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ButcherBox acquires ‘Shark Tank’-featured startup Truffle Shuffle

Butcherbox is known for grinding its way forward, bootstrapping to more than $600,000 worth of revenue. The company hasn’t traditionally been on the M&A path, but it today announced it is acquiring Truffle Shuffle – who you may remember from a Shark Tank episode back in 2021 (or, perhaps, The Goonies). The acquisition helps Butcher Box customers get better at cooking – and potentially broadens the appeal (and product line) for more its customers.

Truffle Shuffle’s goal is to make us home cooks feel like pros, which it does by offering easy-to-follow cooking shows. When I tried it out during the pandemic, I was struck how the company was able to make even pretty advanced dishes accessible and fun: with attitude and lots of little tips and tricks along the way, including breaks for making cocktails and dance parties where the home cooks show off how far into the process they are and how tasty the meals look as they are getting cooked. 

The companies declined to share the terms of the deal, but a spokesperson from ButcherBox confirmed that it was a cash-only offer.

Bringing Michelin-star cooking to your kitchen

As ever, one of the most important parts of starting a startup is founder-market fit, and the two founders – Jason McKinney and Tyler Vorce –  have a hell of a story on that front: they met at Michelin-star-studded restaurant French Laundry, and decided to start a Truffle business.

Truffle Shuffle chef Tucker Ricchio was the winner of Gordon Ramsay’s Next Level Chef. Image credit: Jay Maidment / Next Level Chef

Truffle Shuffle was founded with the dual purpose of assisting chefs and consumers in sourcing genuine truffles and developing its own range of truffle-infused products. However, the pandemic meant that they suddenly found themselves with $20,000 worth of highly perishable, premium truffles on their hands, and no open restaurants to purchase them.

That’s when scrappy founders up their game. In response to these extraordinary circumstances, the team, made a pivot to direct-to-consumer sales and introducing a unique live cooking experience. This innovative shift saved the business – and was the birth of a new idea.

From there, the business evolved: the team launched a platform that offered guests the opportunity to choose a dish they wished to learn to cook. Once a selection is made, the company sends them all the necessary ingredients to prepare a Michelin-quality meal in the comfort of their own home. This solution not only helped the company manage excess inventory but also brought a gourmet cooking experience into the kitchens of food enthusiasts nationwide – and eventually caught the eye of ButcherBox.

“Jason and Tyler are incredibly scrappy entrepreneurs and extremely talented chefs,” said Mark Cuban in a statement to TechCrunch. “It’s been a pleasure watching them expand their community of home chefs and seeing the impact they’ve had on so many households in such a short time. Their approach to teaching people to cook will continue to inspire the Truffle Shuffle community and be an invaluable tool to the ButcherBox community too.”

It turns out that Shark Tank wasn’t the team’s only brush with television celebrity: Another of the company’s featured chefs, Tucker Ricchio, won $250,000 as part of Gordon Ramsey’s Next Level Chef, back in May last year, which can’t have harmed Truffle Shuffle’s profile and public awareness any.

Acquisition by ButcherBox

ButcherBox has been growing rapidly for a while and recently expanded its business into a line of pet food called ButcherBox For Pets.

The company says the Truffle Shuffle purchase is its first acquisition to date, and seems like a logical extension to the company’s ‘Just Cook’ recipe and learn-how-to-cook-better site. For now, however, the acquired company will operate under its own brand while the company works to see how best to integrate it into the ButcherBox brand more permanently – but the company says it’s excited to give ButcherBox customers access to this content more immediately.

“In my eyes, Truffle Shuffle is more than just a recipe and video platform. The community the team has cultivated was what really set them apart,” said Mike Salguero, founder and CEO of ButcherBox, in an interview with TechCrunch.” They’ve empowered and celebrated individuals who are learning to cook in their own kitchens, while also upskilling those who are further on their culinary journey, all while having fun and eating better. As a brand, our purpose is to help people eat better and while we’ve been focused on helping them eat higher-quality protein, now through the Truffle Shuffle integration, we can inspire and educate the way they are preparing our proteins too.”


ButcherBox, meanwhile, is continuing its mission to make meat consumption healthier and more conscious. Meat will always been a morally complex area (especially when seen from a climate angle), but the company says it is doing what it can. Among other things, it’s a registered B-Corp, and has invited animal welfare organizations to keep it accountable.

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