Here's What Happened To Sweet Ballz After Shark Tank

Hundreds of businesses have found their big break on "Shark Tank," from ridiculous food inventions like bikes that power smoothie makers to sustainable products like RollinGreens plant-based meats. Of course, somewhere in between the two, we also have delectable dessert companies like Sweet Ballz.

Sweet Ballz founders Cole Egger and James McDonald brought their cake pops to the tank in September 2013, hoping to help dessert lovers skip potentially complicated cake pop recipes and get straight to the fun part — eating the cake pops.

Egger informed the Sharks that Sweet Ballz had done $700K in sales in the 90 days leading up to their pitch, having gotten into 7-Eleven convenience stores across the United States. The duo asked for an investment of $250K in exchange for 10% equity, aiming to increase awareness of their brand and further expand Sweet Ballz into additional grocery and convenience chains. So, where is Sweet Ballz today?

Sweet Ballz hit the sweet spot with the Shark Tank investors

Although the sharks initially loved the taste of Sweet Ballz cake pops — not to mention the impressive sales history — things took a turn when the entrepreneurs explained more of their business. As much as 95% of their sales were through 7-Eleven, leaving the Sharks concerned about what would happen to Sweet Ballz if the chain convenience store dropped them. Cole Egger and James McDonald reassured the Sharks that they had gotten in with large distributors and would be able to move into additional stores soon.

They hoped that an investment would help them cut down on their 21-day turnaround rate by allowing them to increase inventory. The Sharks countered the hefty ask, explaining that no one would go in for only 10% equity. Ultimately, each of the five Sharks made Sweet Ballz an offer, but Egger and McDonald took Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran's deal of $250K in exchange for 25% equity. While their pitch might have been a piece of cake, what happened after Sweet Ballz left the tank?

It's not all rainbows, sunshine, and cake pops

To be clear, Sweet Ballz didn't quite join the ranks of the "Shark Tank" food inventions that flopped after being on the show, but the business did struggle for several years afterward. Immediately after the episode aired, the Sweet Ballz website was overwhelmed with orders, to the point of being shut down while Cole Egger and James McDonald tried to catch up.

Unfortunately, after the Sweet Ballz website started accepting orders again, new problems arose. Egger was allegedly making business decisions without McDonald's input, even redirecting Sweet Ballz traffic to a secondary site. McDonald sued Egger, with a restraining order as the cherry on top, and took over as the sole owner of Sweet Ballz.

If the lawsuit situation wasn't messy enough already, it came at the worst possible time — when Sweet Ballz could have really been cashing in on its "Shark Tank" fame. Instead, the business spent its most critical post-pitch weeks entrenched in legal battles, with Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran apparently deciding not to proceed with the deal. So, where are Sweet Ballz cake pops today?

Is Sweet Ballz still in business? Questionable

As of 2023, the Sweet Ballz website is still up and running, though it notes that online orders are closed during summer months. To be fair, it makes sense that they would only want to ship during cooler weather to preserve the structural integrity of their chocolate-covered cake balls.

That being said, the business hasn't posted on any of its social media pages since December 2020, with no explanation for its sudden silence. Even in 2019, customers were questioning whether or not Sweet Ballz was still in business, with Facebook comments asking where the website was and if they could still buy cake pops.

Assuming Sweet Ballz is indeed still operating with James McDonald at the helm as his LinkedIn page claims, the business could be worth upwards of $5 million. Regardless, the Sweet Ballz website advertises its original cake pops and themed Sports Ballz — in the flavors chocolate, cookies n' cream, red velvet, birthday cake, salted caramel, and lemon — as being available for delivery and food service.

No one knows what the future holds for Sweet Ballz

Being that Sweet Ballz has been radio silent for more than two years now, it's unclear if the business is still operating, let alone if it has any plans for the future. In late 2019, Sweet Ballz said it had big plans for 2020, though whether due to the pandemic or other reasons, we never saw any of those plans come to fruition. The business also confirmed that it was no longer selling its products at 7-Eleven locations, just as the Sharks had feared.

With that said, if Sweet Ballz is simply preparing its inventory for the cooler months, we could very well be able to order in the near future. And who knows — maybe the line could expand to include a pumpkin spice-flavored cake pop or a toasted carrot cake pop at some point. Hopefully Sweet Ballz is still around, though, because making cake pops by hand at home is a struggle.