Bread is a basic necessity in households as it’s rich in complex carbohydrates. However, some people avoid bread because it’s unhealthy, at least that’s how it used to be until Uprising Food came onto the scene. Founders William and Kristen Schumacher pitched their product on Shark Tank but weren’t able to secure a deal. As of 2023, Uprising Food is worth $4 million.
About the Founders
William and Kristen Schumacher are a married couple based in Cincinnati, Ohio. William has a degree in marketing from Wright State University, and his wife studied psychology at Ohio State University.
After college, William worked as a banking analyst at KeyBank and gained brand management experience at Procter & Gamble. He led the conglomerate’s Olay department in North America for over a year. Kristen worked in sales and marketing at Nehemiah Manufacturing Company and Trunk Club.
Founding Uprising Foods
Both William and Kristen were raised by business-oriented families. They were also sporty and health-conscious. At some point, they decided to create a brand that would have a considerable impact on the food market.
Eventually, they hooked up with artisan bakers Mark and Sara Fromeyer and got the idea to make bread that doesn’t contain gluten or dairy to make it keto and paleo friendly. William served as the CEO, while Kristen acted as Chief Brand Officer.
Originally called Uprising Bread, Uprising Food was launched in 2019 and made $85,000 in their first year. In 2020, sales were just under $1 million, and six months into 2021, they hit $2.1 million in revenue.
Shark Tank Appearance
Uprising Food had no problem getting sales but the company was burning cash. William and Kristen believed they could become profitable at a much higher scale. The couple appeared on season 13 of Shark Tank seeking $500,000 for a 3% equity stake.
The founders were confident about their product and the Sharks liked the taste of it. However, the Sharks were shocked that the bread retails for $12! That’s very pricey for a small loaf of bread. William also used a lot of buzzwords and jargon that seemed to annoy Mark Cuban.
The combination of high prices and low profit margins turned the Sharks off. The valuation wasn’t realistic and the business wouldn’t be profitable with $5 million in sales. The couple went home without a deal.
After Shark Tank
Despite all the criticism, the Schumachers took the feedback on board and are still running the business. After the episode aired, Uprising Food revealed in a press release they were surprised by the positive reaction to their product.
They now sell the bread in bundles along with other products such as prebiotic chips, sweatshirts and cooking aprons. The price has increased from $12 per loaf to $15 which makes it more challenging given the cost of living crisis.
The company’s 5-in-1 Prebiotic bundles average 4.5 stars from over 2,300 ratings. Negative reviews mention the taste and some complain about the rubbery texture. It’s unlikely the business is profitable but at least the publicity from the show has lowered their customer acquisition costs. Currently, Uprising Food’s annual revenue is $5.2 million.
In January 2023, William got a part-time role working as a Chief eComm Growth Expert at PrettyDamnQuick, a checkout-to-delivery platform. It’s clear William is a talented digital marketer but selling bread is a tough business. The best case scenario is getting bought out by a large conglomerate.