He to be NFL protective Rookie that the Year in 1978, and also spent 13 years together a skilled football player for teams choose the Detroit Lions, Minnesota Vikings and Cleveland Browns.

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But for Al “Bubba” Baker, a 2013 illustration on Shark Tank was just the start of a lucrative second plot in the spotlight.

This year, his baby back rib firm “Bubba-Q’s Boneless Ribs” signed an covenant with CKE Restaurants—the agency behind Hardee’s and also Carl’s Jr.—to come to be the exclusive rib supplier because that their new “Baby back Rib Burger,” i beg your pardon launches this week in 3,000 Hardee’s and also Carl’s Jr. Areas nationwide.


The burger deal is the recent in a collection of successes for Baker, that at one point almost abandoned his delicious dream. Before throwing in the towel, the soccer star claims he was motivated by his daughter not to stop.


“The factor this young lady and also I room partners is—she was in track and, like most dads, ns was pushing her,” Baker explained to the Sharks during his first appearance with his daughter Brittani in 2013.“She said, ‘Hey, ns don’t desire to operation track ... You quit the boneless ribs.’”


Find out exactly how I helped grow #BubbasQ, a agency I invested in during #SharkTank. Https://t.co/C9KatU5ynU

— Daymond man (

It’s no wonder Carl’s Jr. And Hardee’s wanted to partner with the former defensive lineman. Baker owns two patents—both because that the product itself and the process to develop the unique meat item—meaning that his firm is the only one in the civilization authorized to sell a fully-cooked rib through either one or more bones removed from it.


It’s the second patent the wowed "Shark Tank" investor Daymond john in December 2013. After ~ viewing the patents and tasting Baker’s De-Boned Baby ago Rib Steak—which can be all set in the microwave in two minutes and eaten-- mess-free-- through a knife and also fork—that john invested $300,000 for 30 percent agency equity.

HOW 2 MARINES constructed A flourishing BARBECUE BUSINESS


At the moment of the Baker"s first "Shark Tank" apperance, sales because that Bubba-Q’s Boneless Ribs to be $154,000. It to be revealed top top a Shark Tank upgrade April 15 that, after appearing on the show, the this firm profits had actually blossomed come $16 million in under 4 years.


For Baker, it’s a lifelong dream come true.

“Ribs space my passion,” he told the Sharks throughout his initial appearance. The episode ended with Baker claiming that his ribs would “change barbecue together we know it.”

On this month’s monitor up episode, he defined how the resolve Carl’s Jr. And Hardee’s concerned be.


“Carl’s Jr. And also Hardee’s came as much as my booth in ~ a food show since it’s a patented boneless rib. We’re the only people in the United says to carry out it.”

Baker’s contract with CKE Restaurants likewise has the chain excited.

“We’ve pioneered numerous iconic burgers over the years however no other chain has ever prior to put real, boneless, baby earlier ribs on a charbroiled burgess and, with some crispy onion strings, pickles and BBQ sauce top top it, it’s a mix that tastes amazing together,” Brad Haley, chief marketing officer because that Carl’s Jr. And also Hardee’s, called Fox News.


“As you have the right to imagine, that not straightforward to obtain real, boneless, baby ago ribs, but our friends in ~ ‘Shark Tank’ aided us out by investing in a start-up agency that did just that,” stated Haley.

“And, thanks to Al “Bubba” Baker and also Bubba’s-Q because that making it feasible for us to pioneer the next ‘Great American Burger.”


Baker’s de-boned ribs deserve to be purchased in ~ retailers favor Sam’s Club and also ordered online, while Baker has actually made sales appearances top top QVC and also Hallmark Channel.

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John, who has previously claimed the cooperation was one of the ideal investments he’s ever made on the show, said during the update, “The future can not be brighter for Al. I still think that this will perhaps be my biggest deal ever.”


“I’ve been really lucky in mine life,” Baker said. “It’s proof that if girlfriend live your life v integrity and you occupational hard, an excellent things occur to you.”


Launching April 26, the Baby ago Rib Burger, feautres a single patty for $5.59, a dual patty because that $6.79 or a one-third-pound Thickburger because that $6.79.


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