Truffle Shuffle

truffle ShuffleJason McKinney and Tyler Vorce hope to cook up a deal for Truffle Shuffle, their online cooking instruction and meal kit service, in Shark Tank episode 1218. The co-founders of the business met while working as chefs at The French Laundry – a three Michelin Star restaurant in Yountville, California. They started the business in 2018 along with Jason’s wife, Sarah, to sell truffles to area restaurants. They also worked as private chefs.

When the Covid-19 pandemic shut down California restaurants, they had 20 pounds of truffles – worth about $20,000 – in Jason and Sarah’s apartment. With no restaurants to sell them to, they needed to think of something – fast. They decided to do online cooking classes with high end ingredients and fancy chef techniques. Since most of the country was shut down, the idea took off.

They started doing the classes in the McKinney’s apartment with just the three of them. Five months later, they had 46 employees – many of them out of work chefs – and a 10,000 square foot facility with four studio kitchens. The new digs can produce up to 10,000 meal kits a week. The kits are $99 each and can be ordered for a live cooking show or “on demand” viewing of a taped show. Some classes feature celebrity guests like Snoop Dogg, rapper E-40, NFL Hall of Famer Ronnie Lott  and others. Their rapid rise likely led to some serious expenditures which a Shark could help manage.

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TruffleShuffle – Online Chef Classes

Truffle Shuffle Shark Tank Recap

Jason and Tyler enter the Shark Tank seeking $500,000 for 5% of their business. They tell their story and let the Sharks munch on some samples, which they loved. When Daymond found out how much one truffle costs, he pocketed it! The guys really want a Shark to guide them through their varied business paths.

Lori is first out, followed by Daymond. Mark is next, citing they’ll need a lot of cash. Robert offers $500,000 for 20%. Kevin offers $500,000 as debt at 9.5% over three years and he wants 25% of the business. He also wants the guys to focus on the truffle products. Robert disses Kevin’s offer and says he doesn’t understand what the business is. Robert says it’s an experience business.

They want Robert and Mark to team up and ask if they’ll do $250,000 each for 7% each. They say no and Robert sticks to his earlier offer. Mark says he’ll offer the same as Robert and the guys ask if he’ll do 15%. Mark counters with 18% and holds firm when the guys counter at 17%. They ask Mark if he’ll go higher on the money and he offers $501,000 for 18%. After thinking it over, they go with Mark.

Truffle Shuffle Shark Tank Update

The Shark Tank Blog constantly provides updates and follow-ups about entrepreneurs who have appeared on the Shark Tank TV show. As of the first re-run of this episode in July, 2021,  it’s just four months after the original air date. The deal with Mark has not closed, but negotiations can sometimes take as much as a year. Revenues for this business are in the neighborhood of $6 million.

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