Chicken and turkey are favorites on special occasions. However, preparing them with cooking twine doesn’t always provide the best results. With the Turbo Trusser as an alternative, you can cook the perfect bird every time. Founders Kirk Hyust and Brian Halasinski pitched the product on season 14 and got a deal with Kevin O’Leary. As of 2024, Turbo Trusser is worth $1 million.
About the Founders
Kirk Hyust and Brian Halasinski are inventors from Stark County, Ohio. Kirk underwent chef training at The Culinary Institute of America, and Brian has a BBA from Kent State University and an MBA from Malone University.
After college, Halasinski became an analyst at Akro-Mils for two years. Then, he became a lean engineer at Newell Rubbermaid. His last job before founding Turbo Trusser was as a therapeutic specialist at Gilead Sciences.
Although he studied culinary arts, Hyust was more interested in inventing new products. He was the president of Kirk Wrench LLC from 2016 to 2019 and is still Vice President of Hall Of Fame Innovations.
Founding the Company
In 2015, they became friends after Kirk renovated Brian’s home. Since then, they have invented six products, four in the barbecue industry and two in the pet industry. So far, none of their creations has achieved any success but the Turbo Trusser had potential.
The product was made to make cooking chicken and turkey easier. It features two wire hooks on a stainless steel trusser that make a special contraption to hold wings and legs. The Turbo Trusser helps perfectly cook poultry in ovens, deep fryers, grills, and more.
It was introduced to the market in 2021 after the founders partnered with local companies to manufacture the product. A few months later, they made $50,000 in sales. After a year, the figure rose to more than $100,000!
Getting on Shark Tank
Kirk Hyust and Brian Halasinski initially applied to Shark Tank after starting the business. They didn’t get accepted, but they had the confidence to try again after hitting the $50,000 mark.
Several months went by before the pair got a call from the show’s producers. They were instructed to travel to Los Angeles, California, to shoot a scene for the program.
Shark Tank Appearance
The founders hilariously strutted into the Tank in turkey and chicken suits. Despite a shaky start, they recovered well and did a brilliant job explaining their product. At the time of the pitch, Turbo Trusser had $90,000 in sales within 8 and half months. 60% of sales came from their website and 27% through three distributors.
Four Sharks dropped as the product was very niche and didn’t believe they could scale only. Mr. Wonderful was the only one interested but it needed a lot of work. They ended up accepting Kevin’s offer of $100,000 for 33% and a royalty of $1 per unit in perpetuity.
After Shark Tank
Turbo Trusser is already doing well, but appearing on the show will further boost its sales. The product is now available on Amazon, TurboTrusser.com, and 80 retail locations in the US and Canada.
It’s sold in local stores such as Ace stores in Kent and Akron and Mister Brisket in Cleveland Heights. Slowly, the product is picking up orders from countries outside the US such as Germany, Chile, Australia, and the UK.
Turbo Trusser has a 4.3 average star rating from 73 reviews on Amazon. Currently, Turbo Trusser makes around $100,000 in annual revenue and is valued at $1 million. If the deal with Kevin O’Leary closes, a royalty of $1 per unit will negatively impact their cash flow in the long run. The founders should have dropped the royalty after Kevin got his initial investment back.