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Utah pie entrepreneur views appearance on CNBC’s ‘The Profit’ as answered prayer

James Edwards holds up some of his signature gourmet sweet potato pies.
James Edwards holds up some of his signature gourmet sweet potato pies. Edwards will appear on CNBC’s “The Profit” on Aug. 31, 2021.
James Edwards

The Utah man who started a business selling gourmet pies has always been a fan of reality business shows.

James Edwards has watched ABC’s “Shark Tank,” Paramount Network’s “Bar Rescue” and his favorite, CNBC’s “The Profit,” hosted by serial entrepreneur Marcus Lemonis.

“Marcus Lemonis is my favorite because he’s one-on-one with the entrepreneurs,” Edwards said.

Now Edwards is not only appearing on a business reality show, but he’s connecting with Lemonis on “The Profit.”

Edwards and his gourmet sweet potato pie business will be featured in episode 4 (Season 8) of “The Profit.” The 60-minute show airs Tuesday, Aug. 31, at 8 p.m.

Edwards, a former Air Force mechanic from Delaware, launched his business in 2018 by selling full and mini-size pies at farmers markets, events and via custom order.

Paige Moore and James Edwards make gourmet pies in a shared commercial kitchen.
Paige Moore, left, and James Edwards, owner of James’ Gourmet Sweet Potato Pies, make pies in South Salt Lake on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. Edwards will appear in an episode of CNBC’s reality business show “The Profit” on Aug. 31, 2021.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

As a man of Christian faith, Edwards attributed his good fortune to providence.

“The Bible says you can have what you pray for, and I believe God gives us the desires,” Edward said. “So if he’s given me this desire to improve myself, and to go to that next level, I think it’s my job to pray for what I want, go after what I want and God opens doors that he wants us to walk through. He closes doors that he doesn’t want us to go through. Every day I pray for guidance ... and trust that God is going to provide.”

In the episode, Lemonis works with Edwards to expand his business nationwide, according to TV Guide and Rotten Tomatoes.

At the end of each episode, entrepreneurs are invited to submit an application and audition for the opportunity to be featured on the show. That’s exactly what Edwards did almost a year ago. He was contacted about a month later for an initial interview and survived the screening process to be selected. The episode was filmed last spring.

“I was really happy to be selected for that opportunity,” he said. “I was just in this state of euphoria ... being in the same room with somebody I look up to so much and hearing him say, ‘OK, we’re going to work together.’ That was an amazing experience to meet him and for him to just jump right in.”

In each episode of “The Profit,” Lemonis meets a business owner and is introduced to the company’s operations. He analyzes its strengths and weaknesses before offering to invest his expertise and cash in exchange for a piece of the business and a percentage of the profits. Lemonis helped a family business in Utah that was struggling with debt in the first episode of Season 8.

Edwards couldn’t reveal much about his episode, but loved his opportunity. Edwards is hosting a watch party for his episode at the Monarch in Ogden (455 25th Street) on Tuesday, Aug. 31, from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

“All I can say is I thanked him for a great experience. He was a great person to work with,” Edwards said of Lemonis. “I can’t wait for it to air. I’m excited.”

James Edwards, owner of James’ Gourmet Sweet Potato Pies, bags pies for delivery.
James Edwards, owner of James’ Gourmet Sweet Potato Pies, bags pies for delivery at Cocina Tepin Kitchen, a shared commercial kitchen, in South Salt Lake on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. Edwards will appear on an upcoming episode of CNBC’s reality business show “The Profit” on Aug. 31, 2021.
Kristin Murphy, Deseret News