What Happened To Schulzies Bread Pudding After Shark Tank?

Bread pudding has been around a long time — since the 11th and 12th centuries, to be exact. Now, classic bread pudding is known as a popular comfort food and even though the dish has frugal roots (it was created as a way to give new life to stale bread), it's not uncommon to see it on restaurant dessert menus today. Entrepreneur Sarah Schulz is a huge fan of the custard-based treat and could never find what she considered the ideal version in stores, so she set out to make it herself. Soon after that, Schulzies Bread Pudding was born (via YouTube).

According to Schulz, her bread pudding product is different from anything else on the market because it is made with fresh bread, has a soft texture, and lends well to being served cold. Schulz started selling her bread pudding at farmers markets in Los Angeles's Venice Beach in 2010 and opened a small storefront later that same year, selling bread pudding flavors like S'more for Me! and Oh So Citrus Jalapeño. The small shop was an immediate hit in the Venice Beach community, so Schulz expanded to San Francisco a mere two years later. Schulz put her entire $300,000 inheritance from her father into the company, but she wanted to expand. Expanding a business is expensive, so Schulz ventured into the "Shark Tank" in November 2013 on Episode 8 of Season 5 in hopes of acquiring more capital.

What the Sharks thought of Schulzies Bread Pudding

Sarah Schulz, the founder of Schulzies Bread Pudding, entered the Shark Tank seeking $160,000 for 20% equity in her business. In its first year in business, the initial Venice Beach location of Schulzies Bread Pudding made $190,000 in sales. Kevin O'Leary "Mr. Wonderful" was impressed by the revenue per square foot in the smaller store, but the larger San Francisco store was cause for concern for all of the Sharks. In the Venice Beach location, which was previously a Del's Lemonade location, Schulz was making $1,300 per square foot, while in San Francisco, she was only making $450 per square foot. O'Leary says this number isn't good if she's looking to franchise.

The Sharks were all crazy about the flavor of this dessert bread, but not the business plan associated with it. Mark Cuban explained that he was out because he thought that Schulz needed more guidance to come up with a concrete plan for the future. Lori Greiner was the last Shark to pull out of the deal; she gave Schulz some hope that she could be on to something, she just needed to dig deeper and focus all of her energy on the business. Schulz left the Shark Tank without a deal, but at least she still had two bread pudding businesses to go home to.

What happened to Schulzies Bread Pudding after 'Shark Tank?'

Businesses often get a boost after the exposure they get from appearing on "Shark Tank," and after Schulzies Bread Pudding premiered on the show, the San Francisco location, serving up over 100 flavors of bread pudding, did well, at least for a while. One Twitter user posted a pic of his kids at Schulzies Bread Pudding in 2014, captioning it, "Line out the door, @mcuban you missed a big opportunity." However, that location of the business closed in 2015, two years after founder Sarah Schulz's "Shark Tank" appearance. The San Francisco outpost posed problems from the beginning with delays in construction and additional logistics related to the historic part of town where it was located. Schulz told Hoodline that it was too difficult for her to run the business from her hometown of Venice Beach.

In a social media post announcing the closure, Schulz said Schulzies Bread Pudding wouldn't be disappearing altogether. Instead of being sold in her own shops, jars of the pudding would be featured in other retail locations as well as on the business' website. "I'm going to be focusing my resources on building Schulzies' online and grocery presence, and making it a national brand. So to all of my loyal customers, don't worry. You'll still be able to enjoy the pudding you love," Schulz told Hoodline.

Is Schulzies Bread Pudding still in business?

Fans did have reason to worry, though. In 2016, Schulzies Bread Pudding stopped posting on social media and its website was no longer functional. It is unclear what happened to the original Venice Beach location of the company, but all signs point to the business being shut down altogether in late 2016.

So what went wrong? While the exact answer as to why Schulzies Bread Pudding went under is unclear, perhaps Sharks such as Robert Herjavec and Mark Cuban were right when it comes to their gut hunches about the business when founder Sarah Schulz originally pitched it on "Shark Tank" in 2013. Herjavec said Schulz didn't have a strong business plan, while Cuban felt she needed a business partner for the company to survive. Despite selling a product that received praise, it's possible that these new elements never did come to fruition and caused the downfall of the Schulzies Bread Pudding business.

What's next for Schulzies Bread Pudding founder Sarah Schulz?

It appears as if Schulzies Bread Pudding founder Sarah Schulz hasn't updated her LinkedIn page since before the company's San Francisco location opened, and she still has "founder and owner" listed as her current position. Schulz does hold a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration and management from California State University – Sacramento, and with this education combined with her entrepreneurial experience, we wouldn't be surprised if she someday jumps into a new business venture.

Schulz also has her television exposure to help her gain visibility in a new food company — in addition to appearing on "Shark Tank," she was also on Food Network's "Sugar High" alongside Duff Goldman. However, it's unclear how much capital she would have to start a new business, as her net worth is currently unknown. Alternatively, perhaps Schulz has a future in food or recipe writing, as she has previously shared her bread pudding recipes with Food.com. Whatever she does next, Schulz is sure to learn from both her successes and failures in owning Schulzies Bread Pudding.