Natasha Case - Fearless and Original
Natasha Case is a Co-founder, CEO, Public Speaker, Author, Board Member, Golf & Tennis Enthusiast, Foodie, and a Hat-wearing former Architect. She studied Architecture, Italian Studies & Urban Planning at UC Berkeley and earned her Masters in Architecture from UCLA in 2008. One year later, she risked everything on an old postal van she purchased on Craigslist.
Throughout college and grad school, Natasha thought a lot about and did early conceptual work on a concept she called 'Farchitecture = Food + Architecture.' The idea came when one of her professors criticized a model she had done saying it looked like 'layer cake.' She thought, 'that's not a bad thing'... and baked the next iteration of her model as a cake and she knew she was on to something. During her first job after grad school, she started making cookies and ice cream and naming the combinations after architects, under this operative 'Farchitecture' umbrella. People couldn't get enough of the flavors and puns.
Right around that time Natasha met Freya Estreller, her business partner. Freya helped tremendously with the financial modeling and business operations, which was the perfect complimentary skill set to Natasha's creative/design/branding/PR side. A few months later, the pair took a barely drivable postal van to Coachella Music Fest and launched their architecturally-inspired ice cream sandwiches to an audience of 100,000 people.
Since then, Coolhaus has become one of the leading innovative dessert brands with a growth multiple of 2-3x per year. Due to popular demand, they have expanded their fleet to 10 trucks (four in LA, two in NYC, and four in Dallas), two brick & mortars in LA (Culver City & Old Town Pasadena), and begun distributing their pre-packaged sammie, pint and bar line to 4,000+ grocery stores nationwide including Whole Foods, Safeway & Kroger and restaurants like Umami Burger and Bareburger.
In May 2014, Natasha published her cookbook, Coolhaus Ice Cream Book: Custom-Built Sandwiches with Crazy-Good Combos of Cookies, Ice Creams, Gelatos, and Sorbet. The book includes over 100 recipes and was praised on Andy Cohen, Martha Stewart, and GMA.
Besides being CEO of Coolhaus, Natasha is a board member for Ludlows Cocktail Co. and Opportunity Fund. Natasha was named a Zagat 30 Under 30 in 2012 and a Forbes 30 Under 30 in 2013. She's had the pleasure of being a guest judge on Food Network’s “Chopped” & “King of Cones,” a spokesperson for the California Milk Advisory Board in 2014, and an official panelist at SXSW & American Express.
When asked for her top business tips for aspiring entrepreneurs, Natasha says: