Local ice cream company Sub Zero was recently featured on ABC’s “Shark Tank” as the Utah-based chain showed off its product to the judges.
The television show offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for entrepreneurs to pitch their ideas to a panel of investors, who then either take their offer, modify their offer or reject it. This allows a range of inventors and business owners to expand their ideas and businesses with adequate money, resources and the large network these prominent investors have to offer.
The highly respected panel of judges includes top-tier, successful businessmen and women who have a history of successes and the financial capital available to help small and aspiring businesses.
Sub Zero was created by Utah natives Jerry and Naomi Hancock. Their breakthrough company originated in 2004 as Jerry Hancock, a graduate of Brigham Young University and the current CEO, used his background in chemistry to invent a fun and exciting way to create ice cream.
By using liquid nitrogen and a large assortment of flavors, bases and mix-ins, the Hancocks discovered that freezing the ice cream in front of the customer added an innovative spin to the traditional ice cream experience.
Elizabeth Wardlow is a BYU student from Oklahoma and is currently studying elementary education. As an avid Sub Zero customer, she enjoys watching them make her creations. “It reminds me of being a child again,” she said, “and that’s just something to love.”
Sub Zero staff had a celebration on the date of the airing at their Provo Towne Centre location. At the watch party, customers were able to try free samples, win prizes and watch the episode of “Shark Tank.” Customers rallied in support of their favorite ice cream store and expressed positive reactions towards their ice cream creating experiences.
At the viewing party, Mykol Morrell, a Utah native and BYU student, praises the company’s originality.
“Trying a new ice cream combination, seeing the process, and tasting the texture and different flavors, show me why it’s been so successful,” Mykol said. Mykol is a first-time customer and seemed more than pleased with the way her dessert turned out.
The company takes pride in creating learning opportunities as the science behind the product can be educational to students of all ages. Jerry Hancock highlights the company’s contribution to education through teaching schools how liquid nitrogen works and other basic science principles.
“Extra credit never tasted so good,” he says.
While none of the investors wanted to create a deal with the Sub Zero brand, they reassured audiences that it was purely because the Hancocks seemed to be successfully running their business without the help of a partner. They also had nothing but good things to say about the ice cream and how it tasted.
Awareness has increased dramatically, and the amount of sales have skyrocketed due to Sub Zero’s exposure on the television show.
“It was a fantastic experience where we received a great response to our product and its uniqueness,” Jerry Hancock says. “We are seeing record sales during the coldest winter days on record.”
Even though it’s chilly outside, it’s never too cold for an ice cream experience that will blow you out of the water.