Here's What Happened To Sub Zero Ice Cream After Shark Tank

There are usually two kinds of businesses you see on "Shark Tank." The first are those that get a Shark to invest, go on to great success, and maybe even become a household name (like the Scrub Daddy, one of the best kitchen tools we've seen on Shark Tank). Then there are the businesses that go in, give it their all, get rejected, and disappear. 

But not every business that fails to capture a Shark's investment is doomed for obsoletion. In fact, some businesses that were rejected by the investor panel go on to thrive.

Hosts Barbara Corcoran, Mark Cuban, and Kevin "Mr. Wonderful" O'Leary may not have thought Teaspressa was worth an investment, but it's still kicking, with products now sold at Anthropologie and Nordstrom. Then there were Stasher Bags, a brand of reusable silicone bags. The company's founder ended up turning down the investment offer they got on "Shark Tank," but in 2019, the company was acquired by SC Johnson. But what ever happened to Sub Zero Ice Cream? The company appeared on "Shark Tank" in 2013 and failed to get an offer from the Sharks (via Shark Tank Tales). Did it disappear, like so many other businesses? Or is it flourishing?

Sub Zero Ice Cream uses a patented freezing process

Sub Zero is an ice cream company with a unique process. Rather than churning big batches of ice cream and scooping it up for customers, the brand allows patrons to choose a flavor base that's added to fresh cream, as well as their mix-ins and toppings. Next, their custom ice cream is made right then and there thanks to a blast of liquid nitrogen. One look at the menu shows just how many customization options there are. The nitrogen rapidly freezes the selected mixture to -321 degrees Fahrenheit. It's a process dreamt up and patented by company co-founders Jerry and Naomi Hancock.

Though Jerry Hancock became a nitrogen ice cream peddler, he actually has a chemistry degree from Brigham Young University and has also worked in design and sales. Sounds like the perfect combination of skills to create a science-based ice cream chain, right? Hancock's proprietary ice cream freezing method was patented in 2014, a year after the brand pitched its biz to "Shark Tank." Would patenting it beforehand have made a difference? We'll never know. Even though the brand didn't convince any Sharks to invest, these days, the company is flourishing.

Sub Zero Ice Cream is alive and well

Fans of Sub Zero Ice Cream's appearance on "Shark Tank" can breathe a sigh of relief. The company has flourished since appearing on the series nearly a decade ago. It was awarded a patent for its ice cream serving and freezing process in 2014, for one. Better yet, it applied retroactively, covering all previous proprietary claims. Getting a patent is important because, according to Gouchev Law, it keeps others from being able to use your patented process or invention, ensuring one's business remains unique. Having a unique spin was what the Hancocks based their entire business upon after getting advice from ice cream manufacturers before starting Sub Zero, which means that key piece of their business puzzle is finally in place.

Sub Zero has also expanded. The company had 18 franchises when it was showcased on "Shark Tank," but it now has 34. More are in the process of development, including a location in the Bahamas. Sub Zero is still looking for franchisees, too, so fans might see even more locations pop up soon. This company is proof that even if a business fails to get an investment on "Shark Tank," it doesn't mean it's doomed to fail.