Coolhaus: How a Beat-Up Ice Cream Truck Turned into a Multimillion Dollar Brand

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I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream. It’s safe to say that Ice cream continues to be a fan favorite and is here to stay.

While ice cream chains like Baskin-Robbins and Carvel often are nostalgic to ice cream lovers, today’s foodies are gravitating to other innovative concepts. 

But consumers aren’t only looking for creative ice cream flavors, they are looking for something different.

Enter Coolhaus, a brand that started when the co-founders Natasha Case and Freya Estreller started selling ice cream sandwiches at the Coachella music festival from a beat-up van.

While the brand still operates food trucks in LA, Dallas and NYC, there are now two brick-and-mortar stores in California and Coolhaus is available commercially to the masses. 

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Ice cream junkies can buy Coolhaus pre-packaged ice cream sandwiches, pints of ice cream, and hand-dipped ice cream bars at 6,000+ stores in 50 states. Whole Foods, Kroger and Safeway, for example carry Coolhaus products. The brand’s ice cream is even available in stores in the Middle East and Asia too. 

With ice cream flavors like Balsamic Fig & Mascarpone, Bananas Foster, Black Sesame, Bulletproof, Candy Cap Mushroom, and Coffee Oreo– Coolhaus’ offerings are unique and attract consumers looking for something you can’t find at Carvel.

For foodies looking to up the ante with an ice cream sandwich, some of the many cookie options include Confetti Whoopie Pie, Cocoa Pebbles (gluten-free,) Coffee Cake, and Deep Dish Cookie.

So how did the co-founders become the ultimate girl bosses with a multi-million-dollar ice cream business?

We sat down with Natasha Case to learn more about their story and see what they have planned for the future.

Photo courtesy of Coolhaus

Photo courtesy of Coolhaus

Why did you decide to start Coolhaus?

Case: I've always had an affection for food, and when I was in school getting my degree in architecture, I would integrate food into my projects and presentations to make the conversation about design more fun and accessible. 

I saw it resonate and eventually, with this food + architecture concept (which I called 'Farchitecture') I started making ice cream sandwiches and naming them after architects as comic relief during the recession. My wife (and co-founder) Freya Estreller and I decided to really commit to this as a business. We bought a beat-up-postal-van-turned-ice cream-truck, took our creations to Coachella to sell in mass for the first time - the rest is history.

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What makes Coolhaus' ice cream sandwiches different than the other ice cream products out there?

Case: Our story and uniqueness in our expression of our brand, in our packaging,  and all aspects of design really sets us apart.

Coolhaus has such a different culture and that is how brands are built to last and become household names.

Our flavors are also super exceptional - everything from Milkshake & Fries to Balsamic Fig and Mascarpone, to elevated classics like our Dirty Mint Chip sammie.

We love sweet meets savory and being as innovative as possible with our ice cream sandwiches, pints and bars. 

As far as the product, it is Super Premium and has about as low-overrun as you can get (which means minimal air in the ice cream/maximal flavor and creaminess).

We also churn on gelato machines, which makes for a very sophisticated texture and taste. We're also Certified Women-owned and source our dairy from local cows that are treated with the highest humane standards, use cage-free eggs and the best and coolest ingredients we can get our hands on!

Any future plans you can share?

Case: We have delicious new flavors coming to a stores, including Milkshake & Fries, Street-cart Churro Dough and Midnight Munchies on the pint side, and Birthday Cake, Cookie Dough and Double S'mores on the sammie side!