Wicked Good Cupcakes: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

When a mother and daughter from "The Bay State" of Massachusetts bonded over cake decorating classes in 2010, little did they know how their lives would change. They certainly wouldn't have imagined opening their own cupcake shop a year later and standing before a huge television audience on the world-renowned "Shark Tank" show. But that's exactly what happened in 2013 when Tracey Noonan and Danielle Vilagie stood before investor Sharks Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and Kevin O'Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful. It was Season 4, Episode 22, of the wildly popular ABC reality show and investor platform, and the two-year-young small-business owners shared their elaborately designed cupcake product, future vision, and what differentiated them from other baking purveyors of the cute little dessert.

As they explained to the Shark Tank investors, it all came down to fresh-baked ingredients, mason jars, and sealed lids for viable shipping far beyond the borders of Massachusetts. Building the edible-art cupcake designs in strategic layers, directly into mason jars, provided a see-through showcase, protection during shipping, and a 10-day freshness window.

The duo doled out sweet, enticing, delicious goods for sampling –– but would the Sharks circle these two vulnerable, home-grown baking wizards swimming in their tank? All took at least a little nibble, but one went in for the big bite.

What happened to Wicked Good Cupcakes on Shark Tank?

In thick Boston accents, Tracey Noonan and Danielle Vilagie charmed the Shark investors with a story of how daughter "Buttercup" grew up and moved out of the family home, prompting some recaptured "togetherness" in the kitchen while launching Wicked Good Cupcakes. Describing their client base as "anyone with a mouth," Vilagie brought chuckles and smiles while divulging an investment ask of $75,000 plus 20% of their hard-earned bootstrap business. Endearing the Sharks even further, she pitched that "there's definitely a lot of dough to be made from batter."

Since launching their storefront business just two years prior, the duo attracted enough business to render them exhausted after 13- to 14-hour days. They expressed a need for help keeping up with demand and for buying in bigger bulk to keep costs down. In the few months prior to the show, they sold $150,000 in cupcakes between online sales and their retail store. The projection for the current year was for sales of $360,000.

After a hard look at potential profit margins, shelf life, and cupcake competition, four Sharks declined. That left O'Leary, who, still noting profit concerns, made an offer. He wanted no equity in the company, instead offering the asking investment of $75,000 plus $1 per cupcake jar up to when he recouped his investment, and then 50 cents per jar forever. After some back and forth, they agree on 45 cents, at which point Noonan flung out her arms, saying "Come to Mama!"

Wicked Good Cupcakes after Shark Tank

The response to "Shark Tank" fame was practically instant, with sales going out the proverbial roof. Within a couple of weeks, Wicked Good Cupcakes enjoyed wicked-good sales equating to what they called a year's worth of orders. A year after their TV debut and Mr. Wonderful investment agreement, growth soared to roughly 600%.

Name-brand recognition led to becoming the country's premier cupcake shipper, sending out as many as 10,000 sweet-filled mason jars every single day by 2018. And that $150,000 in sales the year they appeared on "Shark Tank" had morphed into $10 million by 2018, as revealed in a success-story update during the "Shark Tank" show Season 8, Episode 7.

Wicked Good Cupcakes no longer baked out of their home kitchen, instead producing the still-handmade cupcakes from a 21,000-square-foot facility with over 30 employees. They also revealed multiple partnerships with nationally renowned companies such as Cinnabon. To display continued support and a "proud papa" persona, O'Leary showed up at the Wicked Good Cupcake facility to sign cupcake jars and hand over the one-millionth cupcake sale to an unsuspecting customer.

Is Wicked Good Cupcakes still in business?

Wicked Good Cupcakes is definitely still in business. Per the company website, the company "continue[s] to grow and innovate, constantly creating new products for their customers." Those products, which are still available for ordering online, range from the same elaborately decorated cupcakes in mason jars to an array of collections. Customers can order everything from cupcake and wine gift sets, including non-alcoholic versions; to birthday party and graduation gift boxes; 32-cupcake events; corporate branded jars for gifting; and a set of cupcakes with a 3D pop-up card for welcoming a new baby. 

The jarred cupcakes have a bit of company now, including gourmet food bites, wildflower seed bombs, and more. The addition of food bites nods to a major change for the company as well as for the dynamic cupcake duo: the 2021 acquisition of Wicked Good Cupcakes by Hickory Farms. As of summer 2023, fans and customers can still get their cupcake fixes, including customized baskets, by ordering through the Wicked Good Cupcakes website. Many of the same products are available on the Hickory Farms website as well.

What's next for Wicked Good Cupcakes?

As of 2017, the company was pulling in roughly $5 million in annual profits (per Forbes). With Wicked Good Cupcakes joining the Hickory Farms family, Vilagie appears to still be working at the storefront, managing the original branch location. Mom Tracey Noonan is retired, noting in a 2021 interview with Daniel Island News, that, at age 59, she never expected that to happen. But the same creative flair that fueled the cupcake endeavor is alive and well in Massachusetts. Noonan launched a podcast, aptly named "Don't Call Me Cupcake," in response to the struggles of women entrepreneurs trying to make a name for themselves in the business world. She revealed that, prior to "Shark Tank" and before the rapid success of Wicked Good Cupcakes, male customers in Boston would call her cupcake, creating frustration over not being taken seriously.

She's also a keynote motivational speaker who isn't afraid to tell of the lows as well as the highs. And Shark-man Mr. Wonderful, who took a chance on two cupcake makers from Boston, has called Wicked Good Cupcakes his most phenomenal investment ever on "Shark Tank." With the acquisition by a huge craft-food brand — and partnerships with other brands as well — to back the company, the future seems to involve further expansion into various markets for continued growth and success.