What Happened To The Pizza Cupcake After Shark Tank?

You might think the words "pizza” and "cupcake” don't belong in the same sentence. Maybe those words together could conjure up images of an unappealing mashup of dough, cheese, tomatoes, and – horrors – icing. Or you might think that a pizza cupcake sounds like your idea of hand-held snack heaven. The Pizza Cupcake, created by the husband and wife team of Andrea Meggiato and Michelle Jimenez, is a cute-as-a-button artisan pizza that's shaped like a cupcake and roughly the same size as one. The dough, which they describe as a flaky cross between brioche and sourdough, has an indent in the middle to hold mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, a piece of pepperoni, and a sprinkle of herbs. It's a frozen product, which would allow someone to enjoy a couple at first as a snack and a couple later with a salad.

"The Pizza Cupcake is the next level of pizza that belongs anywhere and everywhere, a fine gourmet snack that's made with high-quality ingredients,” according to Meggiato, an Italian-born chef who co-founded The Pizza Cupcake Company with his wife (per a "Shark Tank" YouTube clip). The couple appeared on the ABC show in 2021 to seek $125,000 in exchange for a 5% slice of their business and walked away with a partner.

'Amazingly delicious' Pizza Cupcake impresses Lori Greiner

Pizza Cupcake creators Andrea Meggiato and Michelle Jimenez started out in New York City, selling their pizzas through catering, at markets like Smorgasburg, and at sports venues like Citi Field (per YouTube). The product was spotlighted by the New York Mets on YouTube and received positive coverage from the New York Post. At the time they appeared on "Shark Tank,” the couple projected $800,000 in sales and noted they had $344,000 in sales the previous year. The pizzas were made in a commercial kitchen and, they partnered with a co-packer to meet their growing needs. But the COVID-19 pandemic taught them they needed to expand into e-commerce and retail sales to reach more consumers.

All of the Sharks seemed wowed by the petite pizzas, but only Lori Greiner made an offer. She saw a "synergy” with another company she had invested in Bantam Bagels, which had also appeared on "Shark Tank." Greiner's offer of $125,000 for 20% of the company brought groans from the other Sharks, but she didn't yield at first. "What we can bring to the table is worth it. I think that we can help you to skyrocket,” she said.

Jiminez had done her homework and knew that Greiner had invested in Bantam Bagels. She made several alternative proposals to Greiner before the parties settled on $125,000 for 12.5% interest in the company and 2.5% in advisory shares.

Wegmans is the first grocer to welcome The Pizza Cupcake

Three years after the launch of their product and less than a year after appearing on "Shark Tank,” The Pizza Cupcake dropped in retail. The first grocer to make room in the freezer section was Wegmans, the East Coast chain with more than 100 stores (per Food Business News). "As we are a Brooklyn, New York, born-and-bred brand, it was a top priority to expand locally,” the entrepreneurs said at the time. "Wegmans has been a terrific partner for us.”

The savory miniature pizzas are now available nationwide: Walmart recently rolled out the welcome mat at its 1,600 stores nationwide (per Instagram). Among the first to comment on the Pizza Cupcake Instagram announcement was Lori Greiner: "Run don't walk to your nearest Walmart to get your hands on these!,” the Shark investor said. Model, television personality, and entrepreneur Chrissy Teigen – who partnered with The Pizza Cupcake founders to market Pizza Cupcakes with a spicy kick (Mashed tried them!) – also offered Insta congrats.

Not near a Walmart? According to The Pizza Cupcake website, the product is also available at Whole Foods, ShopRite, Stew Leonard's, and other stores and can be shipped to more than 30 states. Two flavors are available: Margherita (vegetarian) and pepperoni. The frozen product is shipped on dry ice and it is recommended that the mini pizzas go from the freezer to the oven – or air fryer. A 12-pack costs $25.99, and shipping is $12.99.

Barstool Sports founder endorses The Pizza Cupcake

Retail presence and online sales add up to spectacular financial growth for The Pizza Cupcake (one of the best foods seen on "Shark Tank”). The company is listed on Lori Greiner's website, filed under "Shark Tank" success stories, alongside the uber-popular Bantam Bagels. "This amazing company has done $2.7 million in retail sales in less than a year since airing on Shark Tank,” Greiner says of her investment.

Greiner isn't the only one who appreciates The Pizza Cupcake. Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy, an internet celebrity known for his "One Bite” pizza reviews on YouTube and Instagram, appeared to be a bit buzzed when he sampled a Pizza Cupcake in Los Angeles. No matter. "It's not good. It's great,” he said.

On a "Drew's Reviews" segment of "The Drew Barrymore Show,” the show host and her guest, comedian and actor Vanessa Bayer, gave The Pizza Cupcake a more mixed review. Barrymore noted that the middle slid out as she took a bite of the product, and Bayer seemed a bit confused by it. "I think if you had to sum it up in one word it would be more pizza than cupcake,” Bayer noted. "I think if you know what you're getting into you're gonna love it.”