Wink Frozen Desserts entered the Shark Tank on November 6th to pitch their vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, nut-free and egg-free. Their ice cream substitute comes in flavors like Cake Batter, Iced Latte and Cinnamon Bun. The company also prides itself in being a sustainable business where their pints are completely recyclable and they use recycled insulation when shipping online orders. They’re also members of 1% For the Planet, which means they donate 1% of their revenue each year to charity.
Heavy spoke to Ani Blinova-Wolff, head of operations, about the progressive and unique dessert company. Here is what she told about…
How the Idea Came About
Gabe Wolff was diagnosed with Celiac Disease and a dairy allergy when he was just leaving for college. He played sports for his university and had to get his protein in, in a healthy way that didn’t make him sick. He found pea protein early on, and began adding that to smoothies and even to his breakfast, finding that the taste can easily be masked. One thing Gabe really craved was ice cream. All the dairy-free alternatives had either too much sugar or were quite bland. So, he decided to create something that wouldn’t harm his diet. Gabe started tinkering around in the kitchen with various ingredients and made his own “ice cream.” Soon after, his friends were interested in the product and started buying some pints off of him! He then realized that he could help so many people that have food allergies with his product, and decided to make it a real business.
Bestselling Flavors & New Additions
Cake Batter is definitely our best selling flavor, and my favorite! Cinnamon is Gabe’s favorite and also ranks high on the list. As for new flavors, be sure to check out our website the night of the show to find out!
How the Team Formed
Gabe met me in college, and I was the guinea pig for all the different formulations of the product. Once Gabe decided to officially start the company, I was right by his side to help along. Gabe met Jordan when playing recreational volleyball in Manhattan. Jordan was eager to learn about Wink, and started helping Gabe out every now and then. From there, Jordan became Wink’s Marketing director. Gabe met Kunal, Wink’s sales director, through a mutual friend.
How They Got On & Being Nervous In the ‘Tank’
We actually auditioned for another reality show that we weren’t selected for. Somehow, Shark Tank producers saw our audition tape. They invited us to fill out all the paperwork and send in our own audition specifically for Shark Tank, and the rest is history…While I was handing out samples, I was still shaking! After we started to talk to the Sharks, we definitely relaxed a lot and just had a great, real conversation with the group.