What Happened To Just The Cheese After Shark Tank?

Some of the best foods on the market have been popularized by the hit television show "Shark Tank." One example? Just the Cheese, a packaged snack company that produces bars essentially made only from one ingredient: cooked cheese. Wisconsinite David Scharfman appeared on season 11 of the show in 2020, walking onto the "Shark Tank" floor donned in a Swiss cheese-inspired necktie, complete with holes. He was ready to sell the sharks his product, which was built off of an earlier idea for cheese snack bars created by his father. The keto-friendly treats are available in three flavors: aged cheddar, grilled cheese, and jalapeño cheese.

Scharfman, who grew up working in his father's cheesemaking factory, told the sharks that the company did $3.5 million in sales during its first year in business. Despite receiving multiple offers, Scharfman ended up declining them all and walked away without a deal. So, where is Just the Cheese now?

Just the Cheese's spotlight on the show

On his episode of "Shark Tank," Just the Cheese founder David Scharfman requested $500,000 for a 5% stake in his company, which had already done $3.7 million in sales in the first eight months of the year.

Although most of the sharks seemed to like both the product and Scharfman in equal measure, they had their reservations. A couple of the sharks pointed out that similar products were already on the market, but Scharfman insisted that Just the Cheese was doing it better. Unconvinced, all of the sharks initially declined to make an offer except Kevin O'Leary (Mr. Wonderful), who offered $500,000 for a $0.20 royalty per bar sold, forever. Lori Greiner jumped back into the tank to offer $500,000 for a $0.15 royalty, and Mark Cuban returned to offer $500,000 for a 15% stake. Ultimately, Scharfman walked away from all three.

Born into a family of local cheesemakers, Scharfman worked in his father's cheesemaking factory. After a few failed attempts at bringing Wisconsin cheese overseas, he decided that his best chance at success was to revive one of his father's former creations: a baked cheese snack bar sold at the height of the Atkins diet craze. As the trendy diet fell out of favor, so too did the snack bars. Recognizing the bars' potential as the Keto diet swept the nation a few years later, Scharfman decided to bring them back, with a bold new marketing strategy: And so Just the Cheese was born.

Just the Cheese is reportedly making millions in revenue

It's unusual for a "Shark Tank" entrepreneur to have three deals on the table from sharks — and it's even more unusual for an entrepreneur to walk away from all three of them. However, David Scharfman knew what was best for his business, and he's ultimately continued to be a presence in the grocery world despite not striking a deal. During his appearance on the show, Scharfman claimed that his products could be found in 700 stores as well as 1,300 7-Eleven locations. Today, Just the Cheese can be purchased in over 2,500 supermarkets and grocery stores across the nation, including Wegmans, Publix, Target, and Walmart, as well as on Amazon. In fact, while Scharfman told the Sharks that Just the Cheese was ranked in the mid 300s on Amazon Grocery's best-seller list in 2020, it holds the top spot for Amazon's best-selling cheese product today.

According to Shark Tank Blog's 2022 update, the company comfortably earns around $4 million in total revenue each year, though Mashed could not independently verify those numbers. However, given Just the Cheese's sales before the "Shark Tank" appearance, $4 million doesn't seem outlandish.

Where is Just the Cheese now?

Today, the cheesy Wisconsin brand very much still exists, and it has a number of fans. Just the Cheese currently has nearly 9,000 Instagram followers, as well as 3,600 Facebook followers and 3,400 Facebook likes. According to its website, the brand has been featured in media outlets such as Food Network, Buzzfeed, Today, and The New York Times, and it's also a "Snack Safely" approved snack, meaning it's free of major allergens and is safe to consume in schools.

With its social media following and media features, there's no denying that Just the Cheese has become a household name. While the Just the Cheese website suggests that David Scharfman and his wife Connie still run the company, Dairy Foods reports that in late 2022, John B. Sanfilippo & Son Inc. purchased all of the company's assets from Specialty Cheese Co. Inc. As of 2023, Just the Cheese is estimated to have a net worth of $10 million, bringing in $4 million annually.