Trew Quackenbush and Corey Ward of gourmet grilled cheesery Tom + Chee announced Friday that they will be featured on ABC's Shark Tank in an episode airing at 9 p.m. May 17.
T + C is no stranger to TV – the grilled cheese mecca has already been featured on The Today Show, Amazing Eats and Man v. Food Nation — but this one’s a little different. Entrepreneurs of all kinds pitch their businesses to a panel of investors in hopes for a potential deal. But they don’t call it Shark Tank for nothing. The “sharks” — a panel of five millionaire/billionaire investor-entrepreneurs including Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O'Leary — are often brutal in their critiques of people’s business plans and concepts. Participants are much more likely to walk away with a bruised ego than an actual deal. Simply appearing on the show, though, can create a lot of buzz for a business, so perhaps it's worth it to have the creator of FUBU publicly stomp on your dreams.
It will be interesting to see what kind of deal the Tom + Chee guys have in mind. Usually on the show, entrepreneurs present a product they need help mass producing, marketing and getting into retail outlets/e-commerce. Ward and Quackenbush will likely seek funds for additional restaurant locations. T + C currently has five locations in Cincinnati, Newport and Louisville, but perhaps they are looking to expand nationwide. Whatever the outcome, big ups to anyone who will voluntarily step to the sharks — and Mark Cuban’s scary face — on national television.
Here's a taste of the Tank:
This announcement comes on National Grilled Cheese Day, so you should probably celebrate with a deliciously gooey T + C sammy. Today's featured sandwich, naturally, is the Shark Bite: roasted mako shark (yes, actual shark), jalapeño aioli, parmesan garlic chips, diced tomato, gouda and pepper jack cheeses on sourdough bread — available in Cincinnati locations only.