Street Food Profiles: Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches in Los Angeles, California

Note: It's time for another edition of Street Food Profiles. This week we scoot to SoCal for architecturally inspired ice cream sandwiches, where even the wrapper is edible!

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Name: Coolhaus Ice Cream Sandwiches
Vendors: Freya Estreller and Natasha Case
Twitter: @COOLHAUS
Location and hours: It varies. From Tuesday to Sunday, we're usually out between noon and sometimes as late as 2 a.m.

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[Flickr: JulianBleecker]

What do you sell? All-natural, made-to-order ice cream sandwiches in
a custom edible wrapper. (Zero waste!)

For how long have you been street fooding? Since April of 2009.

How has Twitter affected business? It's been a great way to build a following (almost 5,000 followers!), inform people of our location and give our followers some discount opportunities with the use of passwords we only give out on Twitter.

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Detail from the side of the truck. From left: Richard Meyer Lemon, Frank Behry, Rem "Coolhaus," Mies Vanilla Rohe. [Flickr: David Berkowitz]

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[Photograph: Coolhaus]

Why a mobile business over brick-and-mortar? Our umbrella company is Farchitecture (food+architecture) so we loved the idea of a food truck breaking down the geographic confines of traditional fixed retail locations. In that sense, we can be everyone's local "restaurant." The Los Angeles urban sprawl is perfect for food trucking. We also had fun renovating the truck and designing the exterior (especially the magnet menu).

Who are your typical customers? We get the whole gamut—young professionals at lunch time, families and kids at Barnsdall Park every Friday, grandparents at weddings, production crews at studio, TV, and film sets—everyone loves ice cream! Some regular spots we hit up: Barnsdall Park (with Frank Lloyd Wright's Hollyhock House!), Brentwood Country Mart and the Brig's parking lot in Venice.

Describe a typical day from start to finish. Wow, well no day is ever the same. We're usually up and at it at 8 a.m. The first half of the day we're getting everything ready for the truck's lunch shift, answering emails, scheduling, doing deliveries. After the lunch shift (usually between noon and 4 p.m.) we are planning for the next day—printing custom edible wrappers, placing orders, prepping for the night shift. We're out on the truck again until sometimes midnight on weekends. It's hard work but of course a lot of fun because of all the cool, interesting events and people.

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[Flickr: JulianBleecker]

What were you doing before this? Natasha was an Imagineer at Disney and I was working for the CA Boom Design Show that happened in June. I am still working as a real estate developer for a non-profit real estate and architecture firm that builds green sustainable low-income housing (Abode Communities).

What makes your food so special? Can anything like it be found in the city? Our ice cream sandwiches are made-to-order and all-natural. We work with Milk, a local bakery that runs our ice cream with our recipes. Closest thing to what we do is Diddy Reese, but they use Dreyers ice cream. We consider ourselves the gourmet, mobile version.

How would you define "street food"? Street food is mobile, affordable and deliciously "bad" for you. I don't associate street food with diet food, let's put it that way.

The best street food city and why. I have to give props to my hometown of Los Angeles. Taco trucks are ubiquitous here and have been for a very long time. Long live TACO ZONE!

Your comfort food after a long day? A chicken-apple sausage, fries with curry ketchup and Koenig's Hoeven beer from Wurstk├╝che (they carry our Baked Apple Renzo Pie-ano ice cream sandwiches there too!).

Advice for an aspiring vendor? Do your market research, make sure things pencil out, don't give up and get ready to work really really hard. Have lots of fun!

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