Frankie Yamsuan, the founder of Coconut Girl Ice Cream pitched her business to the Sharks on ABC’s entrepreneurial TV show Shark Tank in hopes of scoring an investment.
The young entrepreneur pitched her healthy dessert option to Sharks Mark Cuban, Robert Herjavec, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner and Guest Shark Katrina Lake. Cuban often invests in the healthy desserts or sweets seen on the show, so he’s the one to watch with this product.
The product is a healthier option for a dessert cookie sandwich. They are grain free, paleo and “pretty much guilt free,” according to the website.
Here’s what you need to know about Coconut Girl Ice Cream:
1. Yamsuan Applied to Be on ‘Shark Tank’ More than Once
Yamsuan has always been a fan of Shark Tank, but she didn’t think she’d ever see herself on the show even after starting her own business. She told us that it’s one of the things people would tell her to do, but she didn’t apply at first.
Then, there was an open casting call in Southern California, which she learned about through an Instagram post in 2018. She decided to go and figured that if she didn’t get a call back, then no one would ever know that she didn’t make it, so there would be no harm done. She didn’t make it to the taping round that year, though.
“I remember going to the Food Expo the day after the open casting and running into Kristoff from Nui there,” she said. Nui is another food company that appeared on Shark Tank. “I didn’t recognize him at the casting but he introduced himself and we bonded for a few minutes about open casting and meeting again at the Food Expo in Anaheim the next day. Later that year, I saw them on Shark Tank!”
The experience led to Yamsuan applying to the show again in March 2019, making it to the filming round and having her pitch air in March 2020.
2. The Ice Cream Was Designed as a Healthy Alternative to Sugary Desserts
Yamsuan has always been active and interested in healthier food options, which led to the creation of Coconut Girl Ice Cream.
“I was obsessed with creating healthy alternatives to everything I love: from pancakes to Filipino dishes — you name it, I had a healthy alternative for it,” she said. “Feeling good about food and having a healthy relationship with food is so important to me. Healthy doesn’t have to mean boring and so I wanted to prove that with my creations.”
The website says that the dessert is perfect for active people, especially those that are hitting the gym, surfing or mountain climbing.
3. The Product Was Designed by Accident
Yamsuan didn’t set out to create a company or a marketable dessert. She said the whole thing started because she was making date shakes.
“I was obsessed with date shakes, which I then put into a Cuisinart ice cream maker and history was made,” she told us. “I never pitched the idea to anyone, I just shared the ‘ice cream’ at potlucks at my gym and it spread by word of mouth.”
Since then, people love the products so much that they’ll ask where they can get their hands on them even after they moved out of Southern California.
4. The Ingredients are All-Natural
The idea behind creating a paleo treat is not to provide sugar-free or fat-free dessert but instead to create a product that people can feel good about all around.
“My intent with creating a paleo product was to focus on natural ingredients that were nutritious for you without compromising flavor or texture,” Yamsuan said. “We are not focused on empty calorie ingredients that are sugar free or fat free. I want the consumer to feel good about eating these desserts and to feel satisfied without the sugar crash.”
The desserts are not vegan, though. They are dairy-free, but they are also made with eggs and honey. They are a vegetarian option, however.
5. The Cookie Sandwiches Come in Three Flavors
At the time of writing, Coconut Girl Ice Cream cookie sandwiches come in three flavors. They are offered in “Aloha chocolate,” “Beach bum maple,” and “Hang loose vanilla.”
Each flavor is sweeted with only dates, honey and maple syrup. They do not contain cane sugar. The number one ingredient in each of the desserts is coconut milk.
Tune in to Shark Tank on March 6, 2020 at 8 p.m. on ABC to see if the healthy dessert will be enough to get the sharks to bite and offer an investment.