On season 10, episode 3 of Shark Tank, a rare five-shark investment happened for the sibling-run company Firehouse Chef and their product, the Cup Board Pro, when all five sharks pooled their investment money to offer the company $100,000 for a 20 percent stake. The kitchen tool, which makes chopping food easier by getting waste out of the way, was designed by two-time Chopped champion Keith Young, a New York firefighter who passed away before he could pitch his product to Shark Tank. But his three children fulfilled his dream in the fall of 2018.
Now on ABC News special Shark Tank: Greatest of All Time, which catches up with the most successful products and unforgettable pitches from over the years, the reality entrepreneur show remembers just what made Cup Board Pro so special.
But what has happened to the company since its initial appearance on Shark Tank? Read on to find out.
Williams-Sonoma Picked Up the Cup Board Pro
The Firehouse Chef company, founded by Young siblings Kaley, Christian and Keira, to honor their late father Keith, who died in 2018 of a September 11th-related cancer from aiding in the cleanup effort at Ground Zero, partnered with Williams-Sonoma to manufacture the Cup Board Pro.
“After Shark Tank, the amount of outpouring love and support from all over the world was just absolutely incredible. We sold out of all of our dad’s inventory within minutes of airing on the East Coast,” said Kaley in an update on the Shark Tank Facebook page, adding that they couldn’t take all the orders that poured in because they didn’t have any inventory left, so the sharks introduced them to high-end kitchenware company Williams-Sonoma.
“Williams-Sonoma agreed to a great licensing deal,” explained guest shark Matt Higgins. “They’re reengineering the product, they’re manufacturing it and they’re going to be distributing it throughout the Williams-Sonoma chains.”
Shark Lori Greiner added, “They made it even better. It is the best cutting board I’ve ever seen and I think their business is going to become huge.”
Firehouse Chef and the Sharks Also Donated Over $40K To the FDNY Fund
The Young siblings, who also lost their mother Beth to cancer in 2012, also set up a website to take donations because so many people wanted to help firefighters like Keith Young. Additionally, the sharks agreed to give their profits to the fund as well.
“The sharks gave us $100,000 and they have 20 percent stake in our company. But instead of taking the profits of 20 percent, they’re giving it back to a firefighter charity that my dad supported to support other firemen that are fighting 9/11 cancers and sicknesses,” Kaley explained to ABC News. “We’re really grateful that we can give back to families just like us.”
The effort raised over $40,000, which the Young siblings donated to the FDNY fund in early 2019. All the Shark Tank investors were in attendance at the ceremony, to “support the Young family in remembrance of their father,” said Mark Cuban.
“It’s so hard to just imagine what it’s like to lose both parents and then basically be left to take care of yourselves. I know we all feel honored that we get to take part in their lives. The way it’s working out, they will never have to work for anybody else again and that was what their dad’s dream was,” added Higgins, who felt a particular connection to the Young family because he also helped clean up Ground Zero after 9/11.
“We’ve never had a deal like this on Shark Tank before … the power behind this is that everyone wants to give back. It’s wonderful,” said Kevin O’Leary.
“It was really humbling to be able to raise money for the people that really helped our dad when he was sick,” Christian Young told ABC7 at the ceremony.
The Young siblings also said that this initial donation was just the beginning, and they planned to donate more money to the FDNY in the future.
Shark Tank: Greatest of All Time airs Wednesday, February 16 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on ABC.