Meet Snow Monkey. Your new go-to for a healthy frozen treat. So apart from having the cutest name ever, what is Snow Monkey all about? It is a vegan, paleo, plant-based superfood ice treat that is reinventing ice cream. Packed with protein, antioxidants, and fiber, the nutritional value is only overshadowed by its delicious taste. Think flavors like Cacao, Acai Berry, Cinnamon, Passionfruit and Matcha Green Tea.
Better still, Snow Monkey has a great founding story. Dreamt up by two female entrepreneurs and former collegiate-athletes, Rachel Geicke and Mariana Ferreira, the original inspiration struck when the two were studying at Boston University. Currently, Snow Monkey is an all-female team, and earlier this year, Snow Monkey completed participation in the second class of the prestigious Chobani Food Incubator.
The now Santa Monica-based based company has gone from strength to strength and is rapidly expanding - the delicious pints will be available in Kroger grocery stores across San Diego, OC, LA in the next week or two. We chatted to Rachel Geicke about inspiration and recipes.
What's was the original spark of inspiration? RACHEL GEICKE: The first batches of Snow Monkey were whipped up in my Boston University apartment, my co-founder, Mariana Ferreira, and I were both athletes with a strict nutrition plan that would often get derailed by our sweet tooth’s. Ice Cream was the main culprit, it clashed with our nutritional values and training goals, worst of all it made us sick since we are both lactose intolerant. We were sick of the foods we loved not loving us back, so we set out on a mission to create an ice cream alternative that is nutritious, delicious and functional. At first, our creations were made for our selfish consumption, we couldn’t stop eating it! Pretty soon our friends got hooked and our weekly batches started disappearing faster and faster. That was the moment when we realized that we weren’t the only ones in an unhealthy relationship with ice cream, we had created something that had the potential to become bigger than us, so we ditched our plans to enter the corporate world and brought Snow Monkey to market.
What about the name – How did you land on Snow Monkey? RG: We experimented with what felt like thousands of names, but nothing really seemed to stick. Some of them had to do with cavemen, others with nature, and some were straight up weird. We were searching for a name that reflected the way we wildly foraged for primal ingredients to create the optimal ice cream alternative. As chance would have it, we somehow found ourselves watching a documentary on Snow Monkeys one night and learned that everything about the name “Snow Monkey” seemed to fit - we are an all-female team, producing a paleo product made with fruits and seeds that help people indulge mindfully and live a balanced life. Snow Monkeys consume a diet of seasonal fruits, seeds, and herbs and they have matrilineal societies meaning they trace descent through the mothers’ bloodlines, which are much less common that patrilineal societies. Lastly, beyond being incredibly mindful eaters, they also mindfully de-stress and relax daily in the snowy hot springs.
What are you looking forward to in the next couple of months, brand wise? RG: We are currently undergoing our largest expansion to-date. We just rolled out into 210 HEB stores across Texas, over the next few weeks we’ll be expanding into all Ralph’s, Fred Meyer and King Soopers in Southern California, Washington, and Colorado respectively, and will then be in 1,000 stores across the USA. We are extremely excited about this because accessibility is one of our core values. We don’t believe that healthy food should only be accessible to the fortunate few, so by expanding into these bigger-box retailers at a competitive price point this early in our company’s lifetime supports our goal to revolutionize the ice cream aisle nationwide.
What's the most innovative way you have seen Snow Monkey be used in a recipe? RG: The Snow Monkey Tribe is surprising us every day with new and unique ways they use Snow Monkey in their day-to-day recipes. From protein shakes to smoothie bowls to ice cream sandwiches, we’ve seen a lot of really cool stuff. I think one of the coolest, though, might have been adding it to a cocktail recipe. We had someone share a “Snow Monkey Mudslide” they made using our Cacao flavor, mezcal, almond milk, cinnamon, and honey. It looked absolutely delicious and what I liked most about it was that it really exemplified the “Snow Monkey lifestyle” – one where you do everything right, eat mindfully, etc, but there’s also a fun twist that breaks the rules a bit without compromising your health (unless you have too many of course).