Riviera Beach, Fla. Yes, it’s a big deal (pardon the pun) when you go on the hit ABC-TV show “Shark Tank” and ink a deal with Dallas Mavericks (NBA) owner Mark Cuban and comedian and actor Kevin Hart.

But Alexiou Gibson, 35, a Bahamian native who resides in the Palm Beach County suburb of Wellington, already was a big deal before he became a full-grown adult. At age 19 he weighed more than 500 pounds and doctors pretty much gave up on him, telling him he wouldn’t live past 30 at the rate he was going.

Gibson instead began a diet and exercise regimen, and added an age-old family staple that would change his life literally and figuratively. While becoming a vegan and spending six hours a day in the gym, he also re-discovered sea moss, which he used as a supplement for his ailing grandmother, adding it to her tea and her soup.

“Sea moss was always a staple in my culture,” Gibson said. “It heals and boosts the immune system.”

The results in his grandmother’s health and strength prompted him to post her pictures on social media. The testimonials caught the attention of nurses who wanted it, so he began leaving sea moss gel at their doorsteps. As word spread and he lost more than half his weight he began selling the product, and started his business The Transformation Factory to reflect his metamorphosis through diet, exercise and consuming sea moss.

Gibson said he had no idea the sea moss gel, which comes in flavors such as strawberry, pineapple and mango, would lead to a “Shark Tank” appearance when Hart joined the cast as a guest shark on Gibson’s episode. According to a Palm Beach Post report, Hart already knew about sea moss and liked it, so he was ready to ink a deal with Gibson. Cuban also wanted in, and the two sharks offered Gibson a deal.

Prior to that, Gibson’s company was said to be worth $3.2 million according to the Palm Beach Post. In the 24 hours after the May 20 airing of his episode sales reportedly went up by a half-million dollars.

“I never guessed I would get on the show and end up making a deal with two of the biggest sharks,” said Gibson. “I was amazed. They can obviously open doors that I can’t on my own.”

Today, Gibson is fulfilling his passion of growing his business and helping others to get healthy. He said he is in talks with Riviera Beach officials about starting an entrepreneurship program for underserved youth, and Riviera Beach is also looking for warehouse space for Gibson to expand his company in the city. The idea was the brainchild of city Councilman Douglas Lawson, following a recent reception at the city’s waterfront Marina Event Center.

Gibson said his goal is not only personal success but to help others obtain their own wealth, healing and success. The successful entrepreneur said it would be his honor to help kids in the city to learn about financial literacy and generational wealth.