Doughp Update – What Happened After Shark Tank


Fads regularly come and go in the dessert world. There was a time when cupcake recipes and gourmet cupcake shops were proliferating like crazy. Yet, according to Forbes, that particular bubble popped back in 2013, after about a decade of popularity. People got burnt out on the treat, and besides, it’s not that difficult to make cupcakes at home. Still, some businesses like Sprinkles Cupcakes were able to survive that market crash.

Even beyond that, Candace Nelson — the founder of Sprinkles — has managed to make her business last into the 2020s, per Food Business News. Nelson says being unique and consistent is key to long-term success. Additionally, she believes the safest bet is conserving cash and prioritizing profit over easy growth. If that sounds to you more like a businesswoman than a culinary artist, you’d probably be right. After all, money really does make the culinary world go round.

Cupcakes were just one trend out of many, though. A more recent craze has been about edible cookie dough, but in time, all fads must fade. Will any of the many edible cookie dough ventures be able to pull a Sprinkles and extend their 15 minutes of fame?

Did the Sharks think Doughp was dope?

One edible cookie dough company, Doughp, got its first 15 minutes of fame on ABC’s “Shark Tank,” but its story goes back further than that. As told by ABC 7, Kelsey Moreira (formerly Witherow) turned to sweet treats in an effort to turn her life around. “I had an on-and-off relationship with alcohol,” she explained, “and it was holding me back from doing something more with my life.” So, she went sober and her love of baking gave her something productive to focus on. She loved it so much, she decided to turn it into a full-fledged business.

Soon enough, Moreira opened her own cookie dough bar in San Francisco, and shortly afterward, she appeared on “Shark Tank” Season 10, Episode 22, in an attempt to get the funds she needed to sustainably expand the brand. Specifically, Moreira wanted $450k in exchange for a 10% stake in the company. “At Doughp, we serve nostalgia by the scoop,” she told the Sharks. The Sharks were immediately inspired by Moreira’s personal journey, and they were especially impressed by her operations and fiscal acumen.

Ultimately, however, the Sharks didn’t care for cookie dough, and for that reason, they balked at the high evaluation of Moreira’s business. Despite their praise for her, all of the Sharks eventually dropped out. “The Sharks made a mistake today,” Moreira claimed, “but they’ll be back.” However, this wasn’t even the first time an edible cookie dough venture appeared on “Shark Tank.” In fact, you may even remember Cookie Dough Cafe from Season 5. In such a crowded, trendy market, did Doughp really have what it takes to stay relevant?

Doughp is still making dough

“There’s certainly a lot of competition,” Kelsey Moreira admitted in her negotiations with the Sharks. Referencing the cupcake boom-and-bust, though, she pointed out, “There are a few brands we all know and love, still, from the cupcake trend,” and she compared Doughp to Sprinkles. It turns out, she was right to do so.

Only a few seasons later, Doughp made another appearance on “Shark Tank,” updating the audience on her company in Season 13, Episode 22. Moreira recounted how the Sharks inspired her to create a healthier, portion-control product called Doughp Drops. Additionally, she shared that the exposure helped her to open a new location in Las Vegas even without the Sharks’ direct help. However, when the pandemic began, Doughp’s online sales exploded. So, the business went mostly virtual, although massive retailers like Costco and Walmart also began selling their wares in physical locations. Doughp now makes millions of dollars in annual sales, and it offers myriad cookie dough flavors, gift boxes, merch, and subscription services.

On top of all that, Doughp also donates regularly to important causes like addiction recovery and mental health. Doughp has proven it’s no one-hit wonder. Much like Sprinkles, it’s successfully become a lasting institution in the dessert industry. As Moreira once told ABC 7, when it comes to being an entrepreneur or even just working on yourself, “You can do it. You can turn your life around and be whatever the heck you want to be.”

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