Entrepreneur Spotlight: Panya Heard


Panya Heard’s business, DittyPop, came to life shortly after she was blessed with a layoff from a 20-year career at AT&T. Panya knew she was ready to hang up the corporate hat and move into the next phase of her life, but she wasn’t ready to take the leap without testing the waters of the culinary world first. Panya decided to enroll in culinary school at Johnson & Wales, where she successfully completed the program in 2017 while working full time and raising a family. She left her corporate career behind in 2019, took a much needed trip around the world, and then came home and created DittyPop in 2020.

DittyPop started as a brown bag lunch and meal planning service. It picked up steam very fast only to hit stagnation due to Panya not having a clear business plan laid out. Burned out from trying to run a business without a comprehensive plan, Panya looked tirelessly for resources and eventually discovered RMMFI through a conversation with a stranger she happened to be sitting next to at a restaurant.

Panya enrolled in RMMFI’s Business Launch Boot Camp (Aurora Class #4) and decided it would be best to pivot her food service business from meals to smoothies in order to adjust to the culture of pandemic life in 2020. She landed on making and delivering delicious smoothies directly to her clients’ doorsteps and has been making that work with a variety of flavors for the last year. Panya also recently created DittyPop Merchandise, a DBA of DittyPop; 20% of merchandise sales support the efforts of the Denver Rescue Mission.

Since graduating from boot camp, Panya has stayed connected to RMMFI and the entrepreneurial community. She is part of the Bamboo Club Leadership Team and serves as a mentor to new entrepreneurs in the program.