Cup Board Pro: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

Cutting boards are pretty standard kitchen gadgets, and many home cooks use them every day. However, beyond deciding whether to use a wooden or plastic cutting board, most of us probably don't spend much time thinking about them. 

Enter Keith Young, a former New York City firefighter and chef who found a way to improve the common kitchen tool to make food prep easier and more efficient. In 2010, Young invented the Cup Board Pro, a cutting board with a detachable cup that ran the length of the board and wells that channeled liquid into the tray, making it easier to collect chopped produce and dispose of waste. 

Young's invention was inspired by his desire to spend more time with his family and less time cleaning up messes in the kitchen. However, when his wife died from breast cancer in 2011, he put his invention on hold to follow his children's encouragement and compete on Food Network's "Chopped," where he was named a two-time champion. After his wife's death, Young resumed work on the Cup Board Pro, but in 2015, around the time he received his first shipment of boards, he was diagnosed with cancer caused by working at Ground Zero.

Young passed away in 2018, but his three children, Christian, Keira, and Kaley, decided to continue his legacy and bring the Cup Board Pro to "Shark Tank." Appearing on Season 10, they sought a $100,000 investment for 10% of the company.

What happened to Cup Board Pro on Shark Tank?

Keith Young's three children — Christian, Keira, and Kaley — appeared on "Shark Tank" and showed the Sharks their father's audition tape. Daymond John, Matt Higgins, Mark Cuban, Kevin O'Leary, and Lori Greiner were moved by Young's story, and impressed by his well-designed cutting board. The Sharks asked Christian, Keira, and Kaley to step outside while they discussed a potential deal. Then they revealed to the children that they would all work together to make the Cup Board Pro a success.

The children ended up making a deal with all five Sharks, who offered $100,000 for 20% of Cup Board Pro. Each shark would contribute $20,000, as well as their combined expertise. The Sharks also said that they would donate all the profits they earned to charity, to help the firefighters and first responders who became sick or injured from their work at Ground Zero.

"Your father will live on forever through each of you and his product," Cuban said (via YouTube).

Cup Board Pro after Shark Tank

Shark Daymond John wrote on Facebook that the Young family's appearance on "Shark Tank" was "the most emotional pitch" he had ever been through during his 10 years on the show. He said he almost had to leave the set because of the emotional impact, and that "everybody on set was in tears." The viewing public were also moved by the story. Within just 18 hours of the episode airing, 26,000 Cup Board Pros — worth over $1 million in sales — had been back-ordered.

The Young siblings sold out of their father's inventory within minutes of their episode airing, and received over 100,000 emails from customers trying to place orders for their father's invention. The Sharks introduced the Youngs to kitchenware brand Williams Sonoma, which helped to redesign the product to make it even better. Williams Sonoma also helped with manufacturing and distribution across its stores. Lori Greiner was highly impressed with the cutting board, and said in a "Shark Tank" update that she believed the business was "going to become huge."

In addition to sales, the siblings also received thousands of emails from members of the public who were moved by their dad's story and wanted to help firefighters just like him. Christian, Keira, and Kaley set up a website for donations, and received more than $41,000 for the Fire Department of New York Foundation.

Is Cup Board Pro still in business?

In Season 14, Cup Board Pro returned to "Shark Tank" for an update. Guest investor Matt Higgins said that the Young children would "never have to work for anybody else again" thanks to the success of the Cup Board Pro, which was their father's original dream.

And it appears that Higgins was right, as the product seems to have gone from strength to strength since the episode aired. According to Techie + Gamers, the Cup Board Pro became Williams Sonoma's best-selling product, and the Cup Board Pro business was even valued at an estimated $15 million in 2023.

Following the company's partnership with Williams Sonoma, the Cup Board Pro is still for sale online and in stores for between around $55 and $120. It is also available in a high-density plastic model. The company is still active on Instagram, with several happy customers commenting that they use the Cup Board Pro every day.

What's next for Cup Board Pro?

Cup Board Pro shows no signs of slowing down. Christian, Keira, and Kaley Young have continue to bring their brand to larger audiences. In 2021 they released a book, called "Cooking with the Firehouse Chef," which includes over 100 personal recipes from their late father. The book has received hundreds of positive reviews on Amazon. Cup Board Pro regularly shares content about making recipes from the book on its Instagram account.

The siblings have also gone on to release new products in the Cup Board Pro range. In 2022, they launched the Cup Board Pro XL, which includes two compartments and a sliding divider for food scraps and chopped ingredients.

In addition to being the owner of Cup Board Pro and running an interior design business, Kaley Young also runs She Taught, a pro-kindness workshop which seeks to teach children about the life lessons she learned from her mother.