Can ice cream be good for you? Carli Blum set out to answer that very question. In the process, she created Sunscoop, a brand of vegan ice cream that's delicious and makes you feel good.
After a life-long struggle with food allergies, Carli wanted to enjoy ice cream without life-threatening reactions or barely-there taste. A series of experiments led her to a winning formula that inspired an entire startup.
In this week’s episode, Carli shares the story of how she united a team of frozen dessert professionals under her vision of creating a new kind of plant-based ice cream. We talk about her experience with raising on Republic, the effects it had on their community engagement, and explore what the future holds for Sunscoop.
Changing the world of plant-based foods, one scoop at a time
The frozen dessert industry is estimated at $39 billion. Yet even with that kind of potential, Carli was disappointed with what plant-based brands had to offer. It felt as though nobody was trying to go past checking the “non-dairy” box and challenge regular ice cream brands on taste and texture.
This is where Carli saw her opportunity—a brand of ice cream made with clean, organic, vegan ingredients and superfood-inspired flavors. The kind of ice cream that works for your body, not against it.
Sunscoop’s branding and mission embodied this from the beginning. Their ice cream base is made from mature coconuts, which have a very neutral flavor. It was the perfect for combining bold, unusual flavors, such as Dark Cacao with Reishi, Moringa Mint Chip, or Strawberry Maca.
Sunscoop’s products are plant-based, dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, free from refined sugar, allergen-friendly, and vegan. They also support local nonprofit organizations focused on helping people with food allergies.
You can start a company even if you don’t have all the answers
With over 100,000 pints sold since launch and projected revenue of $21 million by 2023, Sunscoop has entered the frozen dessert market in style. Surprisingly, its founder does not have prior experience in CPG.
Carli’s background is in fashion—she used to be a wardrobe stylist for print advertisements and commercials. Her desire for creative expression has followed her into the food industry and helped her create a product that resonated with ice cream enthusiasts.
Her success is a lesson in the value of recognizing your weaknesses and strengths, and using this recognition to build a powerful team. Even though Carli didn’t have experience in her new industry, she surrounded herself with the people who did.
At the moment, Carli is leading a team of five, including experienced CPG professionals. Their skills supplement her own, and this dynamic is one of the crucial ingredients of their overall success.
Why raising on Republic was “the way” for Sunscoop
Attempting to find an answer to her frustrations with ice cream, Carli ended up creating a popular solution. She recalls Sunscoop’s first Smorgasburg outing and gleefully reminisces about people’s first reactions to tasting their ice cream.
For Carli, the most appealing thing about raising capital from the crowd was that it opened up a way for people to support her mission directly, while giving them a stake in her company.
Reflecting on her experience with Republic, she was particularly excited about how big of a game-changer it was when it came to engaging with Sunscoop's community. During our conversation, she brought up how much fun it was to connect with consumers and investors through the discussion board.
Sunscoop aims to elevate the conversation about plant-based foods and represents a true movement in the frozen food industry. If you’d like to learn more about their brand and upcoming plans, visit here.
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This content is provided for educational purposes only by Republic. Nothing discussed should be construed as legal, tax, accounting, or investing advice. The views of the presenters may not be the views of Republic and its affiliates. Always consult with trusted professional advisors before making investments. Private investments are inherently illiquid and may result in a total loss. All rights reserved.