PieShellers: Where Are They Now?

Our past projects look back on their growth & share their lessons learned!

Caroline Halter
Feb 26, 2018 · 5 min read

In just under 17 months, PieShell has had 15 projects — all successful! — crowdfund on our platform. With asks big and small, they’ve turned those resources into monstrous growth, and learned some important lessons along the way.

Read on to catch up with some of our favorite PieShellers and see where they are now!

Austin’s Underdawgs

Austin’s Underdawgs, a crowd favorite, was one of our very first projects. A hot dog business run by Austin — who has Down syndrome — and his mom Jan, this project has heart.

With funds raised on PieShell, Austin and Jan were able to purchase and customize their very own food truck! They’ve remained consistent in their nonprofit mission, and aim to spread the message that those with Down syndrome are valued members of society.

Austin is a foodpreneur on a mission, and we couldn’t be more proud to be part of his journey.

In addition to running their business in Texas, Jan and Austin were invited to Washington D.C. on behalf of the National Down Syndrome Society and participated in a pop-up restaurant operated entirely by people with Down Syndrome.

Drink Shrub

After crowdfunding with PieShell, Drink Shrub is now selling in four major markets and two restaurants in Portland, Oregon! They’re working to continue expanding into more retail locations. To further help fuel their growth efforts, they’ve exhibited their beverages at major food shows such as Northwest Food and Beverage World, where they met with buyers from big chains like Whole Foods and Natural Grocers!

We love seeing Drink Shrub on grocery store shelves! Now for the hard part: picking a flavor…

Drink Shrub also has a distributor deal in the making, which will help them cement their place in larger retailers. Their rapid expansion has this beverage startup looking to raise more money for inventory to meet the growing demand. They’re currently evaluating the best way to make the leap into a distribution deal.

If all that wasn’t enough, Drink Shrub is also busy developing a fourth flavor, and we can’t wait to taste it!

AKUA (formerly Beyond the Shoreline)

Among other things, this sustainable kelp-based snack company decided to rebrand! Their new name, AKUA, means “ protection of the oceans.” Not only is the new name perfect for their mission-driven brand, but it also rolls right off the tongue! Good move, guys.

Saveur called Akua’s kelp jerky, “your new beef jerky alternative.”

Before their successful rebrand, AKUA took the momentum from their PieShell project and pitched at FoodBytes in Austin, where they were awarded the Judge’s Choice Award!

Their team shows no sign of slowing down. AKUA has since been able to raise more money from the fantastic press they’ve garnered. With over $100,000 in private funding from angel investors and 3,000 pre-orders, they’re going strong. Did we mention that they’ve spent ZERO dollars on marketing?!


Edamam successfully crowdfunded on PieShell, and got actionable feedback in the process. Following their project, they took that feedback and changed the direction of their business.

Edamam still specializes in nutrition data, but they realized that their sweet spot is B2B. Since the change, they’ve been selling their nutrition database to major consumer facing brands such asFood Network, America’s Test Kitchen, Barilla, and CBS/Chowhound. Plus, their API subscribers tripled!

Edamam’s big changes are reflected on their website, which now caters to business customers.

Now, with a solid direction and major traction, Edamam is looking to take on investors!

Punch’d Energy

We love Punch’d Energy gummies for their delicious flavor and secret weapon: green coffee bean caffeine!

Post-PieShell, Punch’d Energy was able to to double their sales! In addition to their fast growth, they’ve worked hard on customer retention to make sure that everyone who buys their gummies is loyal for life. With that goal, they started a subscription-based service, and it’s been a hit with their die-hard customers ever since.

This startup is all about e-commerce, and they were recently awarded “Amazon’s Choice,” along with becoming an add-on product!

Another priority for Punch’d Energy is to educate people about the power of their energy-boosting product as an energy drink alternative, and they utilize their creative social content and online platforms to share this message.

Not Ketchup

Another one of our inaugural projects, Not Ketchup, has been a big hit among health aficionados trying to limit — or even eliminate — sugar in their diets.

Not Ketchup founder Erika reformulated her entire condiment line so it has no added sugar and no artificial or non-nutritive sweeteners. In addition, she launched an entirely new product: Fruitchup, a fruit-sweetened tomato ketchup, which has quickly become her best seller! Way to listen to the crowd, Erika!

Who knew this standard condiment could be reinvented in a healthy way? Fruitchup pairs perfectly with protein!

Not Ketchup’s revenue more than doubled from 2016 to 2017, and their growth is looking strong for 2018. The team is focused on e-commerce and niche retailers with health-oriented customers. This strategy is a perfect fit for their target market of healthy living enthusiasts.

Neale’s Sweet n Nice

Could you use a vacation right about now? Well, summer’s not here yet, but the flavors from Neale’s Sweet n Nice will make you feel like you’re in the middle of the Caribbean.

Since crowdfunding with PieShell, this ice cream startup has successfully launched their first flavor, Pineapple Coconut. Now, they’re getting ready to launch two new ones — Cocoa Bean and Vanilla Spice —in early 2018.

We’d travel all the way to Canada for these flavors from Neale’s Sweet n’ Nice!

They have also added 100 ml (3.4 US fl oz) individual sizes — right on trend for the indulgent, but portioned snacks, that Millennial and Gen X customers crave.

Sweet n Nice is focused on expanding into more retail locations in Canada, and they recently got their products into a big national chain, Sobey’s!

Keep It Up In 2018!

A special “Thank you!” to our PieShellers for sharing their continued success and valuable lessons with us. You guys are the future of food: keep on growing in 2018!

Are you a foodpreneur looking to take your business to the next level? Would you like to be the next food success story? Find out how to launch your own PieShell project!


PieShell is a crowdfunding site, built specifically for…

Caroline Halter

Written by

digital marketer. food-lover. need I say more?


PieShell is a crowdfunding site, built specifically for food and beverage entrepreneurs. In our blog, you will learn about cool new food and beverage startups, gets tips and tricks for running great crowdfunding projects, and read about disruptors in the space.