Where Is Heidi Ho From Shark Tank Today?

According to Shark Tank Blog, Cordon-bleu-trained chef Heidi Lovig began developing her vegan cooking skills while in Hawaii. When she began working as a vegan consultant for a restaurant in Portland, Lovig was disappointed with the lack of vegan cheese options made without oils and starches. Although she has a variety of skills in the kitchen, she prefers to use organic, sustainable, locally-sourced ingredients for her products.

Inspired by the lack of products available already, Lovig began making several different vegan cheeses: Chia Cheese Sauce, Feta Crumbles, Monterrey Jack, Smoked Gouda, and Spicy Chia Cheese. Each cheese was lactose and gluten-free and included no soy or corn in the ingredients list. Lovig aimed to make products that tasted good, and that you could feel good about eating.

The products were initially sold in select West Coast Whole Foods locations, as well as independent natural food stores. Lovig hoped for wider distribution, however, and took her endeavors to ABC's "Shark Tank" in order to acquire funding to grow her company even further.

Lovig sought further distribution

In "Shark Tank" Season 6, Episode 10, Heidi Lovig approached the Sharks with her unique line of plant-based cheese products. During her pitch, she not only explained what makes her brand of cheese special, but she also shared her own personal story of how she started the company. During her younger years, Lovig struggled with her weight, but her life completely changed after she learned about the nutrition involved in a plant-based diet.

She offered the Sharks a fifth of her business in exchange for an investment of $125,000. Of course, like most food entrepreneurs on "Shark Tank," Lovig brought along samples for the Sharks. As one might expect, each shark had a slightly different reaction to the product. Of the five Sharks present, Kevin "Mr. Wonderful" O'Leary was easily the most skeptical, noting that he preferred regular dairy-produced cheese. The other Sharks were mostly complimentary, but one Shark, in particular, saw potential in the product.

In response to the successful demo, Lori Greiner offered the young entrepreneur $125,000 in exchange for 30% of the company. Greiner also offered to help with packaging designs for the products. Although Lovig briefly looked to the other Sharks for other offers, it quickly became clear that Greiner was the only one willing to put up the money. Lovig accepted the deal, and it quickly paid off (via ABC). 

The company saw success after the show

After Heidi Lovig's appearance on "Shark Tank," Heidi Ho product sales shot up dramatically. Before the episode, Lovig had only sold $140,000 worth of products for the year. In the four months after "Shark Tank," the company sold $750,000 worth of the same product. The post-"Shark Tank" success of the company not allowed Lovig to expand the reach of the product, but also to introduce a few new flavor varieties to the lineup: Beer Cheese, Smoky Bourbon Dip, and Queso.

Lovig also received an additional investment from Blue Horizon, which often supports plant-based businesses (via Live Kindly). Heidi Ho products soon began appearing at Costco stores and Whole Foods locations nationwide, so they were more easily accessible to more customers. Unfortunately, it would appear that the success of the company hit a snag around the time of the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of today, Heidi Ho's website and Facebook page are both inactive — the last Facebook post, from August 2020, celebrates the company's 10-year anniversary. Notably, it also points out that the pandemic caused quite a few challenges for the company, though it did not indicate any intention to shut down.

Though the company never formally announced its end, fans in the comments have stated they have had difficulty finding any of the vegan cheese products. "Left us all on a line waiting for some magical return," one comment complained. Another commenter wrote, "Are you still around? I sure hope so." Heidi Lovig's LinkedIn still shows that the company is active, so perhaps we will see a return of Heidi Ho products in the future.