Ice cream is a delicious frozen treat for any season but it’s far from healthy. Coconut Girl’s dairy-free, gluten-free ice cream sandwiches have the same rich flavour minus the calories. Founder Francheska Yamsuan pitched the product on Shark Tank and got a deal with Mark Cuban. As of 2023, Coconut Girl is worth an estimated $4 million.
About the Founder
Francheska “Frankie” Yamsuan is originally from the Philippines. Her family later moved to the States and settled in Los Angeles, California, where she went to The Art Institute of California for chef training. Currently, she resides in Phoenix, Arizona.
Frankie was once a student at the University of California but decided to drop out because of her lack of focus on academic choices. This was how she ended up pursuing culinary arts in 2011, which she completed in one year. The Filipina beauty didn’t regret this, as it ultimately helped her find her way into entrepreneurship.
Founding the Company
As a young adult, Francheska developed an unhealthy relationship with food. It affected her physical and mental state, so she wanted to change it. Her journey started by making a date smoothie and milkshake.
Eventually, she made paleo-friendly ice cream and shared it with her colleagues. Frankie then sold them in pints in early 2016. She noticed her customers turning them into sandwiches and decided to make them the official packaging.
In year one, the aspiring entrepreneur made $60,000 in sales. The following year, the figure doubled to $120,000. By 2019, Coconut Girl partnered with big box retailers and was on track to make $300,000 in revenue.
Shark Tank Appearance
A big part of Frankie Yamsuan’s early success was having a co-packer, who eventually left. To keep up with customer demand, she needed capital to hire more help. Yamsuan appeared on season 11 of Shark Tank, seeking $180,000 for 18% equity.
Frankie entered the Tank on a cute ice cream cart and made a confident introduction. She did a great job explaining the ingredients used in the product and the story behind her company. Right from the start, Mark Cuban was interested and her growing sales got all the Sharks excited.
The billionaire was the first to make an offer of $180,000 for 25%. He wanted an answer right away, but the other Sharks wanted in on the fun. After an entertaining back-and-forth, Mark won the bidding war for a 20% equity stake. You could tell Frankie felt uncomfortable accepting the offer and wanted to listen to Lori.
After Shark Tank
Not long after the episode aired, the pandemic happened which affected Frankie’s business as it became challenging to get into more retail stores.
Coconut Girl was already in a few Whole Foods stores in California. But with Mark on board, they got into more locations across the US such as Bristol Foods, Lazy Acres Market, Lassens and Erewhon Market. They’re now also in stores in Canada and you can buy the treats online at Amazon.
Frankie started making other food products, but their ice cream sandwiches are still their staple. Their Milk Vanilla flavour has a 4.2-star rating from 36 Amazon reviews. Coconut Girl makes around $2 million in annual revenue and is worth an estimated $4 million. Mark Cuban revealed that Frankie sold some equity in the business, so potentially she’s now a millionaire! No details have been shared on the deal yet.