Popcorn cereal, fries in ice cream, and peanut butter hamburgers are examples of weird food combos that actually work. However, none of these are more successful than the Pizza Cupcake made by Michelle Jimenez and Andrea Meggiato. The product featured on Shark Tank and the couple scored a deal with Lori Greiner. As of 2023, The Pizza Cupcake is worth $2.5 million.
Meet the Founders
Andrea Meggiato is a professional chef originally from Italy. He started cooking at age 16 and was later hired at an Italian restaurant in London. After a few years, Andrea decided to take his cooking talent to New York.
Michelle Jimenez comes from an immigrant Filipino family in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. After finishing high school, Michelle went to college in New York City, where she became a social media marketing expert.
Apart from cooking in restaurants, Meggiato worked in the jewelry business for Faraone Mennella. However, it was his love for pizza that brought him the love of his life. In 2015, he asked Michelle on a pizza date, and she agreed.
Founding The Pizza Cupcake
Andrea was the one who had the vision to revolutionize pizza by baking it in the form of a cupcake. He was so excited about the idea that left his day job and started the business in 2018.
After many failed experiments, the perfect Pizza Cupcake recipe was created, and it went viral on Instagram. The founders later set up shop near Smorgasburg Vendors and Citi Field.
In 2020, they had to close their shops due to the pandemic and sell their products directly to consumers online. Despite the setback, they still managed to record $344,000 in sales because of Michelle’s e-commerce experience The couple also focused more on frozen food production.
Shark Tank Pitch
Although their startup was making steady revenue, Michelle and Andrea believed they needed to raise more capital to grow the business. The entrepreneurs entered the Tank on season 12 in 2021. The duo asked for $125,000 for a 5% equity stake, a reasonable valuation compared to similar products on the show.
After tasting such a unique treat the Sharks got more excited about the business. Kevin O’Leary and Mark Cuban believed that the frozen food industry was a difficult one, so they backed out.
Daymond John and Robert Herjavec said they were interested in the cupcake business. Lori Greiner showed the most interest but wanted a large slice of equity. The entrepreneurs agreed to her final proposal of $125,000 for 12.5% equity and 2.5% advisory shares.
Success After Shark Tank
Not long after their episode aired in January 2021, Michelle and Andrea’s company made $300,000 from online sales. About 10 months later, revenue rose to a colossal $3.1 million.
The Pizza Cupcake made its retail debut in 100 Wegmans locations on the East Coast. Only the pepperoni flavor is in physical stores, and the Margherita variety is available exclusively on ThePizzaCupcake.com. In September 2022, it was announced The Pizza Cupcake is now sold in 1,600 Walmart stores across the US.
In May 2023, they expanded their retail presence in Foxtrot, Woodmans and GIANT. Now that the pandemic restrictions are over, the business is doing better than ever. Its annual revenue rose to $5 million, and the company is worth an estimated $2.5 million.