Natasha Case & Freya Estreller, Co-Founders
Ice cream is usually a very seasonal item. To most, that season ends when September rolls around to announce the end of summer. But Natasha Case and Freya Estreller don't think ice cream has to be that restricted. They think ice cream should be enjoyed and celebrated all year long.
They are the co-founders of the very popular Coolhaus, an architecturally inspired gourmet ice cream that hit the streets in a food truck in 2009. Now featured in 11 trucks across four cities, Coolhaus also sells its products - which has expanded beyond the gourmet ice cream and cookie sandwiches to pints of ice cream, ice cream bars and chocolate bars - in over 2,000 retail stores nationwide.
But how do you increase demand for ice cream in the "off season"? You do what Coolhaus does best, leveraging their smart hustle to get creative and develop holiday inspired flavors that keep existing customers coming, while attracting new ones looking for a tasty treat while shopping and celebrating.
Coolhaus, appreciated by its fans for innovative and always rotating ice cream and cookie flavors, came up with an impressive list of new flavors that simultaneously celebrate holiday flavors and reinforce the marketing message that ice cream goes great with everything, even winter:
- Drunk Gingerbread Man
- Maple Sweet Potato Marshie
- Hot Toddy
- Spiked Egg Nog
- Baked Apple
- Mocha Marcona Almond
- Dad's Secret Stash
- Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting and Candy Corn
“Sales normally drop a bit after [traditional] ice cream season,” say Case and Estreller, “but these flavors keep customers coming in for an easy holiday dessert.”
Natasha Case has some advice for other small business entrepreneurs preparing for the holidays:
“Take calculated risks and do not be a victim of analysis paralysis-- just do it! Your perceived weaknesses or inexperience might be your biggest asset.”
Having read about these five smart hustling entrepreneurs and how they not only make the best of a highly competitive season, but actually turn it into a window of prime opportunity, what are your best tips for thriving during the holidays? Please share your thoughts and ideas with us below.