A 69-year-old grandma just sent the Shark Tank judges into a frenzy.


It’s not everyday you see a woman venturing into the world of business at 70-years-old.

But 69-year-old retiree Jenny Holten saw a gap in the market ten years ago, and decided to stuff it full of her delightful bread.

You see, Jenny is coeliac. And when she retired, came to the realisation that gluten free baked goods weren’t all that easily accessible.

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So. From her little home kitchen in Perth, WA, Jenny kickstarted her gluten-free, artisan bakery Strange Grains. Within six weeks, she couldn’t keep up with demand, and had to move into a commercial kitchen. Last year, she made a cool $1M in profit.

Last night, she pottered onto Shark Tank, Channel 10’s show whereby entrepreneurs dangle their (usually crummy) start-up companies in front of Australia’s most successful investors (the ‘sharks’) in a bid to win some of their hard earned cash.

When I say she ‘pottered’ in, I’m not kidding. Entrepreneurs on the show usually enter the room of investors (the tank) sweat-covered and shaking. Jenny doddered in as if walking into the kitchen to put the kettle on.

“I’m 70 next year,” she told the five sharks. “I started a little retirement business to keep me from getting bored at home.”

“I don’t know what a CEO is but I think I need one.”


We think you probably need one too, Jenny.

Okay so the sharks poo-pooed her. They thought she was delusional and cute and maybe lost on her way to the grocery store.

She responded by feeding them bread. Not just any bread… a glorious, dark loaf which costs her about $1.60 to make.

This... THIS is what kickarse looks like. Image via Channel 10.

Through carb-y mouthfuls, the sharks asked how much she sells each loaf for.

"Between 13 and 15 dollars," she said, and you pretty much see their pupils turn to dollar signs right then and there.


They ask her to "have a seat" because now things are serious.

"Some of the top restaurants in Perth use this loaf."

When you're confused because gluten free things usually taste like cardboard. Image via Channel 10.

Jenny asked the sharks for $350K for 10% of her business, meaning she values the business as a whole at a cool $3.5M.

"Three and a half million," the sharks say. "Talk us through how you came to this valuation."


Watch the video playing above to see the Shark Tank judge's reactions, it really is priceless. 

It's at this point they're expecting some rubbish about counting loaves and hoping it will be worth a lot of money 'in the future' based on some incredible exponential growth trajectory that's never going to happen. That's how the sharks catch most people out.

But nah. Nopedy nope nope. Jenny is cooler under pressure than all of us.

"The turnover last financial year was just under a million. This financial year it's double that... two million dollars... it might be even more."

She has no debt. Tonnes of bread. Piles of money. And just about the friendliest smile we've ever seen.

I'm smiling because people buy my bread for $15. Image credit Channel 10.

Shark Naomi Simson offered $350K for 25%, instead of $350K for 10% as Jenny wanted. It's VERY clear business-owner Jenny wanted to argue for Naomi to have a lower stake in the business but ended up accepting because you see she is far too nice and doesn't want to cause a fuss. 

Jenny leaves the tank with a cool $350K, and a brand new business partner.

She's a bit lost for words. All she can really manage to say is "Isn't that lovely..."

We sure hope we're this kickarse when we hit 70.

You can watch the full episode of Shark Tank on Tenplay, here

Do you know someone who started a business later in life? What's your life going to look like at 70? Let us know in the comments below...