087 | Leadership vs management skills with Natasha Case, Coolhaus (Part 2)
Natasha Case is the CEO of Coolhaus, a Los Angeles based ice cream company specializing in unique, sweet-meet-savory flavors. This is Part 2 of her interview. If you missed Part 1 which was Episode 86, I recommend you head back and listen to that one first.
In Part 2 of her interview, Natasha talks about her approach to scaling, how she tackled grocery and scoop shops at the same time, and how she continues to entwine the three arms of the business to support each other. We talked about how she balances deadlines and creativity, the importance of thinking outside the box, and how Natasha’s perspective of leadership and management has changed over the years. Natasha also shared the importance of building new relationships and innovating ideas that keep Coolhaus on top of its game as zealous expansion continues.
Here’s the background scoop on Coolhaus in case you missed it earlier- Natasha first began exploring the concept of “Farchitecture” – or, Food + Architecture – in her graduate architecture program. She started baking cookies, making ice cream, and combining them into “cool houses”. In 2009 she met co-founder Freya Estreller, and together they staged Coolhaus’ unforgettable launch in a refurbished postal van at the famous Coachella Valley Music Festival.
In less than ten years, Coolhaus has snowballed into a nationwide company. They now distribute to 6,000+ grocery stores ranging from Whole Foods to Safeway to Publix markets with 30 SKU’s including hand-crafted ice cream sandwiches, artisan pints, and chocolate-dipped bars. Natasha has been named Forbes 30 Under 30 for food and beverage and Zagat’s 30 Under 30 in New York City. She is also the co-host of the Start to Sale podcast, where she invites the brightest entrepreneurial minds to discuss all that it takes to build a company from launch to exit.
ON TODAY’S EPISODE:
How the three arms of her business support each other
The importance of tapping into your purpose
Why leadership and managing are different skills
How the Coolhaus team has grown over the years
Why thinking outside the box is critical in a new era of marketing
How Natasha’s Angeleno roots influence Coolhaus’s diversity and inclusion
Her advice for other entrepreneurs just starting on their journey
What’s up next for Coolhaus
Download These Quotables to Save and Share
“Just grinding and doing the work with a sense of purpose, and with a sense of like, “This is something I love and I really want to get it out there.” That’s the most important thing .” – Natasha Case
“I just literally wandered into my local Whole Foods and I found the guy stocking the freezer shelf and I asked him, “How do I become a brand that you sell?” – Natasha Case
“At that time we didn’t know what’s going to hit, so we said let’s do a little bit of both .” – Natasha Case
“What has made that work is the trucks being that activation, private event, really, that specialty experience. And the shops having that element as well, but being a place to test ideas.” – Natasha Case
“You have to really learn to understand people and what motivates them and what about what you’re doing is going to speak to them.” – Natasha Case
“As the company grows and you can afford to hire stronger and stronger people, it becomes this snowball effect and I think you learn from them and you become better at what you’re doing.” – Natasha Case
“So trust your instincts, listen to the experts and know when to take the advice, but also know when to trust your gut.” – Natasha Case
“What does this mean for you in five, 10, 20 years? If this thing went all the way, if it was the biggest it can be, what does that look like? Where does that put you personally?” – Natasha Case
“Always trying to think outside the box. That’s definitely a big, big part of the marketing these days. And frankly, you often don’t have a choice.” – Natasha Case
“There are so many different ways to put it out there. I think you kind of pick where you can really shine. And anything that you do, how does it align with your messaging and your storytelling? Every single time. You have to hammer it home so hard.” – Natasha Case
“I think leadership is more kind of in your DNA, like, you instinctually love to lead or know how to inspire people, because that’s a lot of what business is, “Are people really believing in your mission?” – Natasha Case