Wicked Good Cupcakes: Before and After Shark Tank

Wicked Good Cupcakes: Before and After Shark Tank | Enterprise Wired

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Credit – Wicked Good Cupcakes

Have you noticed how most bakers give you a warm and wholesome vibe every time you interact with them?—do you think it’s the ovens? Ha! Maybe.

Speaking of warmth and baking, what you’re about to read is a tale of a Bostonian mother-daughter duo, Tracey and Danielle Noonan, who built AND sold a million-dollar business out of something unheard of—Cupcakes in a jar.

Before they entered the popular show Shark Tank, most people hadn’t associated jar food with Cupcakes. Jams? Sure. Pickles? Definitely. But cakes do not last more than a week, and that is with the refrigeration privileges.

So how did Wicked Good Cupcakes become so successful in a niche of Jar Cupcakes? 

One day, Danielle decides to move out of the house. Later, Tracey and Danielle plan to join a cake decorating class to spend more time together and develop a passion for baking cakes. A year later in Massachusetts, Wicked Good Cupcake was born. Starting with friends and families, the company delivered cupcakes across America in its neat little mason jars.

Wicked Good Cupcakes: Before and After Shark Tank | Enterprise Wired
Credit – The Boston Globe

Yes, the Mason jars looked cute. But that is not the only reason Wicked Good Cupcakes gave a green signal to them.

In the early days, the duo faced several shelf-life issues led by growing customer demands. One option was adding preservatives, but they feared it would ruin the recipe. They needed something that would retain the taste and freshness of cupcakes. After several discussions, they started shipping their Cupcakes in mason jars. 

The growth of Wicked Good Cupcakes was so quick that mother-daughter could barely keep up with the customers. They now needed more capital to buy the jars in bulk—the main reason for their Shark Tank appearance.

Wicked Good Cupcakes: Shark Tank Pitch

Aired more than a decade back in 2013, Wicked Good Cupcakes is one of the most successful stories and products of Shark Tank. The original ask by Tracey and Danielle was $75,000 for 20% of Wicked Good Cupcakes.

The pitch was creative and sprinkled with on-brand phrases such as— there’s a lot of dough to be made from batter and they’re wicked good. However, the pitch didn’t appeal to 4 out of 5 sharks.

Wicked Good Cupcakes: Before and After Shark Tank | Enterprise Wired
Credit – Wicked Good Cupcakes

Here’s why:

  • Robert said he is not a big dessert guy. Like most people, he hadn’t heard of cupcakes in a jar. The product itself was too sweet for him. He was OUT.
  • Daymond IS a dessert lover (looking at you, Robert). He loved the Cupcakes but cited his worries about weight gain led by his love for desserts as the reason he was OUT.
  • Lori tried three different cupcake flavors and found them fantastic and “wicked good.” However, she believed Cupcakes’ shelf life would become a problem in the future. For that reason—she was OUT.
  • Mark highlighted that while the cupcake market was a growing space at the time, it was not really his specialty. That’s why he was OUT.
  • Kevin was the only shark that offered Tracey and Danielle a deal.

Here’s a summary of their conversation:

Kevin, Mr. Wonderful:I love the products, I hate the margins.” He was ready to give to give them the $75,000. Here’s the twist though: He didn’t want any equity. Instead, he wanted a royalty of $1 on every jar sold until he got his money back. Once that is done, the royalty price will drop to 50 cents. Moreover, the mother-daughter gets complete control over the business.

Tracey and Danielle:We’d like to come back to you with 40 cents a jar in perpetuity.” 

Kevin: *Offers a counteroffer of 45 cents a jar.*

Tracey and Danielle accepted the offer and closed the deal.

What Happened After Shark Tank?

In just a short span after the Shark Tank episode aired, Wicked Good Cakes experienced a tremendous response—the sales skyrocketed and the business achieved the yearly numbers in just a couple of weeks.

A year later, it was said that Wicked Good Cakes’ growth was measured as much as 600%.

By 2018, Wicked Good Cakes had become a household name in the cupcakes market. The dynamic duo delivered around 10,000 mason jars daily, earning them close to 10 million dollars in that particular year.

It was no longer a homemade brand. Each Wicked Good Cupcake was getting baked in a massive 21000 square foot facility as it continued hiring more employees.

On its growth journey, Wicked Good Cupcakes also partnered with various nationally renowned companies such as Cinnabon— creating a salted caramel cupcake.

A Golden Deal with Hickory Farms

Wicked Good Cupcakes: Before and After Shark Tank | Enterprise Wired
Source – Baking Business

In June 2021, Hickory Farms, one of the well-known gift retailers in America, acquired Wicked Good Cupcakes. And it makes sense—even before the acquisition, the wicked cupcakes were getting shipped in a gift box. With Hickory Farms and its big customer base, Wicked Good Cupcakes got a perfect opportunity to reach new people.

Is the Wicked Good business still running?

There is no guarantee that every Shark Tank business will become successful and sustainable. However, the Wicked Good Cupcakes business is still going strong. The brand’s gift angle after the Hickory Deal is especially noticeable on its website as it now offers cupcakes for various occasions such as weddings and corporate events.

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