'Shark Tank' winner Crispy Cones opens second metro Phoenix store | Phoenix New Times

From ‘Shark Tank’ to Tempe: Crispy Cones opens new Valley location

The dessert concept serves warm, soft pastry cones filled with ice cream. The winning idea resulted in a deal with Barbara Corcoran.
Crispy Cones now has six locations around the Country with two in Arizona.
Crispy Cones now has six locations around the Country with two in Arizona. Crispy Cones
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Fans of "Shark Tank" might recognize the name Crispy Cones. And now, there's one more spot to try the deal-winning dessert in the Valley.

While doing mission work in the Czech Republic, founder Jeremy Carlson tried Trdelník, a spit cake made by forming dough around a cylinder and baking it over coals, creating a hollow pastry. Carlson adapted the delicacy into the shape of an ice cream cone and created an indulgent treat by filling the hollow center with soft serve. He and his wife Katilyn Carlson presented the business to the judges on "Shark Tank."

The creation is the ultimate upgrade from stale, brittle, boxed ice cream cones or sugar cones with a hard ridge on the bottom. The hot, fresh pastry combines with cool ice cream for an updated twist on the classic dessert. It is a winning idea that resulted in a deal with Barbara Corcoran.

The business opened its first Arizona location in Chandler this August. On Nov. 3, Crispy Cones expanded to Tempe. Contrary to the Chandler location, which is a full shop with seating, the new location is a grab-n-go soft serve stand where customers can order a treat to enjoy while walking around Mill Avenue.

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Crispy Cones is now open in Chandler and Tempe.
Crispy Cones

How Crispy Cones got its start

Before the business was presented to the sharks, it started with humble beginnings. While in college, Jeremy sold the earliest version of his dessert creations from a pop-up tent. He then spent time going back and forth to the Czech Republic to perfect his vision, according to his brother Stephen.

In 2021, Jeremy and his wife Kaitlyn pitched their idea on "Shark Tank" where they told the story of how Jeremy helped fund the business by driving for Uber and Lyft as well as taking out a small business loan. The Carlson's goal, they explained to the potential investors, was to expand to eleven franchises.

Most of the sharks felt the plans were too lofty or a case of doing too much too soon, but Corcoran was on board and compared the business to one of her other successful food investments, the Cousins Maine Lobster food truck. 

Now, only two years after the "Shark Tank" deal, Crispy Cones has six open locations around the country, and plans for more.

As the business grows, so does the Carlson's family involvement. The new Tempe store is thanks to Jeremy's brother Stephen who says that he and his wife Kendra are "excited to be in such a historic and iconic street and so close to ASU."

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Add different toppings, spreads and sauces to create your own flavor combination at Crispy Cones.
Crispy Cones

What's on the menu?

For customers visiting for the first time, Stephen has a decadent recommendation.

"Try the traditional crispy cone with cookie butter spread, topped with Oreo crumble and cookie butter sauce," he says. "My favorite is the hot fruit cup cone. The hot cone comes right off the grill and then gets topped with sauce, fruit and whipped cream."

There are two main choices for cones, but the topping and spread options let customers customize their desserts by creating different combinations. Spreads include Nutella, cookie butter and peanut butter. Soft serve ice cream flavors are vanilla, chocolate, or a weekly special. Monthly cone specials also rotate throughout the year, with coconut featured during November.

Toppings include assorted candy mix ins, strawberries and Biscoff cookies. Sauces such as raspberry and caramel are available to drizzle on top. Rather than ice cream in the Hot Fruit Cone, expect strawberries, bananas and whipped cream. An Ice Cream Cone is $8.59. A Hot Fruit Cone is $7.49.

For the family behind Crispy Cones, these two new Arizona stores are just the beginning. Keep an eye out for a new location in Gilbert plus more coming to the Valley soon. 

Crispy Cones

Now open: 420 S. Mill Ave. #106, Tempe
180 S. Arizona Ave., Chandler
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