We had the good fortune of connecting with Laura Aidan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Laura, what do you attribute your success to?
Everyone loves liquor and ice cream so of course success was a guarantee! But in all seriousness, I believe a lot of the brand’s success can be attributed to sticking to my vision and always putting the quality of our products as the highest priority. A focus on our craft processes, amazing ingredients and the customer experience has always been a guiding light. We have a tendency to second-guess ourselves, to focus on things that don’t drive us forward, so it is critical to maintain your brand identity and to trust your instincts because it is your vision, investment and passion that drives the growth of the company. I have always had expansion plans but wanted to make sure that I could maintain all of the critical aspects of the experience, have scalable processes in place, excellent training procedures and the ability to attract great talent in the new locations. I am super excited that we will be opening a couple of new locations outside of Austin in the coming year. I think being cautious and calculating about how, when and where to grow has helped set the brand up for success and will be a great foundation as Prohibition Creamery expands.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We are a boozy ice cream and cocktail lounge in Austin, TX. We opened in the summer of 2016. We combine our two favorite indulgences – alcohol and ice cream – into delicious intoxicating delights. We serve boozy ice cream, boozy milkshakes, sundaes and extravagant tasting flights, and like to think of our boozy ice creams as the ultimate indulgence. To further elevate the experience, we also serve craft cocktails (we’ve added some great to-go cocktails this summer, including boozy slushies and Iced Irish Coffee drink pouches!). All of our ice creams, toppings and bar mixers are made in-house. We’re one of the first ice cream spirits brands, we have a full liquor license and our boozy ice creams are 21+ only! Opening my own business was the hardest thing I have ever done. It took persistence, a clear vision and detailed planning for every dollar spent, but I managed to bootstrap Prohibition entirely on my own. Thankfully we have been very successful and it has reinforced that all of my time and effort have been well spent, but owning a business is definitely a labor of love. I want the world to know that I am doing my best to take us to the next level so there can be a Prohibition Creamery near you in the future!
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I highly recommend spending a day exploring the beautiful Hill Country. I would start with breakfast tacos at Rosies Tamale House, swimming, hiking and sunbathing at Hamilton Pool Preserve, distillery tours at Garrison Brothers Distillery and others, and finish the day with dinner at the amazing Apis restaurant in Spicewood. Explore East Austin – I would spend an entire day taking my friends around East Austin. There is so much to explore on the east side, excellent restaurants, bars, coffee shops, food trucks, art studios, boutiques, breweries and of course Prohibition Creamery! One of my favorite tucked away spots off of South 1st Street is Winebelly – an intimate spot for excellent wine, tapas (tomato bread, sliders topped with quail eggs) and conversation with friends One morning would probably involve breakfast tacos at Veracruz Taco Truck at Radio Coffee. The migas tacos live up to the hype! Afterwards I would take friends to Lady Bird Lake. Walking the trail, running, biking and/or paddle boarding are all great ways to spend an afternoon outdoors all while being in the heart of downtown Austin.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My background is in tech, my education and early career were focused on software development. But as a child my favorite moments were baking and spending lots of time in the kitchen with my mom, who loves to bake and shares my love of sweets. I think that heavily influenced my desire to do something creative in the culinary world, but it took me a long time to find the courage to pursue my passion. Leaving the financial security of the tech industry was a tough decision and a bit crazy to most of the people in my network. But I am so glad that I followed my dream and a career that brings joy to others, so I want to give a shout out to her for her constant support and inspiration. I also want to give a shoutout to my husband. When I started making ice cream at home, my husband was very supportive and one day asked if I could make a bourbon ice cream. The ice cream was amazing and inspired me to explore infusing other liquors with ice cream. It was the aha moment from which Prohibition Creamery was born and was the precursor to everything that came later! There are countless great books, websites, and opinions from friends and family that all helped shape the approach I took at Prohibition Creamery. Many people have created and shared their journeys online, these real-world examples of what to do and (and what not to do) helped inform my decisions, quantify risks and kept me from making critical mistakes when starting my own business. A few business books that inspired creativity and following my heart include A Curious Mind, Zero to One, and Creativity, Inc.
Photo of Laura Aidan: Photo credit Robert J Lerma Photography