Where Is Truffle Shuffle From Shark Tank Today?

Truffle Shuffle, a company offering live cooking classes highlighting truffles as an ingredient, has taken off since appearing on "Shark Tank." It can be hard to imagine that the pandemic almost halted the business entirely. Co-founders Jason McKinney and Tyler Vorce met as chefs working at a three Michelin star restaurant called The French Laundry, where they were responsible for sourcing truffles. Realizing how lucrative the truffle market is, the duo decided to create Truffle Shuffle, a business that helps direct consumers and businesses to authentic truffles. The company also has its own line of truffle products, such as truffle salt, truffle carpaccio, and truffle honey (at one time Truffle Shuffle also carried popcorn).

Truffles are expensive — a pound of white truffles can be worth up to $5,000. The company mainly sold to specialty businesses and restaurants, but when the pandemic shut down pratically the entire world, including restaurants, McKinney and Vorce shifted their business to a direct-to-consumer model. They launched cooking classes and sent home recipes and ingredients, including truffles, which proved to be quite successful. McKinney and Vorce then took their business onto "Shark Tank," hoping to grow their success even further. Were their truffle products and cooking classes enough for the Sharks to take a bite?

Truffle Shuffle landed a deal after several negotiations

Jason McKinney and Tyler Vorce appeared on Season 12, Episode 21 of "Shark Tank." They sought $500,000 in exchange for a 5% stake in their company. The duo demonstrated the live cooking class aspect of their business. They whipped up crêpes suzette, which is a fan-favorite recipe and cooking demonstration, and allowed the Sharks to follow along.

During the first year of business, the brand made $65,000 in sales. That spiked to $400,000 during the second year. The pandemic shifted the business to cater to a virtual audience with cooking classes, which proved to be quite successful. At the time of the pitch, the duo had made $1.4 million to date that year — with 84% of the sales coming from the cooking demonstrations.

While the sales were impressive, the Sharks were wary of the business concept. Lori Greiner, was the first to drop out, followed by Daymond John and Mark Cuban. Robert Herjavec said the business had "magic," and offered $500,000 for a 10% stake. Kevin O'Leary (calling himself "Chef Wonderful") then offered a loan of $500,000 at a 9.5% interest for a 25% stake in the company. The entrepreneurs counter-offered a deal for Herjavec and Cuban of $250,000 for 7% each, which Cuban immediately rejected while reiterating his interest. With Cuban officially back in, the duo went back and forth with him and ended up with a deal of $501,000 for a 18% stake.

Life after Shark Tank

Truffle Shuffle was already showing signs of success before appearing on "Shark Tank." The business was in "more than 75% of Whole Foods" locations, co-founder Jason McKinney told Eater. Since securing a deal with Mark Cuban, Truffle Shuffle has continued to thrive with their business. The company still offers online cooking classes with cooking kits for pan-seared scallops, truffle macaroni and cheese, pasta carbonara, and more. Roughly 200,000 people have joined the cooking classes.

At the time, Truffle Shuffle wanted to expand its cooking classes, including adding a "more diverse group of chefs" to the mix. The co-founders of Truffle Shuffle told Eater they wanted to expand their marketing experience through their partnership with Cuban. "We set a lot of big goals in this business and we keep hitting them," McKinney said. "Our next biggest goal here is to create a million master chefs in their own home."

It seems like the marketing strategies are working. Truffle Shuffle grew its audience on social media: The brand amassed more than 18,000 followers on Instagram. Truffle Shuffle remains active on that platform and Facebook and has received positive reception — the company has a 4.8 star rating on Facebook. While McKinney and Tyler Vorce clearly benefitted from their "Shark Tank" experience, whether Truffle Shuffle will continue to grow larger remains to be seen.