SubZero Ice Cream Franchise To Be Featured On 'Shark Tank'

Sarasota store, opened by Manatee Memorial nurses, is one of only 15 locations in the country.

The scientific ice cream shop SubZero Ice Cream will be getting some national exposure on ABC's "Shark Tank" Friday night.

There are only 15 SubZero stores in the country and the store at 4065 Clark Road in the Expo Center is only the 14th in the country, and only one in the eastern United States, said Don Wirth, a co-owner of the Sarasota store, along with other Manatee Memorial Hospital nurses, Brad Lord of Bradenton and Gabe Ramsey of Lakewood Ranch.

If you're not familiar with SubZero, check out the video above from the Patch business profile on the store, or read our story on them. The store pumps out liquid nitrogen from a 1,000 liter tank to flash freeze cream within seconds to create anything from ice cream, yogurt and custard within seconds before your eyes.

Because of the technology and the uses of creams and toppings, SubZero promotes more than 37 trillion combinations. 

The company's founder Jerry Hancock used his chemistry background from studying at Bringham Young University as part of his tools of the trade to help invent the concept. The stores are predominately based in Utah with some in California, Washington, Arizona, Idaho and one coming soon in Minnesota. Hancock, along with his wife Naomi Hancock, will appear on Friday's show where he will pitch his idea to a team of investors, including Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks.

Hancock is not authorized to talk about his appearance before the show airs, according to Wirth. And the promo clip on ABC for SubZero's appearance on Shark Tank flashes about as quick as the ice cream itself. 

But it doesn't stop Sarasota from celebrating. The SubZero will host a Viewing Party starting at 7 p.m. before the show airs at 9 p.m.  

"We're going to have raffles, giveaways, shattering pennies and doing liquid nitrogen demonstrations," Wirth said. The store closes at 10 p.m. on Friday night.

The success of the ice cream is proving to be good enough that Sarasota will have the first and — coming soon — second store east of the Mississippi. 

Area developer for SubZero Doug Shenk is set to open SubZero on Jan. 17 at 219 Avenida Madera, Siesta Key, Wirth said.

"It's huge for us," said Wirth, whose team will not be involved with the new store. "More is better for us with brand recognition and more advertising dollars we can spend to build a brand and make it popular."

You can catch Shark Tank on local ABC affilate WWSB Channel 7.

Mark Odin January 11, 2013 at 09:24 PM
The more exposure SubZero Ice Cream gets, the better I say! There are a lot of ice cream shops out there, but hardly any use liquid nitrogen. Some of my DISH coworkers think that they’ll do well on Shark Tank and possibly bet the backing they are looking for in tonight’s episode. I am going to watch this after seeing that Shark Taken was listed in my DISH Hopper What’s Hot feature. I can see what’s popular locally or nationally and also know which ones are new episodes.


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