episode 94: From Idea to Launch – Lessons from the Trenches

By: Rachael Seda
Sweetpea co-founder heather Romens juggled sweetpea non-dairy ice cream pints
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How do you go up against major CPG brands and land your product in grocery retailers nationwide? Rachael sits down with SweetPea Co-Founder (and her high school BFF), Heather Romens to chat about launching the 1st to market chickpea-based, non-dairy ice cream in the midst of a pandemic.

Heather knew from the beginning that in order to stand out to major retailers, her team would have to heavily invest in consumer research, formulation testing, packaging and so much more. It paid off, and SweetPea continues to outshine their largest competitors in the non-dairy ice cream space.

In today’s episode you’ll learn:

  • How to let go over perfectionism and be okay with not having all the answers
  • How to keep pushing forward when faced with rejection
  • Why being intentional with branding is important from day one
  • Important questions to ask yourself when developing a new product


About Heather Romans

For co-founder Heather Romens, SweetPea is the culmination of a lifelong craving. It was her dairy intolerance that inspired her family’s ice-cream business to create a plant-based, non-dairy ice cream, so delivering on a real ice cream experience – in both flavor and creaminess – was a must.
Prior to developing, branding and launching SweetPea, Heather was the Business Development Manager for Uncle Harry’s, Inc., which Heather’s parents first opened as an ice cream shop in Virginia Beach, Va., in 1987. It later expanded into multiple stores and, ultimately, into ice cream cakes that are now widely sold at supermarkets. Working in a close-knit family environment with people she looks up to has been Heather’s favorite part of her career – and ice cream, of course!

In her current role as SweetPea’s Manager of Sweet Opportunities, Heather wears many hats – from managing the brand’s sales and marketing teams and leading presentations and promotions, to spearheading branding efforts from packaging and colors to her personal favorite: creating flavor names.
Now that SweetPea is available online for nationwide delivery, Heather is setting her sights on having pints in stores nationwide – and on coming up with even more creative flavors everyone can enjoy.


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