The producers for Shark Tank have had her tape and application for a little over a week now. After living and breathing Frannie Franks Coffee Cakes for the past three years, owner Jill McEnroe only had 10 minutes and 40 pages to tell her story.
“You dream of this as a foodpreneur and you only get one shot at it,” McEnroe says. “I’ve thought about being on Shark Tank since we opened.”
McEnroe applied to be on the show last September and after a phone interview earlier this month, she was invited to submit a video and longer application. She’s now hoping for a call in the coming weeks or months inviting her to come to Los Angeles to film an episode for Shark Tank. The reality show has inventors, designers and business owners pitch a panel of celebrity businesspeople in the hopes of winning investment, mentorship and the inevitable boost that comes from being on television. But while she’s waiting, there’s still a lot to do in Independence, Missouri.
McEnroe currently bakes at the Independence Ennovation Center, where she can produce 160 cakes in 30 minutes. But she’s also exploring the possibility of a coffee cake truck and retail store. Frannie Franks will return this spring to the Overland Park Farmers Market and the Independence Farmers Market.
“People love our coffee cake because it’s so moist. It’s not the traditional dry, fall-apart, crumbly coffee cake,” McEnroe says. “Ours is so moist you have to eat it with a spoon.”
A cinnamon ribbon, that runs the center of the cake, doesn’t hurt either. Frannie Franks currently sells more gluten-free cakes than the standard version. McEnroe says her toffee cake — made with toffee bits, milk chocolate, cinnamon and little bit of brown sugar — is also popular.
“We’re working on a bacon-topped coffee cake. It’s candied bacon and a crumb-topped coffee cake. It’s sweet and salty,” McEnroe says.
The business, named for her late mother Frannie (it’s Frannie’s cake recipe you’re eating too), will celebrate its third anniversary this June. The coffee cakes are locally sold in The Roasterie’s three cafes, Dean & Deluca and The Whistle Stop Cafe in Lee’s Summit. McEnroe, who still has a full-time job as a graphic designer, also spends Saturdays delivering the cakes to customers that order by phone or online.
“Every time I put my mind to something. It happens,” McEnroe says. “It’s amazing. Shark Tank is going to happen.”[Image via Facebook: Frannie Franks]