After what feels like the longest summer break (for me at least), the wait is finally over; the Emmy-winning ABC show Shark Tank is back. As one of my favorite TV shows, which says a lot since I watch too much, I’m dying to see the newest ideas people have for food/drink products. Before we can take a bite out of the new season, let’s check on some of my old favorites from past seasons. Maybe the newest companies can take a hint on success.
Way back in season 2 episode 7, Kim Nelson, owner of Daisy Cakes — a mail order cake business that ships natural homemade cakes to you in days — made a deal with shark Barbara Corcoran. Instantly her business skyrocketed; that night the website crashed and she couldn’t possibly keep up with the demand from everyone watching because who could resist the look of them? Not me. Daisy Cakes had to expand quickly, going from Kim and her mother making cakes in their kitchen to a full production facility.
Unfortunately, there were struggles along the way. The cakes being made in a production facility in a different state didn’t turn out like the cake goodness one would hope, and she lost over $150,000 of cakes. Yikes.
After this disaster, Kim learned quickly that the production needed to move back to her home state, South Carolina, which seemed to be a stellar move, amounting to $3 million in sales in one year. Cha-ching.
Now, Daisy Cakes are hot and dying to be shipped to cake lovers across the US. Daisy Cakes are shipped on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays and arrive in 1-3 business days, ready for any weekend party, or just to sit and watch Netflix with your cake bae. Or you can just make your very own rainbow cake.
Here’s the crackdown on flavors: red velvet with cream cheese frosting (yum), lemon with cream cheese frosting and lemon curd filling (double yum), coconut, carrot with one full pound of carrot inside and raisins, and, my absolute favorite, chocolat-a-ya-ya. It’s not for the chocolate weak-hearted, but perfect for chocoholics.
Gluten Free Alert: Carrot and chocolate cakes come in a gluten free variety for your favorite gluten sensitive friend’s birthday. No more “I can’t eat cake because there’s gluten in it” excuses.
Plus, the cakes are shipped in a super cute tin to keep once the cake is gone. Perfect for reusing to package gifts or storing arts and crafts.
They sell for $49.95 on the website — a bit pricey, but still totally worth the splurge for my roommate’s birthday party.
Wicked Good Cupcakes
In season 4 episode 23, mother, Tracey Noonan, and daughter, Dani Desroches, tested their luck with their cupcakes in a jar called “Wicked Good Cupcakes.” While they already had a brick and mortar store, they wanted to expand to mailing cupcakes in jars across the US to share all the wicked goodness. After sealing a deal with shark Kevin O’Leary, the cupcakes were an overnight success. Who wouldn’t want a fresh cupcake shipped right to them? They sold $230,000 in cupcakes in one week after the show — talk about some serious dough.
Each jar fits 2 cupcakes that will last up to 10 days without refrigeration for your immediate pleasure, or if you need to keep them longer, they’ll be good frozen for 6 months to save for that post-exam sugar craving. Know what flavors you like? You can customize a pack of 2, 4, 6, or 12 ($5 shipping on the 2 pack but free for the others), or if you can’t decide on which delicious flavor to get, order one of their preselected 6 or 12 packs.
Gluten Free Alert: They also offer gluten free cupcake options, so order away.
Trust me, they’re wicked good; make your parents ship them to your dorm room for your birthday or order them yourself for a post breakup pick-me-up. If you’re lucky (unlike me) and live in Boston, visit their store in Faneuil Hall.
Chapul Cricket Bars
If you’re like me and wake up at the last possible minute and run out the door to class in the morning, you may need this product from season 5 episode 21. Pat Crowley, founder of Chapul,
makes energy bars out of cricket powder. Yes, it’s powder made from ground-up crickets. Although a tough sell (because who wants to eat insects), shark Mark Cuban, billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks, took a chance and sealed a deal.
According to Pat, crickets are the perfect choice for an energy bar because they are loaded with protein, high in iron, and vitamin B12. He got the idea for cricket-powered bars after researching that crickets are consumed all over the world. For centuries, they have been eaten in Mexico in tacos, in Thailand on salad, and even on sugar cookies in the Middle East… Not something I would put on my sugar cookie but maybe it’s worth a try.
Even better, crickets are sustainable because they need few resources to survive and emit almost no greenhouse gases — how green is that? Maybe he’s on to something.
If you’re willing to try them (admittedly, I’m apprehensive), the bars come in flavors like Aztec (dates, cocoa, coffee beans, and a kick of cayenne), Chaco (dates, chocolate, peanuts, flax seeds), Matcha (matcha green tea powder, goji berries, sesame seeds, and nori) and Thai (coconut, ginger, and lime). Buy them here in sampler packs (all flavors) of 4 ($13) or 12 ($34). Or, if you’re feeling adventurous (or really like one of the flavors), you can buy a dozen of each flavor for $34 as well.
Trying to throw a rager? You’ll need Beatbox Beverages. This company pitched on season 6 episode 6 highlighted bagged wine packaged in the shape of a boom box. Because what party is complete without music and booze?* After making a deal with Mark Cuban by appealing to his college years at Indiana University, Beatbox picked up and is now available in stores in 15 states, including Texas, California, Michigan, Florida, and Colorado.
In flavors like Blue Razzberry Lemonade, Cranberry Limeade, and Lemon Lime, these jammin’ drinks will definitely be a hit.
Beware: The Blue Razzberry may turn your tongue to the color of cookie monster. Not cute.
Order online or find a store near you to amp up your party. If they aren’t available in your state or anywhere nearby (tear), request them to be carried in your favorite grocery/liquor store like I did. If you want to know how to navigate the wine aisle, learn how here.
*Music not provided.
