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Jun18

June Spotlight: How did they do it? From clients to donors: Natasha and Freya

Posted on Jun 18, 2015 by Alma Elizondo-Bailey

Natasha and Freya, owners of Coolhaus

Natasha Case founded Coolhaus in 2009 with her partner Freya Estreller –the same year they started dating. The duo started out selling ice cream sandwiches out of a beat up postal van they bought on Craigslist. Their “architecturally-inspired gourmet desserts" company sells homemade ice cream with edgy flavor pairings like "Fried Chicken + Waffles," "Foie Gras PB&J," and "Brown Butter Candied Bacon.”

After launching at the Coachella music festival, business was quickly booming, with Natasha as Coolhaus’s visionary CEO and Freya as the pragmatic COO. But when Natasha and Freya wanted to purchase a second truck and start expanding their business, they could not qualify for conventional financing. Coolhaus was less than two years old, and was not yet profitable. Then they heard about Opportunity Fund, and we provided a $25,000 loan to expand their business. "The loan from Opportunity Fund was the catalyst at a key moment in our growth!" says Natasha.

Today, Coolhaus has gone from a single foodtruck to a nationwide company with more than 65 employees. You can find their delicious treats in over 3,000 gourmet markets across the nation, including Whole Foods, Sprouts and larger retailers like Kroger and Safeway.  They also have 2 ice cream shops in LA, as well as trucks and carts in NYC and Dallas.

Natasha and Freya are role models for young entrepreneurs, women entrepreneurs, and for the LGBT community. Freya has gone on to start a new venture: Ludlow Cocktail Co. Natasha was named a Forbes 30 under 30 & Zagat 30 Under 30, as well as being featured in many national publications and TV shows including Food Network’s Chopped, King of Cones and Andy Cohen Live.
 
But it doesn’t stop there. Natasha and Freya have become active supporters of Opportunity Fund’s mission. Last year, Natasha joined our Southern California Regional Board, and she is excited about giving back to the community and helping women and LGBT entrepreneurs succeed. “There is still a tremendous amount of work to be done and awareness to be shared in order to ensure equal access to financial opportunities for women and LGBT entrepreneurs” says Natasha.

We are thrilled to count Natasha as a regional board member and, along with her now-wife, Freya, as ambassadors and donors. Natasha and Freya are talented young entrepreneurs who inspire us to say ‘yes’ to more small business owners in Southern California and beyond. As we celebrate Pride this month, we hope that Natasha and Freya’s sweet success inspires you to help us close the gap between dreams and opportunities for so many others who follow in their footsteps.

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