During the school year, roommates Rachel Geicke and Mariana Ferreira were big on exercise, topping off each workout with a homemade treat made from fruit, hemp seeds, and sunflower butter. The pair was often experimenting with wholesome snacks. Their creations were usually healthier than anything they could find at the store.
Soon, they hit upon a dairy- and sugar-free concoction that looked and tasted like ice cream, except it was vegan, paleo, and gluten- and allergen-free. “Friends couldn’t stop eating the samples,” recalls Ferreira (Questrom’16). “It quickly became evident that this type of offering was missing from the marketplace.”
Enter the Questrom School of Business BUzz Lab, which helps young entrepreneurs turn their ideas into viable business plans with advice and coaching from mentors. Although geared to tech start-ups, the women applied to the program and found plenty of helpful business principles, discipline skills, even seed money, to help get their company off the ground.
They named their creation Snow Monkey because, like its namesake, it sounded both primal and smart. After a Kickstarter campaign that was funded at 180 percent of its goal, the two women are now focused on manufacturing, marketing, and distribution. Currently, two flavors of the “Superfood Ice Treat” are in production, goji berry and cacao, and available in stores in Southern California and online through their website.
“We’re not just a food company,” says Geicke (SHA’15). “Our mission is to change the way people eat by reimagining staple favorites as delicious fuel for a healthy life.”