Mavens Creamery is an ice cream sandwich company founded by sisters Gwen and Christine Nguyen. The siblings pitched the company on Shark Tank, in the hopes that investors will help them to expand their product nationally.
Mavens Creamery was founded in 2014, and is currently based out of San Jose, California. Read on to learn more about the Nguyen sisters and their background, as well as how they hope to expand their company moving forward.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Mavens Creamery Makes Macaron Ice Cream Sandwiches
Maven’s Creamery is an ice cream sandwich business. What makes their sandwiches different from competitors, however, is that they use macaron; which is a French cookie made out of Almond powder. “We use nothing but the highest quality ingredients and that’s what makes our macaron ice cream a premium product,” their website states.
“We also qualify each new flavor through a rigorous R&D process,” they add. “If you did not walk away with a smile after trying our products, then it did not meet The Mavens Standard.” Mavens Creamery is also unique is that it doesn’t use artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, artificial preservatives or hydrogenated fats. It also eschews the use of bleached flour or growth hormones for an all natural dessert.
Mavens offers 8 different flavors of ice cream sandwich: cookies and cream, strawberry shortcake, salted caramel, chocolate toasted almonds, coffee hazelnut, passion fruit mango, coconut pineapple, and mint chocolate chip. You can get additional nutrition information by clicking here.
2. Gwen & Christine Nguyen Started the Business Out of Their Parents’ Garage
Gwen and Christine Nguyen share their story on the Mavens website. “2 sisters. 1 entrepreneurial dream. In 2014, we embarked on a roller coaster journey to create the perfect macaron ice cream,” they wrote. “With no culinary background between us, the internet became our best resource.” A year after starting the business, the siblings managed to get their products into a local dessert shop. Their sandwiches proved a huge success, as they sold 400 within a few hours.
“Within 3 years, we moved from our parents’ garage to a small commercial kitchen to our very own full-scale manufacturing plant,” they continued. “Patience, resiliency, and sleepless nights finally paid off! Mavens Creamery’s hand crafted, all natural macaron ice cream sandwiches are now available in over 300 locations.”
The siblings also spoke about their business model, and they believe the success of Mavens boils down to the simplicity of their product. “We strongly believe that when you take one of the oldest desserts (the macaron dates back to the 1700s!) and put a spin on it, you can create an innovative product without being Einstein,” they explained. “But really, to keep it simple – we just hope you love eating the macaron ice cream as much as we love making it for you.”
3. Mavens Products Are Being Sold at Whole Foods & Safeway Locations
The Nguyen sisters have managed to get their product carried by a number of reputable chains like Whole Foods, Kroger, and Safeway. According to their website, they are also getting their product sold by King Soopers and Pavillions. A 16 pack of Mavens Creamery sandwiches currently sells for $100, which is $6.25 per sandwich. If you live in California or Carson City, Nevada, you can also pick Mavens sandwiches at one of over 300 independent retailers.
Mavens sandwiches currently sells in 22 states throughout the country, but the Nguyen sisters told ABC that they want to expand to the East Coast and overseas. “To meet demand, we’re going to double up our shift, double up our capacity, and meanwhile while we’re doing that in parallel, we’re also going to find ways to automate our process so that we’ll be able to scale faster,” said Gwen.
4. The Nguyen Sisters Originally Auditioned for Shark Tank In 2018
In a recent Instagram post, Christine Nguyen talked about her Shark Tank experience, and how it almost didn’t happen. “We were this close to not even pitching for Shark Tank. An entrepreneurial friend of ours happened to see the Shark Tank Las Vegas announcement on social media,” she wrote. “He teased my sister aka my partner Gwen by texting her that he knew five investors that would be interested in our business.”
“Gwen then tried to convince me to fly to Las Vegas,” Christine continued. “I remember my response vividly: ‘we make macaron ice cream, I don’t think Shark Tank will think it’s unique or special enough to pitch.’ But Gwen is very good with her words. Ah, the power of persuasion. After 30 minutes of back and forth, she told me the worst case scenario is that we pitch and don’t get to the next round… I was sold, and we booked our flights on a whim and stayed up all night in our hotel room practicing our pitch.”
5. They Are Asking the Sharks for a $400K Investment
ABC revealed that Gwen and Christine will be asking the Shark Tank panel for a $400K investment in their business. “We’re from San Jose, California, and we’re seeking $400,000 in exchange for 10 percent of our booming business,” Gwen said. When asked about the experience of pitching on national television, the siblings admitted that they were very nervous.
“It was nerve racking,” Gwen recalled. “It was exciting. It was challenging. All at once.” Christine added that they had locked themselves away for days at a time to refine their business pitch. “We locked ourselves up in a hotel room for five solid days and just pitched to each other,” she explained. “Just role play.”