Our Story

Welcome to our family.

We are glad to have you here.

Hi! 

I am Cameron Sheldrake, the founder and creator of Off the Cob Chips. 

 

My childhood eating homegrown vegetables and corn, inspired a love of fresh food. 

I was raised on 3rd generation, Earlybird Farm, in the beautiful inlet valley of Ithaca NY.

Earlybird Farm was founded in 1959 by my grandparents, Ray and Elsie Sheldrake. 

Ray was a noted Horticulturist at Cornell, and helped in the development of double poly greenhouses, Cornell peatlite mix and drip irrigation. Ray’s work has changed the growing industry, helping to make greenhouses more affordable and decreasing plant losses in production, by up to 80 percent. 

Almost 6 decades later,

           Early Bird Farm remains a family business. My dad, George Sheldrake is known for his extensive array of flowering plants, both perennials and annuals.  

Open April - July, the Earlybird Garden Center is the go to place for flowers and vegetable starts. 

Open August - September, our road stand has an array of homegrown fruits and vegetables.  We are known around the state for our tomatoes, melons and especially, sweet corn.

   I have always felt a strong connection to my family farm, I love growing, selling, and eating our fresh produce. During my time at Babson College, a prestigious business school with a focus on entrepreneurship, I developed a snack using my homegrown family favorite; sweet corn.

I launched Off the Cob Chips in January 2013 in 28 Whole Foods in the Boston area and a few stores around Ithaca, NY. 

 

 

 

It was in 2013 that I met my partner Molly Willsallen, who soon after, joined the team in lead of marketing and advertising. Molly’s education and background in the Fashion and Apparel Industry was crucial in the development of our brand identity.

 

  In September of 2014, I flew to LA to film for ABC’s Hit Show Shark Tank. At the time of filming, we were such a small business; we had only been in business a year, we were not yet profitable. 

       We were not ready for a deal, but I thought the exposure was worth a shot! In October, The Shark Tank film crew came to Ithaca, to film on my family farm.

We did not have much time to prepare, the episode aired In November 2014. We ordered as much extra back stock as we could afford, and got a new website up and running on a dedicated server. Molly still had a full time job outside Philadelphia, and was burning the midnight oil getting ready for air night. In the episode, you can see I did not get a deal from the Sharks, and Mr. Wonderful was a jerk, but the experience was overall positive.

Molly and I, the night our episode of Shark Tank aired on TV.

We threw a party at a local theater and invited all our friends and family. We were so nervous, but this photo is the calm before the storm. We had no idea how the episode would be received or the rush of business headed our way. 

  

     Our business doubled overnight when our episode aired. We got slammed by thousands of hits, crashing our website! We sold out on Amazon before the segment had finished airing. Our social media and emails were flooded, it was so exciting!

     The next few months were busy, and stressful. We had a lot of growing pains, and it took us 5 months to get caught up on our online orders! We had the whole family helping to pack orders, in our brutally cold garage in February and March. (All great businesses have a garage moment, and this was ours) 
    

 

Here is our submission video- this is what caught the attention of ABC's Shark Tank producers!

 Since appearing on Shark Tank,

Off the Cob Chips can be found in over 300 locations, including 93 Wegman’s across the North East. Off the Cob Chips are now produced in a family owned and operated facility in Connecticut. Our facility is an allergen-free plant, allowing us to become Gluten-Free Certified. 

   We are focused on steady growth across the US. We currently have a small team of reps in our biggest cities like, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Philadelphia, Baltimore and DC. I am running the business from Ithaca, and still warehouse on my family farm. I have the help of my partner Molly and our dog team, Chili and Waylon.

     I am planning to launch a new line in 2019, inspired by real farm fresh flavors. We will focus on low calorie, high flavor snacks, with absolutely nothing artificial or man-made; No preservatives, MSG, natural flavors, yeast extracts, or any ingredients you cannot find in your own pantry.As soon as we have the product finalized, you will find it here first!

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Thanks for checking us out,

Happy Snacking!