Long Table: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

Eating more whole grains is a big part of a balanced diet, but if you've tried to swap in whole grain flour when trying to make light and fluffy pancakes and waffles, you know that it can be tricky to maintain the same desired texture. Nutrient-dense pancakes are all well and good, but not if the finished dish is dense, too.

It's an issue Chicago-based actor and theater professional Samuel Taylor ran into in 2010 when he met the love of his life, an acrobat named Lindsey, and wanted to make her pancakes that would be delicious, but also nutritious enough to help fuel her performances. So, he invented a brand-new whole grain flour, made out of popcorn (and later blue corn flour and more gluten-free options) that was much lighter than traditional whole grain flour. The couple went on to marry, showing that it's perhaps flours, not flowers, that are the key to a woman's heart.

Naming the brand Long Table, in reference to its farm-to-table approach of using heirloom grains from organic and regenerative farmers, Taylor made the fledgling farmer's market business his full-time job by 2020 just as many theaters started to close during the pandemic. And, in January 2023, he decided to take his product selections of flour mixes for pancakes and waffles to "Shark Tank." 

What happened to Long Table on 'Shark Tank'?

When Long Table founder Samuel Taylor appeared on "Shark Tank" in early 2023, he brought along a special guest: "Friends" star David Schwimmer. In fact, Schwimmer was the one that had persuaded Taylor, who he had met as part of a community theater group in Chicago, to apply for the show. "Now you're a wildly successful entrepreneur, and I apparently push a waffle cart," said the actor, also declaring that Long Table's pancake and waffle mixes were "hands down the best" (via YouTube). Interestingly enough, the Shark panel also included another special guest, guest Gwyneth Paltrow, who had previously worked with Schwimmer.

During the pitch, Taylor asked for $140,000 for a 15% stake in the business. Upon being given samples, the Sharks loved the taste and texture of the Long Table pancakes and waffles, with Kevin O'Leary saying he never wanted to eat any other kind. When it came time to divulge sales figures, Taylor shared that Long Table had done $250,000 in total sales and had been making around $20,000 a year. He added that the company sells a bag of the flour for $11.25, and it costs $3.10 to make, and that the product had been carried in 20 independent grocers in Chicago, with around 70% of the business being direct to consumer via Long Table's website.

Although the Sharks loved the product and the story, as well as an acrobatics display from Taylor's wife, they were concerned about the business' slow start and lack of social media presence needed to grow the brand. Ultimately, Long Table left without a deal.

Long Table after 'Shark Tank'

Immediately after appearing on Season 14 of "Shark Tank," Long Table's Samuel Taylor took the advice from the Sharks to heart about needing to grow his social media presence in order to provide a platform to sell his story. He also hoped that doing so would result in a boost for the business following the appearance on the reality show, which he described on Long Table's website as "one of the buck-wildest experiences of our lives." The business did indeed see an immediate impact, revealing that it doubled its lifetime sales in just the first 24 hours immediately after the "Shark Tank" episode aired.

In September 2023, nine months after the show first debuted, Long Table posted a TikTok video arranged by the company's new marketing manager revealing plans for a brand redesign. Long Table shared it had partnered with Chicago business Seedhouse for the rebrand, with new packaging featuring hand-drawn illustrations reflecting the business' story and mission.

Is Long Table still in business?

Long Table is still in business, and the company is only continuing to grow. Since the "Shark Tank" appearance, the company has gone on to expand its product line, offering new limited-edition pancake and waffle mixes, such as a short run ginger cookie flavor blend. And it is has also launched a range of naturally-infused maple syrups, with flavors including coffee and root ginger.

The company has also attracted media attention following its TV appearance. Long Table was featured on the New York Post's list of 18 of the best "Shark Tank" brands to buy online in 2023, alongside fellow former contestants Wicked Good Cupcakes and other big names.

As well, Long Table has continued to grow on social media, with over 8,000 followers on Instagram, where it promotes its latest offerings, such as a special holiday gift box. In addition, the products are now available for sale in box stores outside of the Chicago area, and can also be shipped directly to consumers through orders made via the business' website.

What's next for Long Table?

"I hope to be in a very different position in a couple of years," Long Table founder Samuel Taylor said directly after his January 2023 appearance on "Shark Tank" in a recap video on YouTube. Although that amount of time has not yet passed, the future looks bright for Long Table, which is already expanding its product lines within less than 12 months of the episode airing.

While Long Table has followed the advice from the Sharks when it comes to promotion and telling its story, it's also a company that is very conscious of its mission and ethical credentials. Working directly with regenerative farmers, Taylor has created a product that he is proud of, both in terms of the quality and the environmental impact for future generations.

"We're working hard to build a supply chain that puts soil rebuilding, carbon capture, and biodiversity front and center as we grow this business," Long Table shared in a Facebook post, showing that, for this particular company, the future is about much more than just the business itself.