Tim Gavern grew up in the ice cream business. His grandmother and mother both owned ice cream parlors, but Tim took a different route. He went into publishing as an editor of a car magazine. As the publishing business declined, Tim decided to pivot—turning to the traditional family business, selling ice cream. Instead of opening a parlor, he bought a custom-made moped/ice cream freezer combination and became Captain Ice Cream. It was just like in the old days, neighborhood kids waiting for the ice cream man in his white uniform, listening for the distinctive bell. Tim was buying the ice cream, but had plans to make his own novelty brand. He also needed a few more moped combos. He ultimately wanted to have franchises so he could spread the joy to every small town in the country. Those were the reasons he was seeking an investment and shark-type expertise.
He had two advantages: his natural selling ability and he had trademarked “Captain Ice Cream.” But he admitted he was just scraping by on his profit of $25 an hour, and that was not likely to attract franchisees. In general, the sharks felt he was there too soon; he needed to have a more established business before they could invest.
After appearing on Shark Tank, Tim offered franchising kits on the Captain Ice Cream website. One offer, for $12,495, included a custom moped, the white uniform, 500 business cards and umbrella. A $44,395 franchise included an ice cream van as well. But franchisees would still have to pay for delivery, health inspections, business licenses, state sales tax, etc., etc. The website closed down in June 2014. Tim is now using his talent for sales at a commercial truck dealership.
Captain Ice Cream is no longer in business.