Coconut Girl: Here's What Happened After Shark Tank

Riding her "icicle tricycle" with a freezer full of ice cream cookie sandwiches, Coconut Girl's founder, Francheska "Frankie" Yamsuan, appeared on Season 11, Episode 14 of "Shark Tank" with a business that sparked a bidding war. Yamsuan had been interested in finding healthier alternatives to her favorite foods long before she faced the Sharks. It all started when she signed up for a 30-day paleo challenge at her CrossFit gym in Los Angeles, and decided to buy an ice cream machine to make her own icy treats.

Yamsuan began by making date shakes — which soon transitioned into non-dairy ice cream cookie sandwiches — and shared them with fellow CrossFit enthusiasts at the gym. Her treats were a quick hit in the community, and Yamsuan knew she had a thriving business on her hands when coaches and CrossFit peers began placing orders for her ice creams. She dropped out of UCLA, signed up for a course at The Art Institute of California-Los Angeles, and powered on with her ice cream cookie sandwich business.

The frozen sandwiches were made from all-natural ingredients including honey, maple syrup, dates, and organic coconut milk. The cookies sandwiching the ice cream contained no added sugar, and were made from a base of almond butter with cocoa nibs for added crunch. They were dairy-free, gluten-free, and contained 250 calories per sandwich — all things that impressed the Sharks.

What happened to Coconut Girl on Shark Tank?

Francheska Yamsuan impressed the Sharks with both the taste of Coconut Girl's ice cream cookie sandwiches and the company's numbers. At the time of its appearance, Coconut Girl had three flavors, all featuring the same almond butter cookie: Beach Bum Maple, Aloha Chocolate, and Loose Vanilla. Samples of the three frozen sandwiches earned positive remarks across the panel — Robert Herjavec and Mark Cuban seemed to enjoy them in particular.

Things only got better for Coconut Girl when Yamsuan revealed the company's sales and retail partnerships. Sales had grown from $60,000 to $120,000 the year before filming, and the company was on track to make $300,000 that year. The Sharks were also impressed by Coconut Girl's stellar profit margins. The ice cream cookie sandwiches were priced between $4.99 and $5.49, and cost only a dollar to make — with the potential for manufacturing costs to drop further to 50 cents.

To top it off, the ice cream cookie sandwiches were already in 30 Whole Foods locations in Southern California, and had been green lit to expand to stores in Nevada, Arizona, and Hawaii. This was enough to make the Sharks jump. Yamsuan hoped for a $180,000 investment in exchange for 18% of equity, and Cuban, Lori Greiner, and Kevin O'Leary were all interested. After a brief but aggressive bidding war among the Sharks, Yamsuan shook hands with Cuban, parting with 20% equity in exchange for the $180,000 investment.

Coconut Girl after Shark Tank

Most businesses that appear on "Shark Tank" experience what has been dubbed the Shark Tank Effect, regardless of whether they secure a deal or not. Many companies get nationwide — and often global — publicity, and enjoy the boost in traffic thanks to eager viewers. Products sell out, websites crash, and sales often reach an all-time high. Coconut Girl seems to be no exception. Francheska Yamsuan's phone blew up as soon as the episode aired, and she received calls from both buyers and distributors keen on selling the ice cream cookie sandwiches. The show did volumes to spread awareness about her dairy-free ice creams while giving her credibility to reach out to big-name retailers as well.

The deal with Mark Cuban also finalized after the show, and Yamsuan provided weekly reports to the Shark. The entrepreneur admitted on the "Badass Basic B***h" podcast that Cuban never overstepped to try to run the business on Yamsuan's behalf and was a very responsive investor, often replying to her queries within five minutes.

But not all was good news: The pandemic hit just a week after Yamsuan's episode aired in 2020. Though Coconut Girl's ice cream cookie sandwiches sold out in shops, pandemic-imposed restrictions created new obstacles, and made it incredibly difficult for its frozen treats to be restocked.

Is Coconut Girl still in business?

Although Coconut Girl persevered through the pandemic and continued selling its dairy-free ice cream cookie sandwiches months later, it does not appear to be in business any longer. The company's website has been taken down, and its Instagram account has been largely inactive since November 2023. This comes on the back of several successful years for Coconut Girl. In January 2022, the company reported that it had expanded its retail presence from four to 25 states across the U.S., including to stores like Erewhon — one of America's most expensive grocery chains.

There's no official news about why Coconut Girl went out of business or whether it's a permanent move, so fans can only speculate. Part of the reason could perhaps be the pandemic, even though Coconut Girl had bounced back from it at first. Francheska Yamsuan confessed on the "Badass Basic B***h" podcast that the pandemic really put a spanner in her plans for Coconut Girl's future. 

At the time of her appearance on "Shark Tank," Coconut Girl didn't deliver directly to customers, because shipping frozen items with dry ice was simply too expensive to be a viable option. This was something that Yamsuan hoped to eventually change by introducing non-frozen treats such as cookies that could be shipped directly. However, the pandemic brought about manufacturing restrictions that prevented her from pivoting her business — a move that the entrepreneur thought was critical.

What's next for Coconut Girl?

Francheska Yamsuan had great hopes for her good-for-you ice creams: She hoped that Coconut Girl would grow into a brand like "Shark Tank" guest judge Bethenny Frankel's Skinnygirl. "I want it to be that cool brand, California centric, more than just ice cream," she told Salesmate, adding that she envisioned Coconut Girl as a health lifestyle brand that might even sell apparel in the future.

The founder's LinkedIn profile indicates that she stepped down as Coconut Girl's Chief Executive Officer in January 2024, with no indication of what she may be doing next. While that means fans might have to bid farewell to Coconut Girl and its all-natural ice cream cookie sandwiches, it might not be the end of the road for its founder. Yamsuan did tell the Sharks that she always wanted to be an entrepreneur, and with plans as grand as being the next Skinnygirl, this may very well not be the last we see of Coconut Girl's founder. Until then, fans will only have to make do with their own non-dairy ice cream cookie treats — and these almond and blueberry soft-serve sandwiches are just the place to get started.