When I took my first bite of Coolhaus’s Chocolate Molten Cake flavored ice cream, I was obsessed. I can’t count how many pints of Coolhaus Ice Cream I have purchased in the past year. Recently, I had the pleasure of interviewing Natasha Case, the CEO of Coolhaus. Creating this awesome company from scratch, Natasha is truly an inspiration to so many women looking to build their own brand.
Her Campus (HC): Hi Natasha! Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Natasha Case (NC): I’m Natasha Case! I am the CEO and co-founder of Coolhaus Ice Cream. I run a very unique ice cream brand that includes both dairy and dairy-free ice cream. Our ice cream can be found in grocery stores, ice cream stands and our very own ice cream shop. Coolhaus is the biggest women-led and LGBTQ-led ice cream brand in the country!
HC: What is the story of Coolhaus?
NC: The story of Coolhaus starts with my background in architecture and design. I found that food would be an engaging, fun way to incorporate my design skills. Attending undergrad and grad school, I played around with this idea I liked to call “farchitecture” (food and architecture). Two months into my first “real” job, the recession hit. I decided to make ice cream sandwiches to cheer up my coworkers who were hit with tough news. These sandwiches were made from scratch and named after architects, which built up to be a passionate hobby. This was around the time I met my co-founder, Freya Estreller. We saw the business potential and began to contemplate how ice cream products didn’t really have unique flavors that had transparency as to how they are made. On a larger scale, Freya and I didn’t feel represented by the ice cream brands we could buy from the grocery store at the time. We figured, let’s be the brand that we want to buy! From there, we decided to buy a beat-up postal van from Craigslist and were able to convince Coachella to allow us to sell there. Our brand went viral since!
HC: What do you hope small businesses that want to expand take away from your story with Coolhaus?
NC: Have a really big vision! For us, we thought, “Let’s be the ice cream brand of our generation.” Thinking big and not limiting yourself is really important. Especially in thinking about what the implications are not only for the company but for you. You may walk through a wall that you don’t even know is there. This is to say that sometimes, not knowing exactly what you’re doing can benefit you because you don’t overanalyze it and just go for it!
HC: What does being a woman-led company mean to you?
NC: I believe no two women are the same. However, I do feel a sense of generosity, community, collaboration and transparency among a lot of women leaders. It’s not just about being woman-led, it’s about what that means for what you create and how you tell that story. It’s more important now than ever to tell those stories and inspire the next generation.
HC: What is your favorite Coolhaus ice cream flavor?
NC: That’s like asking to pick a favorite child… it’s so tough! Hahahaha. If I had to go grab one right now, I’d say the dairy-free horchata sandwich. You won’t even miss dairy if you are dairy-free with this sandwich.
My personal favorite is the Buttered French Toast pint. The flavor and texture are unrivaled. You can check them out here.