Chef Heidi Lovig hopes the Sharks will like Heidi Ho, her line of vegan cheeses she pitches in episode 610.
Cordon Bleu-trained chef Lovig gained experience as a vegan chef in Hawaii. She is a firm believer in using only locally obtained, sustainable, organic ingredients in her cooking and Heidi Ho cheese.
The idea for vegan cheese came to her when she was a vegan consultant at a Portland restaurant.
The goal was to create all-natural vegan cheeses that tasted great. Cheese selections contained high amounts of carbohydrates and oil and did not appeal to most people.
Heidi Ho created a cheese range consisting of Spicy Chia Cheeze, Chia Cheeze Sauce, Smoked Gouda, Feta Crumbles, and Monterrey Jack.
Heidi Ho cheeses are completely free of soy, gluten, dairy, and corn. They’re suitable for vegetarians, lactose intolerant individuals, and gluten-free individuals.
There are currently a few hundred Whole Foods Markets around the western United States that carry Heidi Ho cheeses and other independent health food stores.
Ms. Lovig likely seeks assistance from others to expand distribution and funding for her culinary business.
Will the Sharks distribute money and invest?
What is Heidi Ho?
Heidi Ho is a plant-based cheese alternative. Heidi Ho has skyrocketed in popularity since it was founded in 2011 by food innovator Heidi Lovig, who intended to address a perceived fault with vegan cheese products.
Lovig and her companion Lyssa Story learned they weren’t the only vegans disappointed with the market’s alternative cheese options. Heidi Ho is also free of gluten, soy, and corn.
They enjoy components such as chia seeds and hazelnuts — as well as a puree made with red bell peppers, carrots, red potatoes, onions, and cashews. It is not nut-free.
Heidi Ho is a dairy-cheese product line. This company was founded in 2012 to provide natural and organic cheese made from wholesome, clean ingredients.
Since then, the company has expanded its product line to include Chia Cheese, Cashew Cheese, and Feta Crumbles, which feature blueberry, spicy, or smoky flavors.
|Company Name||Heidi Ho: Vegan Cheese|
|Product||Plant-based cheese that is dairy-free|
|Investment Seeking||$125,000 For 25% equity in Heidi Ho|
|Final Deal||$125,000 For 30% equity in Heidi Ho|
|Business Status||In Business|
|Appeared On||Episode 9 Season 6|
Who Is The Founder Of Heidi Ho?
Heidi Lovig is the founder of Heidi Ho. The chef began her career as an eco-hotel and organic farm manager before earning her Culinary Arts degree from Le Cordon Bleu.
Here, she had the opportunity to train and work alongside raw food enthusiasts and vegans worldwide. This was when she gained an appreciation for and interest in vegan cuisine.
Lovig recognized the need to alter her nutrition as an overweight child. She chose to become a chef to maintain control over her diet by selecting her ingredients.
Lovig noted that the available cheese variations were less pleasant due to additives, fats, chemicals, and oils. So she substituted cashews, chia seeds, red peppers, turnips, and parsnips for the original ingredients.
Vegan cheeses were inspired by her experience as a vegan consultant for a Portland-area restaurant. Lovig observed that cheese products were oily and filled with carbohydrates, making them unappealing. She decided to launch her organic and natural cheese business then.
Heidi Ho cheeses did quite well, as there was a high level of curiosity in the product. Lovig distributed the items to a variety of natural food stores and whole food markets.
However, she soon realized she required additional funds to expand her distribution channels. It was at that point that she decided to propose her ideas to Shark Tank to secure funding.
Heidi Ho Before Shark Tank
Heidi Ho is the brainchild of chef Heidi from Portland, Oregon. She was seeking a $125,000 investment for 25% of her business in exchange for the investment.
Her company, Heidi Ho, is here to demonstrate why dairy products will be the future, and who doesn’t love cheese?
The truth is that cheese can be extremely salty and loaded with saturated fats and cholesterol.
On the other hand, American consumers consume more than 33 pounds of cheese per year or 11 pounds of fat!
However, what if it were possible to consume as much cheese as desired without experiencing any adverse health consequences?
As a result, Heidi Ho was born. Heidi Ho circumvents many of the issues associated with cheese consumption by utilizing plant-based cheeses made completely of organic nuts, seeds, and vegetables and infused with herbs and spices.
Heidi Ho cheese does not contain dairy, and then she gives samples of Heidi Ho items to each Shark.
The Sharks are all impressed by the cheese, and Robert inquires about what he is eating; Heidi responds that Robert is eating “Cheetah Cheese,” a blend of pasteurized cheese seeds mixed with herbs and spices.
Heidi Ho is currently offered in four Whole Foods Market locations and began in the Pacific Northwest.
How Was The Shark Tank Pitch Of Heidi Ho?
According to Heidi, she lived in northern California until nine months ago but has secured a deal for Heidi Ho products to be sold in five more Whole Foods stores. Heidi needs seed capital to create an inventory and sustain growth; projections indicate she could be in 400 stores in 18 months.
