‘Shark Tank’ revisits Frozen Farmer
BRIDGEVILLE – When Katey Evans pitched her ice cream business, The Frozen Farmer, to the investors on ABC’s “Shark Tank” during an episode that aired in March, she was able to make a sweet deal with the “Queen of QVC” Lori Greiner.Nine months later, Evans will make her second appearance on the show in an episode airing at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 11.
The Bridgeville business owner told the Delaware Business Times that she is “not allowed to give too many details” about the episode, but she did share that the show will highlight how businesses have worked with their communities to overcome challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic.
“For this episode, it’s less about us and it’s more about our community … It’s kind of a collaboration of entrepreneurs in what they’ve been doing throughout their communities during the pandemic,” Evans said. “This is not a business-update episode. This is a community-involvement episode.”
In addition to hearing new pitches from entrepreneurs, the Sharks will advise how businesses can use coronavirus-related economic challenges as opportunities for growth. The show will also check in with some of the companies that the Sharks have already invested in to see how they have adapted to the pandemic, according to a press release from ABC.
The Frozen Farmer, which is based on the Evans’ third-generation family farm and creamery, sells ice cream, sorbet and “nice cream” – an ice cream-sorbet blend – made from “misfit” fruits and vegetables that don’t meet grocery stores’ cosmetic standards.
With restaurants operating at limited capacity and even having to shut down their in-person dining operations for periods of the pandemic, Evans said The Frozen Farmer’s sales to restaurants have been down this year.
“Ice cream is not really a takeout item that a lot of people are ordering, so the wholesale side to restaurants has certainly been down for us,” she said.
The Frozen Farmer’s food truck has also been grounded for a lot of the year as the events and festivals they would normally sell at have been cancelled.
But overall, Evans said sales have been up since The Frozen Farmer launched its nationwide online sales and shipping operations in April. Now, they can ship ice cream to states where grocery stores do not stock their products to further expand the fanbase for their frozen confections.
Evans said she enjoys seeing the different occasions that people are buying ice cream for, including birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, graduations, thank you gifts, and now Christmas.
The farm also put its drive-thru to more use during the pandemic by creating parking spots out front, enabling them to serve up to 13 cars at one time.
“Especially in those months of the complete shutdowns when we weren’t allowed to have foot traffic in our creamery, our drive-thru was really how we survived during that period,” Evans said.
In addition to ice cream, the farm used its drive-thru to provide meat, toilet paper, paper towels and other essential items to people when grocery stores were out of stock.
“We’ve really just tried to serve our community in the best way possible,” she said.
After all, Evans said it has been that same community that helped The Frozen Farmer get to where it is now.
“This whole ‘Shark Tank’ effort was never really only about us,” she said. “We certainly hoped that it would give us a platform that we’re able to give back to our community.”
Evans said The Frozen Farmer plans to continue giving back to community members, especially frontline workers, including health care professionals, EMTs, and law enforcement officials.
“There’s everyday heroes out there that deserve that credit,” she said.
The Frozen Farmer will be making some exciting announcements next year, including unveiling new flavors and packaging, Evans said.
As for her favorite flavors of 2020, Evans said customers cannot go wrong with any of the flavors they rolled out for the holiday season, including peppermint candy cane and eggnog.
“We’re right here at the heart of Christmas season, and all of our winter seasonal flavors are just what you need to get you in the holiday spirit,” she said.
By Marcus Dieterle