What Happened To Lynnae's Gourmet Pickles After Shark Tank?

Any fan of "Shark Tank" knows, the Sharks have seen their fair share of canned and jarred goods. Lynnae's Gourmet Pickles greeted viewers early in the show's history, first appearing in the season premiere of Season 5, in 2013. Founded by Lynnae Schneller and Ally Cullinane, the company created a line of gourmet sweet pickles, both traditional variety and spicy, hand-packed in Tacoma, made with fresh local ingredients.

In the 12-month period before appearing on "Shark Tank," the wholesome duo behind Lynnae's Gourmet Pickles had racked up $144,000 in sales. They started the business in 2011 and were discussing a deal with Target when they appeared on the Sharks' doorstep. The original inspiration for the business had come from the popularity of Schneller's great-grandma Toots' pickle recipe. After making and sharing them with enthusiastic friends and family, Schneller decided she couldn't keep her family's secret to herself — she needed to make her amazing pickles available to others, too. Soon, she recruited friend Aly Cullinane to help her meet the demand for the crunchy snack, and Lynnae's Gourmet Pickles was born.

Interest in the pickles kept growing, and before long, the girls were cooking up their pickles in a trailer they had built into a commercial kitchen (clearly, these women were not victims of the mistakes so many others make when making pickles), sporting the polka-dotted green aprons that became their signature look.

The Sharks stayed in their tank

Master promoters, the ladies had already organized a successful pickle hunt in their hometown Tacoma, Washington, which raised the brand's profile before it even appeared on the show. By the time they went on "Shark Tank," the friends and business partners had become sisters-in-law. When Lynnae Schneller and Aly Culinane appeared in front of the Sharks, they were asking for $125,000 in exchange for a hefty 20% share in their company.

Sadly, the ladies (who had clearly more than mastered how you can make pickles at home), had no luck on "Shark Tank." Mark Cuban felt that Lynnae's Gourmet Pickles would be pushed out by a larger competitor, and did not buy in. While some of the judges cited a specific distaste for sweet pickles, Kevin O'Leary did not invest because he didn't think the company could successfully market the product and didn't want pickles in his portfolio. Overall, the Sharks didn't seem convinced that the pickles were unique enough to justify their price point. Barbara Corcoran had some encouraging words for the young entrepreneurs, however, telling the twosome, "I don't think you need a partner." Corcoran was convinced the founders might succeed on their own and might later regret having let go of such a significant chunk of their fledgling company.

After Shark Tank: a pivot to Mrs. Pickles

Was shark Barbara Corcoran right? Unfortunately, Lynnae's Gourmet Pickles never fully expanded into the nationwide business its founders had hoped for. After failing to find backers on "Shark Tank," Lynnae Schneller and Aly Cullinane turned to Indiegogo to try to fund themselves, but struggled to find support. Unfortunately, the company only raised $781 of its $62,500 goal, and the campaign shut down. They did find some success though. Lynnae's Gourmet Pickles found some recognition in a number of high-profile publications and other venues, appearing in The Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, Ladies Home Journal, USA Today, CNN, and Oprah. The ladies in green were able to make a deal with QVC in which they sold jars in batches of three, with Hot Mama spicy pickles packaged alongside a traditional sour dill and a sweet and sour version.

Lynnae Schneller moved on from the pickle business in 2015, becoming the owner of a Chik-fil-A franchise in Tacoma. The company rebranded that same year, becoming known as "Mrs. Pickles" rather than Lynnae's Gourmet Pickles. Aly Cullinane became the face of Mrs. Pickles and kept at it, but took a more local approach to production and lineup, focusing on sales and marketing within the Tacoma community.

Is Mrs. Pickles still in business?

For the next couple of years after rebranding, Mrs. Pickles maintained a brisk business and strong presence in its hometown. It continued its annual pickle hunt, appeared in farmers markets, and supported local charities as part of its business efforts. Aly Cullinane and her crew also teamed up with local restaurants to create sandwiches featuring their specialty pickles (like the "Mrs. Pickles Burger" at Stack's Burgers) and encouraged customers to pick up pickles with their ice cream when purchasing frozen treats at Kroger (though they never created a pickle-flavored ice cream). All those pickles and ice cream made sense: the Cullinane family was also increasing in numbers, and its founder eventually decided to make a change.

In December of 2017, Cullinane hung up her apron for the last time. The company's Instagram page says that she decided to stay at home with her three young children, a difficult decision — but one she felt compelled to make. We don't know what the future holds, but we'd love to see Cullinane and Schneller bring their enthusiastic hustle to another food-based venture.