Just the Cheese Co-Founder David Scharfman took his product to the Sharks on the hit ABC entrepreneurial show Shark Tank to see if he could get an investment in his snack company.
Just the Cheese is a snack company that cooks up snack bars that are only made of baked cheese. The company was originally founded around the time the Atkins diet was popular, but later died out after the trend faded away. Later, Scharfman started the company back up alongside his father Paul Scharfman to see if they could make it successful once again.
Scharfman pitched the snack company to Sharks Mark Cuban, Kevin O’Leary, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec and guest Shark Daniel Lubetzky.
Here’s what you should know about Just The Cheese:
1. The Company is Based in Wisconsin
“The biggest surprise for me was how much EVERYONE likes cheese! Being from Wisconsin, I always assumed that it’s a local thing,” Sharfman said. “Yeah, everyone likes cheese, but I wasn’t as sure that people all over the country would love it.”
He soon found out that it was not just a localized thing to Wisconsin for people to love cheese, but that people all over would love to purchase his product when it’s literally “Just the Cheese.”
“We sell hundreds of boxes a day on Amazon all over the country, are getting set up to sell in Europe and Canada, and are in 3500 retail locations nationwide,” he said. “Clearly, I underestimated the power of cheese!”
2. ‘Shark Tank’ Reached Out to Them to Be on the Show
While some companies have to apply numerous times and attend day-long open calls to get their opportunity to try out for the opportunity to step into the tank, Just the Cheese didn’t have that problem. Shark Tank producers actually reached out to them to ask them to apply first.
“I had zero intention of applying, until I got an email from them asking if I would like to apply,” Scharfman said. “Humorously enough, it took three emails to get the job done. I thought for sure that it was Spam, so I actually called the phone number they listed to make sure. It doesn’t give us any special treatment or anything, but it was definitely the only reason that I tried to apply!”
They still had to go through an entire process before actually getting in front of the Sharks since the show only gives a small percentage of companies the chance to film.
3. The Company Started With Baked Cheese Bars
Instead of snacks like Cheez-its that are in cracker form or snacks that just give you cubes of cheese, Just the Cheese’s snacks are baked cheese bars.
While the thought of that might be unconventional, Scharfman said people loved it from the very onset.
“Everyone thought they tasted great, and they really loved that they were bars,” he said. “Even people that usually can’t agree on anything seemed to agree that baked cheese bars were a good idea.”
Now, they also offer minis which are bite-sized baked cheese snacks.
4. The Cheese is Made in Small Batches
Many other snack companies make cheesy snacks, but they do not often use their own cheese for them, and they’re not always just baked snacks.
“We are an honest-to-God cheese company,” Scharfman said. “Lots of snack companies are out there making cheese snacks, but we’re the only Cheese company that is making a baked cheese snack, and you can DEFINITELY tell the difference.”
He explained that the cheese is made in small batches and they only use the cheese they believe tastes the best in order to give their customers a top-quality product.
“We don’t buy commodity cheeses, and we don’t try to cheap out to make more margin,” the entrepreneur told us. “We want to make the best quality snack for our customers, the same way we would want to make the best quality snack for our friends and neighbors.”
5. There are Multiple Flavors Available
Just the Cheese bars are available online, and there are numerous flavors to choose from. They can be purchased in mini packs or two-bar packs.
The full-sized two-bar packs can be purchased in grilled cheese, jalapeno cheese, mild cheddar and aged cheddar flavors. A sampler pack of all four flavors is $9.99. For the mini packs, which are bite-sized cheese snacks, flavors include Wisconsin cheddar, white cheddar, garlic and chive, jalapeno and grilled cheese. A sampler pack of those costs $9.95 and comes with one pack of each flavor.
Tune in to Shark Tank on Friday, April 10 at 8 p.m. ET/7 p.m. CT to see if Just The Cheese scores a deal with one of the Sharks.