Made in America: Daisy Cakes Blossoming After 'Shark Tank' Deal

Its owner has sold more than 25,000 cakes since getting $50,000 investment.

ByABC News
May 4, 2012, 7:22 AM

May 4, 2012 — -- With the $50,000 investment that Kim Nelson, the owner of Daisy Cakes, scored during her appearance on "Shark Tank," she is making sure that her delicious desserts -- all made from scratch and in America, even down to the packaging -- continue to succeed.

"I think the secret is the fact that my mother and I use our family recipes. They are good, wholesome, simple ingredients," she told ABC News recently. "There's a lot of love in every cake and in every slice."

Keep reading for Kim Nelson's recipe for Southern Pound Cake.

So far, Nelson and her crew -- made up of her mother, Geraldine Adams, and others -- have sold more than 25,000 cakes in every state, including Hawaii and Alaska, since her "Shark Tank" appearance. Nelson said that everything, including the ingredients and the labels, come from domestic sources.

"My cake tins are not made in China. They're made in New Jersey," she said. "My labels -- everything is printed -- is made here. My doilies, my cellophane. My cousin is a designer. She designed my logo, and she gets these printed for me and shipped here."

When Nelson appeared on the popular ABC reality show "Shark Tank," she was hoping for an investment in her all-American Daisy Cakes, which she started in 2009.

"My Daisy cakes are the best cakes that you will ever put in your mouth," she said during the April 2011 show. "They are made from scratch. We don't use any preservatives, artificial flavors in our cakes. And the best part: We deliver them to you. I can't wait for you to taste them."

Daisy Cakes Owner Feeds the 'Sharks'

The Spartanburg, S.C., business owner passed around a wide assortment of desserts -- chocolate, coconut, red velvet and carrot cake -- to the show's entrepreneurs, or "sharks," and held her breath.

Each potential investor dropped out except Barbara Corcoran, a real-estate mogul.

"I like you very much," she told Nelson during the show. "I noticed when you passed your delicious cake around, every guy ate more than 50 percent. But after each of these guys dropped out, they bent forward -- I noticed -- and had another bite."

Corcoran and Nelson made a deal: Corcoran would give the baker $50,000 in exchange for $1 for each sold cake -- and 25 percent equity in the company.

Corcoran told ABC News recently that she believed in the Made in America concept.

"More importantly than that, you get a passion in the entrepreneur who believes beyond the fact that they just want to make money, they want to make a difference," she said.

Nelson's company also offers two more flavors -- lemon and yellow cake with chocolate frosting -- as well as packaged fresh lemon curd. The cakes are made in in Nelson's tiny kitchen, but they are also baked in Tennessee by 240 people that Daisy Cakes now employs.

She told ABC News that even though she was fortunate to be on "Shark Tank," she never gave up on the idea of making Daisy Cakes grow. And she advised anyone with a business idea to pursue his or her dream and write down a plan.

"Write it all down -- what you want to do. It doesn't matter how crazy it seems," she said. "Try to get connected with positive people who can help make that happen for you."

She also shared her biggest secret of all: To get people to taste her cakes, she goes to every bake sale and contest.