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Greater Cincinnati couple pitch their 'food revolution' to 'Shark Tank'

'We need to have a food revolution'
Posted at 12:14 PM, Oct 08, 2021

CINCINNATI — In case you missed it, a Greater Cincinnati couple pitched their "food revolution" idea to investors on "Shark Tank" Friday night.

While investors like the taste of the bread, they balked at the "Uprising Food" price of $12 for one uprising cube.

Owners Kristen and William Schumacher were seeking $500,000 for a 3 percent stake.

The Sharks said it was too big of an ask considering they did not show a path to profitability.

They all passed on making an investment.

But tonight's setback is not stopping the couple's dream.

"The big idea is really that the food system is fundamentally broken. And people are sick at scale," said William Schumacher. "We're sick across this nation. We have industrialized food in the staples that people rely on. They need a significant upgrade. So that's why we said, 'Hey, we need to have an uprising. We need to have a food revolution and bring a better set of staple foods."

That idea grew into Uprising Food, a company started in 2019 with Blue Oven Bakery as a partner. Now Schumacher, the co-founder and CEO of Uprising Food and his wife, Kristen Schumacher, the company's co-founder and chief brand officer, are hoping to grow even bigger by dipping their toes in the "Shark Tank."

"We had to work hard in the first couple years, year and a half, to get the product, the business, to a stage where the Sharks would take us seriously," William Schumacher said.

From left, Kristen and William Schumacher stand outside the Blue Oven Bakery location at Findlay Market. Kristen has long dark hair and is wearing a black top and pink jacket. William has short, brown hair and a beard and mustache. He is wearing a black t-shirt and jeans.
From left, Kristen and William Schumacher

The husband-and-wife team come from brand-building backgrounds. Kristen Schumacher led a marketing department, and William Schumacher worked at the Procter & Gamble Co. Their e-commerce company has shipped superfood chips and bread to every state and also sells chips in Meijer stores.

"We want to bring the freshest and healthiest products to people at scale," Kristen Schumacher said. "But really, it's waking up every day and making a difference, just one person, one day at a time."

The couple says success for their business will not be measured only by a Shark investor's buy-in. They want to grow in Cincinnati, they said, and do more with local schools, the Freestore Foodbank and maybe even some Cincinnati chili parlors.

"We could really upgrade our community with a better class of food," William Schumacher said. "Someday we would hope that you could get a Skyline cheese coney with a superfood bun. That would be fantastic, right?"

Fantastic like the opportunity to pitch to the Sharks, something the couple has dreamed about since 2019.

"It was a very intense experience," William Schumacher said. "Because we put our heart and souls out there. And it's how we do everything in this business. 'Shark Tank,' no different."

For them, they said, it's about the vision just as much as the execution.

"Regardless of the outcome," Kristen Schumacher said, "if you're chasing after a dream, and you understand the why you have that passion, like that's all that matters. And people can get behind that."