In Eastern Europe a type of soft-serve ice cream exists that’s unique to the rest of the world. They have rotisserie-grilled dough cones with various toppings and Crispy Cones has brought this concept to the US. Jeremy and Kaitlyn Carlson pitched their product on Shark Tank and got a deal with Barbara Corcoran. As of 2023, Crispy Cones is worth an estimated $2 million.
About the Founders
The married couple reside in Rexburg, Idaho and both went to Brigham Young University. Jeremy later transferred to Utah State University and finished his education there.
The entrepreneurs are members of the Mormon Church, and Jeremy once served as a missionary for their sect. On the other hand, Kaitlyn spent her early career as a housekeeper, media relations specialist, and photographer.
Founding Crispy Cones
While on a two-year mission in the Czech Republic, he fell in love with their traditional ice cream served in crispy dough cones. He wanted to bring this ingenious delicacy back home.
When he returned to America and continued his studies, he started planning his business in his dorm room. His then-girlfriend Kaitlyn wanted to help with social media marketing. So, they became business partners.
The duo launched Crispy Cones with their ice cream truck in 2019. They struggled at first and sold gourmet pastries along with their main product. But eventually, their Czech-inspired frozen dessert became a crowd favorite in Rexburg.
Getting on Shark Tank
In 2021, the entrepreneurs opened their second location in Logan, Utah. Local investors then shared their interest in the startup, which led Jeremy and Kaitlyn to start franchising and now have 11 franchisees.
After seeing the benefits of franchising, the founders decided to focus their business efforts on it as they planned on going international. This requires capital, so the husband-and-wife team signed up to be on Shark Tank.
The overall application process took eight months, but Jeremy and Kaitlyn Carlson were thrilled they made the cut. The Carlsons shared their story of applying for Shark Tank on social media. Kaitlyn later recalled “it was surreal being in front of well-known personalities”.
After Shark Tank
The episode aired in March 2023 and since then business has been booming, Crispy Cones received a huge increase in franchise applications. The deal closed Barbara a few months after the show and she’s known for being hands-on, unlike other Sharks!
They already had a strong online following and their followers on Instagram doubled to over 20,000. Crispy Cones currently have 11 franchises across Arizona and Utah and two corporate offices. The company is opening up a headquarters and warehouse in Idaho. The business recently opened up new locations in Orlando, Chandler and Arizona.
Initially it costs $30,000 to become a franchisee, if you open multiple locations it drops to $25,000 per store. In addition, you will need to pay a 5% royalty fee and a 1% advertising fee. Other requirements include a $300,000 net worth and $150,000 in liquid assets.
If you want to try their special treat you can visit their stores in Rexburg, Idaho, and Logan, Utah. Crispy Cones has a 4.5 star rating from 53 users on Yelp. This is why the product has quickly become a local favorite! The business is worth an estimated $2 million. In personal news, Kaitlyn gave birth to a baby girl in April 2023!