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Captain Ice Cream: Shark Tank Updates in 2023

by Brad Hurst
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The Basics

Company: Captain Ice Cream
Product: Mobile ice cream franchise
Owner: Tim Gavern
Asking Price: $48,000 for 25% equity
Final Deal: No Deal
Season/Episode: Season 1, Episode 13 (January 29, 2010)

Captain Ice Cream Before Shark Tank

Tim Gavern, the founder of Captain Ice Cream, hails from a family of ice cream entrepreneurs. However, it wasn’t until the publishing industry, where he was employed, started to decline that he turned to his family business. Gavern came up with a unique concept of a mobile ice cream franchise, operated via a van and a moped, and brought it to Shark Tank in hopes of receiving an investment to expand his business.

Captain Ice Cream On Shark Tank

Gavern impressed the Sharks with his lively personality and unique ice cream-stocked moped during his pitch. He shared his dream of reviving the nostalgia of traditional ice cream trucks with a fun, unique flair and a proposed franchising model. However, when Gavern revealed his modest profits – about $25 an hour peddling ice cream around his neighborhood – the Sharks were less than enthusiastic. They felt that Gavern was too early in his business journey and that his enterprise needed more than cool mopeds to stand out in the industry. Ultimately, he did not receive any offers from the Sharks.

The Bidding

Despite their appreciation for his enthusiasm, the Sharks were not convinced by Gavern’s pitch. They had concerns about his limited profits, the fact that he did not produce the ice cream himself, and that he had yet to sell a franchise. The Sharks believed Gavern was unprepared and needed to do more groundwork before seeking investment.

Final Deal

Despite his enthusiasm and unique approach, Gavern did not secure a deal on Shark Tank. The Sharks felt that Captain Ice Cream was still at a nascent stage and lacked a solid business plan to warrant their investment.

Captain Ice Cream After Shark Tank

After his appearance on Shark Tank, Gavern continued to pursue his dreams with Captain Ice Cream. Despite not securing an investment, he leveraged his screen time on the show to promote his business. He began offering franchise packages of his moped-powered ice cream vending business. For $12,495, franchisees would receive a signature Captain Ice Cream moped, an umbrella, a uniform, and 500 business cards. Gavern also offered a second franchise option that included a customized Captain Ice Cream van for $44,495.

However, as of 2022, Captain Ice Cream is no longer in business. It’s unclear how much attention Gavern’s franchise kits received, but the lack of a live website since the summer of 2014 suggests they did not do well. Currently, Gavern seems to be working in the vehicle industry, but his cheerful personality remains recognizable. Even though Captain Ice Cream is no longer operating, the iconic moped still receives some attention, reminding us of the unique and cheerful ice cream business that once was.

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