban or Robert Herjavec,” Glickman said.

Cuban founded a laundry list of online businesses and is best known for his purchase of the Dallas Mavericks in 2000. Herjavec, the son of Croatian immigrants, worked his way up from waiter to technology company mogul.

During Glickman’s appearance, the sharks entered a heated debate over whether Glickman should keep the entire line of wooden kitchen products or focus solely on the cutting boards.

“The problem is if you go on the show with one product you risk being called a one-hit wonder, but if you go on with more products, you’re told to focus on one, so you’re damned if you do or damned if you don’t,” Glickman said.

Another point of contention came from shark Lori Greiner, who challenged Glickman about his choice to focus on wooden cutting boards as opposed to a material that she said would provide a better antimicrobial surface.

“Lori brought that up because she has a line of cutting boards on QVC, so it was self serving,” Glickman said. “Some articles say plastic boards are better and there are others that say wood is better, so it really comes down to personal preference.”

Despite the disagreement, Glickman said he looks up to all the sharks.

“I may not like all the sharks but I respect them all,” Glickman said. “Lori is a very nice person and I respect her 1,000 percent as a business person.”

Glickman watched the show surrounded by 100 friends and family members during a viewing party at Catamount Golf Club May 3.

“It was great and a lot of fun,” Glickman said. “We even had a computer set up to show the spikes in online orders and website hits, so watching those numbers felt really good.”

Glickman said the exposure has been great for business.

“We have seen over 100,000 webpage views and the retail store is doing really well,” Glickman said.

All in all, Glickman has no regrets about his swim with the sharks.

“Being able to say I did it is my favorite part,” Glickman said. “It’s a huge weight off my shoulders and I’m happy I did it.”

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