Have you ever come up with a great idea in a dream? I always hope to get a lightbulb moment in the middle of the night, but I never have. Nick Olesack did and it changed his life forever, and that’s how Bantam Bagels, mini bagels stuffed with cream cheese, were born. How could no one think of this before? Nick and his wife, Elyse, quit their jobs and bought a small store on Bleecker Street to make Bantam available to bagel-obessed New Yorkers.
Even with these tough critics, they were a success. Oprah, yes the one who owns the OWN network, got on board and made them one of her favorite things in 2014. The ultimate life goal achieved.
Since everyone wanted to try bagel bites, Nick and Elyse went on season 6, episode 13 and try to expand the bagels to be shipped across the country. Yes, please. Lori took a bite and was hooked, sealing a deal. People could not get enough of them (obviously); they were featured on the spin off Beyond the Tank, which is basically a show that allows us Shark Tank obsessed people to hear more about the successful companies on season 1 episode 3.
Need flavor suggestions? They’re all good. They come in the classic bagel flavors sesame, plain, and “everybody’s favorite” (everything bagel stuffed with chopped veggie cream cheese). But, they also go out of the bagel comfort zone with hot pretzel, french toast and “the hangover” (cheddar cheese and egg bagel stuffed with bacon cheddar cream cheese… omg perfect hangover cure).
Or if you can’t decide (totally understandable) ship the sampler packs for $35.95: Classic Flavors Sampler (Everything & Plain, The Classic, Sesame & Veggie, Strawberry Delight, Poppy & Plain, Onion & Plain), Shark Tank Sample Pack (Everybody’s Favorite, The Classic, Hot Pretzel, Grandma Jo Jo, French Toast and Cookies & Milk), or Sweet Treats (Cinnamon Bun, French Toast, Cookies & Milk).
Warning: Packs come in 3 dozen (36 in total y’all) and they’re highly addictive.
If you’ve ever had popcorn kernels stuck in your teeth like me, keep reading. Brother and sister Jeff and Jen Martin have a solution. They used a popcorn kernel Jen received from her job at a local health food store that’s smaller and doesn’t leave behind a residue, made it into popcorn, and Pipcorn was born. Clearly, this was a solution we needed.
The brother-sister team worked together and made Pipcorn a brand, but their break was too big. Oprah made it one of her favorite things (Giving it the Oprah touch— selling it out ASAP) and the demand was too high for them to handle. Jeff and Jen went on Shark Tank season 6 episode 9 (100th episode special) to help reach the demand for hungry popcorn lovers. Barbara was eager to take a bite and sealed a deal.
Now, Pipcorn is sold in select Bed, Bath and Beyond stores, and select other health food stores (find them here). If you can’t wait to find them, order them on the website in four packs for $26 (only $6.50 a bag if you do the math… totally worth it). Flavors come in the classic Sea Salt, Kettle and Truffle (salivating now). If you can’t decide (because they all sound amazing), order the four pack (which also includes a chili flavor). You can also pimp out your Pipcorn like this.
More Reasons to Buy: They’re vegan, non-GMO, gluten free and whole grain… try not eating the entire bag in one sitting.
The Cookie Dough Cafe
No more guilt-eating the raw cookie dough; sisters Joan Pacetti and Julia Schmid came up with the perfect solution, The Cookie Dough Cafe. It’s cookie dough designed to be consumed raw and only raw (no cooking allowed). To make it even better, there’s no preservatives and made with all-natural ingredients (no guilt allowed). Joan and Julia knew it would be a huge hit so they went on Shark Tank on season 5 episode 16 and it hit home with sharks Lori Greiner and guest shark Steve Tisch.
(Un)Fortunately, they did not capitalize on the “Shark Tank effect,” which allows people watching the show to impulse buy online. I’m not sure if this was the best strategy given the success of the other companies the first night, but their focus on grocery stores to distribute seemed successful. So, don’t panic — it’s now available in stores all over the country. Just try the locator and they’ll pop up, I promise. They still found their success this way, which proves me right, I guess.
The flavors do cookie dough right: chocolate chip (also comes in single serve cups to stop yourself from eating the entire container), monster (chocolate chips and M&Ms), cookies and cream, and naked dough (to add your own favorite toppings, of course). If you’re calorie counting, the nutritional information is on their website. If you’re not calorie counting, make it into an ice cream sandwich like this.
Caution: One container has 8 servings… scary if you eat the entire thing.
The Painted Pretzel
Every salty and sweet lover, listen up. Stay at home mother Raven Thomas tried to show her son how to pursue your dreams and she did just that, and The Painted Pretzel was born. Her gourmet chocolate covered pretzel company became such a huge success that she couldn’t keep up (because who doesn’t love chocolate and pretzels and them together?). She went on Shark Tank season 3 episode 6 and, of course, the sharks loved it too. Mark Cuban was the shark who stole the bite out of the company.
Shortly after the show, The Painted Pretzel became the official pretzel of Landmark Theaters (move away, popcorn). If that’s not enough (because it’s not), the pretzels can be ordered online — for your impulse purchase — and shipped to a dorm as a perfect de-stresser.
The pretzels don’t just come in the traditional rods; there is also bark (chocolate with pretzel bits…how can that be bad?) and knots. And they come in a variety of toppings: chocolate chips, sprinkles, M&Ms and nuts… chocolate overload in the best way possible. Just remember to ship them quickly over the summer so they don’t melt (winter, no problem). Or learn how to make your own bite-sized version here.
Sorority Alert: Order them customized for a fundraiser to earn $50 profit per box— perfect for a philanthropy event.
Craving more awesome products? Catch it with me Fridays at 9/8c to find the coolest and sometimes weirdest new products. Maybe one will become the newest trend in food or drinks (wine vending machines anyone?).