Wednesday, July 24, 2024
Food & DrinkInterviews

Meet Natasha Case, founder of Coolhaus Ice Cream

As the weather gradually warms up, Coolhaus wants you to enjoy all the flavors!

Natasha Case, Coolhous’ CEO, recently sat down with one of our CEOs, Richard Jones, to talk about ice cream, architecture, and running a business. We think he learned a thing or two as well!

Natasha Case – photo courtesy of Coolhaus

Richard Jones: Hi Natasha, it’s great to sit down with someone that creates one of the happiest foods there is! You named Coolhaus after Rem Koolhaas. Is he still your favorite architect?

Natasha Case: That’s a good question… I of course still hold him in very high regard as he was the original inspiration for what we do, and he’s someone that inspires me to think outside the box, as he really expanded what architchiture is for me. My father is an architect, and I did my masters in architecture at UCLA, so it was a natural step to combine architecture into my work. It gave me great pleasure to have him as a guest at the groundbreaking of our of our building project.

RJ: Your flavors back then were all architect inspired, can you tell me what they were?

NC: Ha, yes there were many but the ones that spring to mind are: Mies Vanilla Rohe, named after Mies Van der Rohe; Mintalism, based on the Minamalism movement; Cara-mia Lehrer, named after Cara Mia Lehrer who is an incredible Salvadorian-American landscape architect; Frank Berry, named after Los Angeles based, Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry; and IM Pei-nut Butter after I. M. Pei, a Chinese-American architect.

RJ: What’s your current favorite flavor, or one that has a special place?

NC: It has to be our new Queens Coffee ice cream, and I especially love that the coffee is sourced from an East African coffee farm run by women. It has a really creamy coffee flavor too, we like to think of it as an elevated classic. We also created a cool billboard campaign, which actually is our first ever, which we think is very cool. And with Meghan Markel now living on this this side of the pond we said “Ice Cream Fit for a Queen – Call us, Meghan”

RJ: Are there any flavors or products that you would love to create?

NC: I really love working on our flavors but with dairy free or vegan options so we can give indulgence to everyone. We use ingredients like pea and brown rice, and other dairy alternatives. We call it parallel decadence, and of course we expand that to the cookies with gluten free options for our signature sandwiches.  We also have a new pride flavor coming soon and something called cereal dream which is already a new classic!

RJ: What has the journey been like from truck to stores?

NC: It has been a real evolution of both brand and business practise at the same time. The trucks were more spontaneous, boots on the ground style, with our ability to pop up at a wedding or a film set quickly and easily.  With our first partner shops, we were able to do more activations creating a special boutique quality feel. As we move into partnering with grocery chains, it’s about making more and more people fall in love with our brand and getting into as many of those people as we can. It’s allowed us to invest in perfecting our products, such as the novelties. Overall, it’s been like watching the brand go from your child to a grown up!

RJ: What’s the future for the brand?

NC: I want us to dominate in our spaces, with our novelties and sandwiches. We have created a multipack of three mini sandwiches which can better satisfy portions, and is great for giving treats to children for instance. Our mini cups also allow for treat sized snacking too. We are also going to be elevating the drumstick cone, no one else is offering dairy free cones, and they look and taste great!

RJ: What advice would you give to women who want to start their own business?

NC: I would say don’t be afraid to think big. Make sure your not just thinking about the business itself, but what you are personally getting out of it. What’s the long term goal and what will make you feel rewarded too.

RJ: What’s the biggest change in your life going from small business owner to CEO of a brand?

NC: It’s been such personal journey and I am incredibly lucky to have a dream job that needs such creative focus and energy. It’s also fun and delicious… what better way to spend the day!

I think you have to know yourself as a leader, keep talking to your team, and work with them to create the culture you want to build and setting  intentions within it. I am so happy we have created a workspace where other women on our team can create their dream roles and be fulfilled. Every day is a new chance to do that, and now we are a bigger company we can do that on on a bigger scale.

I now have space to think more, to work on delivering more, and really lean into change. When it’s uncomfortable, that’s when it can be really exciting!

Of course, it’s also awesome to be married to Freya Estrellar , my co-founder, and to be a Mom… it’s all pretty amazing.

Natasha, Freya and their Son.

Coolhaus Queens’ Coffee is available at Whole Foods Market nationwide and on (16oz., SRP $6.29). Coolhaus will also be making a donation to the Myna Mahila Foundation in support of International Women’s Day.

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