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Natasha Case: I'm a Food + Design Passionista

Natasha Case, Co-Founder and CEO, Coolhaus

The idea came to us late one night. We had been talking about doing a podcast for a long time. We wanted to talk to people from all walks of life and areas of interest about what they were most passionate about and why. But for some reason, the concept wasn’t resonating with us 100%.

After weeks of reading one heartbreaking #MeToo account after another, the switch finally got flicked. As interested as we were in what makes everyone follow their dreams, we realized that it would be great to create a forum where women could tell their stories of strong, empowered and passionate women. Our goal was to build upon the critical dialogue that had started to unfold but allow for the narrative to shift to a more positive place.

We immediately set about making a list of the women we knew or had read about that we wanted to sit down with right away. The first person that popped into our heads was Natasha Case. As Co-founder and CEO of the incredible Coolhaus ice cream brand, we had been following Natasha’s path for years.

First of all, Coolhaus is, without question, the most delicious ice cream we’ve ever had and in sandwich (or Sammies, as they call them) form it’s actually addictive. Someday we’re sure there will be a scientific study to prove this fact but until then, trust us, it is. On top of that, the design and branding of the company are hipper and cooler than a pint of their Bananas Foster flavor (try it between two double chocolate cookies — you can thank us later). And for the cherry on top, their story is insane.

While earning a graduate degree in architecture at UCLA, Natasha kept finding she was fusing her love of design and food, much to her professor’s chagrin. From there a brilliant idea emerged to combine her two passions — architecture and food, or Farchitecture, as she called it.

Teamed with Freya Estreller, who had a head for business, they founded Coolhaus. Their company name was a nod to modernist design movement Bauhaus and the Dutch architech and theorist Rem Koolhaas. And their Sammies continued to build upon the theme with names like Mintimalism, IM Pei-nut Butter and Frank Berry.

Soon, the duo bought an old postal truck and made their way to Coachella. The truck was old and not in road trip shape so they actually had AAA tow it to the music festival where they became an overnight sensation.

Natasha Case outside Coolhaus headquarters.

Not to say turning Coolhaus into a $10 million business hasn’t been without it’s challenges. But Natasha has built an incredible team, a network of supportive colleagues and a woman-owned business that is bound to rival even the most established ice cream brands — keep looking in your rearview Ben & Jerry.

Plus it’s hard not to be a little bit jealous of a businesswoman who says, “When I haven’t tasted an ice cream or a cookie even for 24 or 48 hours, something is missing, something is weird.” She really is our hero.

We sat down with Natasha to ask her how she made Coolhaus such a success, how she’s overcome her biggest obstacles and where she sees the company headed in 10 years. After chatting with her for an hour, we were thrilled to see that our concept for our podcast was going to work. It’s impossible not to be inspired by Natasha Case.

So go to your local supermarket or Coolhaus shop, grab a pint or Sammie and listen to our podcast with Natasha here.

To hear more stories of inspiring women, sign up for our mailing list to receive updates on our upcoming podcast for The Passionistas Project. And follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

And listen to The Passionistas Project podcast on our website, Podbean, iTunes or Google Play.

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