Kevin then jumps in with his experience in all things classy and explains that cheese is so popular because it pairs nicely with a range of wines.
Cambodian wine, for example, is frequently paired with “coos” cheese due to the cheese’s high-fat content. However, he asserts that the cheese he just sampled from Heidi Ho does not especially resemble cheese.
Kevin then inquires about Heidi Ho’s lifetime sales, which she admits to being roughly $245,000, but she has gained $140,000 in the last 12 months, indicating that sales are increasing.
Robert then adds that he adores the product, and everything about it is great, down to the texture, but he has a question: why haven’t Heidi Ho products “exploded” in popularity?
Heidi believes that Heidi Ho is on the edge of blowing up, but she wants to come to the Shark Tank for mentorship and financial support because this is her first time establishing a business on her own.
Barbara then inquires as to how Heidi Ho came to be. Heidi begins by stating that she grew up on a very traditional American diet and was about 300 pounds by the time she completed high school, and to her credit, a photo appears on display behind her.
She was aware that something was wrong with her nutrition, and the bullying and judgment she endured as a child were unjust and may have contributed to her accumulating so much weight – weight in addition to the weight she gained growing up.
As a result, she began to learn how to cook better and live a healthier lifestyle. The pounds gradually began to fall off on their own, eventually leading to her entirely transforming her life.
Robert then inquires whether just vegans and vegetarians will be interested in the product, but Heidi believes there is significant crossover potential.
Kevin inquires why Heidi believes such and then asserts that he, like many others, is a cheese enthusiast.
However, Mark reveals that he formerly adored cheese but had to give it up due to the cholesterol – Mark admits he adored cheese to quit.
Lori demonstrates the samples she was given and reveals that she has cleared her entire space and been dining on Kevin’s tray, Robert is still snacking, and Mark is still eating it. All of the Sharks enjoyed it.
Therefore, Lori will be the first to offer Heidi because she is a fan of the product and has proof of its effectiveness. Lori offers Heidi the full $125,000 she is seeking but in return for 30% equity.
Lori’s only request is that the packaging is changed, and Heidi asks if it’s okay to hear any other offers — of course, the Sharks all insist that this is a mistake.
Kevin, however, intervenes and declares that he could never do the deal due to the risk of losing his status in an elite wine club that mixes wines with cheese, becoming the first Shark to quit abruptly.
Lori then states that if Heidi wishes to hear additional proposals, she must take a risk – the show then cuts to commercial, leaving everyone on a cliffhanger.
When the episode resumes, Mark, Barbara, and Robert exit quickly, exposing Heidi and compelling her to accept Lori’s offer.
Heidi has quickly secured a $125,000 investment in exchange for 30% equity in Heidi Ho, despite having very little time on her hands.
Additionally, she earned a partner in Lori, a QVC specialist, and a big following due to her presence on Shark Tank.
What Happened To Heidi Ho After Shark Tank?
The Heidi Ho Vegan-Friendly Cheese is now available statewide at Whole Foods Markets, a sign of Heidi Ho’s success.
Heidi Ho has been accredited as a vegan-friendly product and firm following a rigorous review by Vegan goods, prompting Whole Foods Market to bring the product to its shops across the country, as well as other markets.
Although unavailable, Heidi Ho items are also available on Vegan Essentials, a 4-star rating based on 23 reviews. Thanks to her general love for cheese and appearance on Shark Tank, Heidi Ho must be making significant progress.
Heidi Ho Shark Tank Update
Heidi Ho increased her retail distribution significantly as a result of the Lori arrangement. Once consumers sample the product, they become enthused! Heid is featured in episode 626, so we’ll find out what else she’s been up to.
Heidi Ho’s sales in the 12 months preceding her appearance on Shark Tank were $140,000. Sales have soared to $750,000 in the four months since the episode aired. Heidi is filmed performing an in-store demonstration, and Lori appears.
Lori admires Heidi’s sense of social responsibility and work ethic. She educates consumers about the product in over 500 Whole Foods Market locations — and increasing!
Heidi added Beer Cheese, Smoky Bourbon Dip, and Queso to the line. In the Pacific Northwest, she purchases her cheese at Costco.
Additionally, the company manufactures private label items. Blue Horizon, a venture capital firm focused on plant-based food enterprises (including several other Shark Tank firms), invested an unknown sum in the company.
As of September 2021, Heidi Ho continues to operate with annual revenue of $5 million.
Is Heidi Ho Still In Business?
Heidi Ho is a component of the Amazon.com network – at least since Amazon founder Jeff Bezos acquired Whole Foods Market, where Heidi Ho is prominently displayed.
Consider Heidi Ho Organics’ profile on the Whole Foods website, which states that Whole Foods boats are “hard enough for grating and meltable like real cheese!”
Their product collection includes a chipotle cheddar made with hazelnuts, a Monterey jack, smoked gouda, soy-based feta crumbles, a new cultured cashew chevre, and chia; cheese sauce that makes an excellent nacho cheese substitute.”
Makes you wonder what type of thing you’re looking for but cannot find in the store. Make it and take in a Sharks game!