Doughp: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

When she was just 16 years old, Kelsey Moreira landed a tech industry job at Intel. The intense pressure of adult responsibilities at such an early age exacerbated her anxiety, which developed into an alcohol addiction. In 2015, she made the choice to get sober, and she found a path toward recovery through her love of baking.

She had tried going vegan, but she just loved butter too much to give it up. She did, however, keep baking her cookies with vegan flax seeds, considered to be one of the best egg substitutes. She realized that by making them eggless, the raw cookie dough was safe to eat. Per CDC guidance, consuming raw cookie dough is dangerous because uncooked eggs can contain salmonella and cause foodborne illness — but without eggs, that risk is eliminated. Raw flour is also unsafe because E. coli may be present. Moreira eventually began heat-treating her flour, making her raw cookie dough completely safe.

Kelsey Moreira founded Doughp in 2017. She started with a food cart, which led to a catering business, and then her first store. Her mission became to use her company as a resource to help others dealing with addiction while raising funds for recovery and mental health organizations. In 2018, she opened a second location on San Francisco's Pier 39, and a crowdfunding campaign helped finance further expansion. With another tourist spot in mind for her next store, Kelsey Moreira took her cookie dough on "Shark Tank" in search of an investor.

What happened to Doughp on Shark Tank?

Kelsey Moreira appeared on "Shark Tank" in Season 10, Episode 22, which aired May 5, 2019. Asking for $450,000 for a 10% stake in her company, she told the Sharks about the product while handing out samples for them to taste. She shared some background about herself and her past challenges with addiction, but also that she was celebrating three years sober. She explained that her storefront on Pier 39 had earned $11,000 per square foot — and that, since opening, there had been more than $850,000 in sales, with a 35% net income of $240,000. The product sold for $6 per scoop while the production cost was only $0.69. Doughp was already in major grocery stores like Whole Foods, and Moreira revealed plans to expand into more high-traffic locations, with a deal in the works for a storefront in Las Vegas.

Robert Herjavec wouldn't invest because he didn't like the too-sweet cookie dough. Barbara Corcoran was impressed by Moreira's business acumen, but she also didn't enjoy the dough. Lori Greiner understood there was a market for it, but she preferred healthier products. Kevin O'Leary questioned the valuation of $4.5 million, which, in his own estimation, was only worth $1.8 million. Mark Cuban expressed that due to his concern with the obesity pandemic, he couldn't get behind a product he felt would contribute to it. Ultimately, Kelsey Moreira did not get a deal on "Shark Tank," and left the show empty-handed but undaunted.

Doughp after Shark Tank

A follow-episode to find out what happened to Doughp after "Shark Tank” aired on May 13, 2022 (Season 13, Episode 22). Despite not securing a deal in the tank, the brand did very well on its own in the intervening years. Moreira said that since her company's inception, it had sold more than $13,000,000 worth of cookie dough (per YouTube). Its e-commerce business had expanded to earn $4 million in 2021, and the product had launched in thousands of retail locations, including big box stores and supermarkets Walmart, Costco, Kroger, and Target. Through its Dope4hope program, the brand has donated more than $100,000 to nonprofits such as the She Recovers Foundation and continues to work towards removing the stigma of addiction, recovery, and mental illness.

The company's first crowdfunding venture met its goal, and Doughp became the first company in the Wefunder platform's history ever to fully repay its investors. The company was again seeking a new round of investments to focus on research and development, advertising, and hiring staff. Shortly after "Shark Tank," a major investment in 2019 enabled the opening of the Las Vegas Strip store. That same year, Kelsey married her partner, Israel Moreira, who assumed the role of the company's co-CEO.

In 2020, when the pandemic hit, it actually turned out to be an unexpected boon for Doughp's e-commerce business, and the company eventually decided to close its brick-and-mortar shops to focus solely on e-commerce and growing its list of retailers nationwide.

Is Doughp still in business?

The cookie dough company with a mission of empowerment through recovery is still going strong. In 2019, Kelsey Moreira was named in Forbes' 30 Under 30 list, and in 2021, Inc 5000 ranked Doughp as the 274th fastest-growing food and beverage company. The brand's products have been featured on QVC twice. The latest round of crowdfunding closed in April 2023 and raised over $600,000, and there are plans to expand into the food service space.

The company also continues to create new flavors, with limited editions released regularly. August 2023 saw the release of a new seasonal flavor for fall, the Cinnamon Apple, which was already sold out before summer was even over. Doughp's most popular core flavors include: Ride or Die (classic chocolate chip cookie dough), Cookie Monsta (blue-colored cookies and cream), Fairy Dust (rainbow sprinkles in blonde cookie dough), You Want S'more?, Brownie Beast, and Dunk On Em (Dunkaroo-inspired dough with frosting, rainbow sprinkles and Teddy Graham pieces). Bulk packs are available with themed collections like the Chocoholic pack, Date Night (with two containers of chocolate-dipped strawberry cookie dough), and mystery packs with random flavors. Gift boxes can be shipped for special occasions.

Based on the feedback received on "Shark Tank," a new product called Doughp Drops was designed to offer individual bite-sized pieces for portion control — while in 2022, large two-pound bags were launched at Costco. There's also a subscription service available called the Secret Cookie Dough Club, which provides monthly deliveries.

What's Next for Doughp?

In June of 2023, the brand had its second go-round in Costco's traveling roadshow across Texas, offering samples of its cookie dough to thousands of interested customers, who ended up purchasing almost 5,000 units in under four days. Target has increased its buying of cookie dough by 20%, and with more major retailers adding the products to their inventory, Doughp is set to soon be in over 4,000 stores.

The next steps for the brand include working on bringing down costs to address high retail prices. The company is also developing a refrigerated option with a longer-lasting shelf-life that does not require freezing, as well as a break-and-bake version — placing Doughp directly in competition with national brands Nestle and Pilsbury. In May of 2023, the Moreiras announced that they have a baby on the way, due in November. This busy duo is about to have more on their hands than just cookie dough, but with the ongoing success of the six-year-old business, things seem unlikely to be slowing down any time soon.

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues or mental health, help is available. Contact the relevant resources below: