Community July 10, 2024

The Rise of Crispy Cone

Idaho entrepreneurs take ice cream industry by storm with a little help from Shark Tank’s Barbara Corcoran

Jeremy Carlson always aspired to be an entrepreneur. In high school, he’d daydream about businesses he could one day buy. By college, he made his entrepreneurial dreams a reality. The entrepreneurial spirit was in his genes. All it took was an idea and a lot of determination. And later, ABC’s Shark Tank.

Jeremy and his wife, Kaitlyn, are the owners and founders behind Crispy Cones, a cutting-edge take on the traditional ice cream cones that are as delicious as unique. Rather than your typical crunchy waffle or sugar cone, Crispy Cones uses a fresh dough cone, akin to a pastry, that is grilled rotisserie-style and covered with cinnamon and sugar or a specialty powder. Then, a gourmet flavor of ice cream or fruits fills the cones and spirals on top for a sweet treat unlike any other.

crispy cone

Ever since Jeremy Carlson was 12, he wanted to be on Shark Tank. With his clever desert invention, he was able to make a sweet deal with Barbara Corcoran.

“I served my mission in the Czech Republic, and they are famous for bread making and pastries,” Jeremy says. “One of the breads they make is this dough cone cooked rotisserie-style over coal. I thought it was phenomenal. When I came back, I changed some things and Americanized it.” Thus, Crispy Cones was born.

Crispy Cone first started in 2018 as a tent on the side of the road in Rexburg, Idaho where Jeremy, originally from St. Anthony, was attending school at BYU-Idaho. The reception was a hit. “We sold out of the cone the first day,” Jeremy recalls.

“I have always had the entrepreneurial spirit,” Jeremy says. “In high school I was always looking to buy a business. I always loved the fact that entrepreneurs can create something out of nothing and make something big. I like the mindset you are creating your own destiny.”

With an eye on growth early on, Jeremy sought out help for his social media presence and reached out to a social media student, Kaitlyn, to help.

“Jeremy reached out to me in 2018 the first year the tent version of Crispy Cones was open,” she says. “I was just starting to get into social media. He asked if I would come out and share about his business, and I’d get a free cone. I fell in love with the product on day one. I remember saying to my friend that I would support this business until the day I die. Now, here I am as an owner.”

The young couple hit it off and were married in 2020, just as the business grew from a tent to a food trailer. Next, Jeremy and Kaitlyn set their sights on taking the fluffy, delicious cones to brick-and-mortar shops.

“We were living in Logan, Utah, our first year married,” Jeremy says. “We were still living in Logan, and we were watching Shark Tank one night and thought, ‘What is the difference between these contestants on the show and us?’ We went on the website, filled out an application, and waited.”

After nearly seven months of waiting, they got the call that they were heading to Los Angeles to pitch to the Sharks in September 2022.

“We flipped out when we heard we were going to go on the show,” Jeremy recalls. “We flew to Los Angeles, and it was so nerve-racking to know we would pitch. It was a once in a lifetime experience.”

Even before they stood in front of the Sharks, they had their sights on Barbara Corcoran.

“She has a background in franchising and food business,” Kaitlyn says. “We manifested our outcome. We are going to leave this with a deal and leave it with Barbara.”

Barbara Corcoran told the husband-and-wife team that she was “very interested” in this business. She said she was without a doubt the Shark on the show who knew more about franchise and food than anyone and offered the Carlsons a lucrative deal: $200,000 for 20% of Crispy Cones’ equity. Jeremy and Kaitlyn accepted the deal.

“We felt like we were on cloud nine and we were partnering with who we dreamed of,” Kaitlyn says. “Now having her with us and supporting us more than a year now has been an amazing journey. She has been so great at guiding us and giving us the best advice and leadership and how we should grow.”

The pair said that Barbara’s partnership is as hands on as they need her to be or as hands off as they need. The guidance, they say, has been second to none.

As for the future? True to their motto, the young couple is “revolutionizing the soft serve cone” and bringing their idea across the country. With eleven stores planned to open throughout the country in 2024, they have plans in the works to expand their franchise to approximately fifty locations by the end of 2025. Learn more and find a Crispy Cone location in your area at

This article appears in the Summer 2024 Issue of Sun Valley Magazine.