Peekaboo Ice Cream: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

Since the first episode of the "Shark Tank" series aired in 2009, with four million viewers, it's grown to be one of the most visible shows on network television. The world has come to expect the unexpected, which is why Jessica Weiss Levison's startup venture was no surprise at all.  

Levison arrived on "Shark Tank" for Season 12, Episode 8, set to pitch her new dairy product marketed to kids (but loved by all ages — as ice cream is all over the world). The name, Peekaboo Ice Cream, held enough mystique to capture attention from the regular "Shark Tank" investors on stage: Mark Cuban, Kevin O'Leary, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, and Robert Herjavec. 

Levinson was no newbie to selling ice cream, having already owned and operated her Miami scoop shop, Serendipity, for several years. She also came armed with some business savvy from Michigan's Ross School of Business, and a deep dive into ice-cream making through the renowned Ice Cream Short Course at Penn State. After leaving her job as an attorney advocating for low-income clients and children, Levison decided to go all-in on the ice cream business — but from a new perspective. 

Her product, Peekaboo, happened to be infused with vegetables for a hidden dose of nutrition in every sweet bite. The ice cream is certified organic and kosher — containing no gluten or GMOs. Entering the tank, the question became whether it would pass the taste test and the equally important financial viability criteria for investors. 

What happened to Peekaboo Ice Cream on Shark Tank?

Standing alongside a colorful display and samples of five enticing ice cream flavors, the entrepreneur of Peekaboo Ice Cream, sold under her Peekaboo Organics business, pitched the Sharks for $800,000 with an 8% equity return. Levison noted the product was already selling in 900 stores, which included food-industry giants such as Whole Foods, Safeway, Kroger, and Bristol Farms. 

The ice cream products included unlikely liaisons such as mint chip with spinach, vanilla with zucchini, and strawberry with carrots, all with surprisingly ample amounts of the vegetables. The Sharks were impressed that the Peekaboo product was tasty with no evidence of savory vegetables tucked inside — though Kevin O'Leary did ask if it was nondairy ice cream.

Tensions mounted over financial stats and valuation. Levison stated a $10 million valuation with projections of 3,000 locations that year and $5 million in sales the following year. But with only $450,000 in sales to date, the Sharks were more than dubious, mounting numerous challenges to the valuation assumption and to Levison's stated goal of launching the business in order to sell it. 

However, Greiner did offer the requested $800,000 at 5% equity, but with the caveats of it being a three-year loan at 6% interest, and the requirement of introducing a low-fat option. O'Leary offered the same loan amount with 9% interest, with no low-fat option required. In the end, Levison rejected both offers, explaining that she needed a partner, not a loan.

Peekaboo Ice Cream after Shark Tank

Though Jessica Weiss Levison walked away from "Shark Tank" without an investment deal, sales for Peekaboo Ice Cream spiked significantly, and investor interest reportedly increased. Little news surfaced on actual deals or business partnerships after "Shark Tank" — though Peekaboo Organics won a first-place award of $200,000 in the California Milk Snackceletor competition to facilitate product marketing and to launch a new snack-sized incarnation of the ice cream.  

Levison continued to service customers with Peekaboo Ice Cream in some form for at least a year after the show aired on December 11, 2020. The Peekaboo Ice Cream Facebook page announced a partnership with Yumble for product delivery at the end of 2021, and its Instagram account touted a collaborative holiday giveaway of products founded by female entrepreneurs. More collaborations ensued that year, including an October social media pairing with Puffworks to award Peanut Butter Puffs and Peekaboo Ice Cream to a lucky winner. The social media campaigns tapped into the potential for organically growing the Peekaboo brand using social networks.

Is Peekaboo Ice Cream still in business?

A final female-founded giveaway across social media accounts closed out the year 2021, with Peekaboo joining other women-centric companies offering new versions of kid-friendly snackable products, such as crispy fruit snacks and cashew cheesy sauces. The deadline for entry was December 30, which also signaled the beginning of a long online silence by Peekaboo Ice Cream. Unfortunately, that was the final year of any social media presence for the brand, and the company website and Shopify store now display an "unavailable" message, as of autumn 2023.

As for the founder of Peekaboo Ice Cream, Jessica Weiss Levison, there's no immediate public information on what's next. Her scoop shop in the Miami area, now known as Serendipity Creamery and Yogurt Cafe, appears to be operating in full swing, with locations in Surfside and a pop-up in Wynwood. Levison's LinkedIn page notes almost 16 years for Serendipity and an ongoing tie to Peekaboo Organics (though it has been about two years since she updated the site), so there's a pretty good chance she's still keeping busy with ice cream in all its incarnations.