Local designer and restaurateur, Lindsay Laricks owns the popular, hand-crafted soda fountain and espresso bar, Little Freshie. Lindsay started her career working as a graphic designer and creative director for several of the best design shops around Kansas City. She combined her passion for food and design into a side business selling organic, uniquely-flavored snow cones out of a ‘50s Shasta trailer. With growing popularity, Lindsay quickly made the leap from the trailer to a brick and mortar store in the spring of 2012.
Little freshie started as a food truck but now is a full-fledged brick and mortar restaurant. Describe how little freshie came to be.
THE SNOW CONE TRAILER KEPT GAINING MOMENTUM and it got to the point where I had to choose whether to continue with my design career or take a leap into a new industry. I decided to take the leap!
YOU WORKED AS A GRAPHIC DESIGNER AND NOW YOU HAVE A SUCCESSFUL RESTAURANT. WAS THAT A NATURAL TRANSITION? DID YOUR DESIGN BACKGROUND HELP?
ABSOLUTELY. I think of my shop and everything in it as a living, breathing design project. I look at every challenge that I run into as a design problem that needs to be solved. When something doesn’t work, I try not to see it as a failure. Instead, I think that I just haven’t found the right solution yet. That kind of approach really helps me keep going and not get bogged down with all of the teeny challenges that pop up everyday.
“I had to choose whether to continue with my design career or take a leap into a new industry. i decided to take the leap!”
WAS THERE AN “AHA” MOMENT WHEN YOU KNEW OPENING THIS CONCEPT IS WHAT YOU HAD TO DO?
NOPE. I honestly feel like it is all a dream sometimes and I can’t believe that I did what I did. I left a very comfortable job to jump into something that I knew very little about, which sounds insane, even to me. But I think my intuition was at the wheel and I’m very glad I did what I did.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LITTLE FRESHIE COLLABORATION AND WHY?
THAT IS A TOUGH ONE TO ANSWER! I have enjoyed all of the collaborations we’ve done for different reasons, but if I have to choose a favorite, it is probably the day-to-day collaboration that I see between my barista staff (upstairs) and my kitchen staff (downstairs).
Little Freshie is a tiny space that was built on a shoestring budget and it definitely comes with challenges. Thank goodness, my staff are all very patient, positive people with excellent senses of humor. They are able to laugh about things that would probably drive other people crazy.
Examples: steep stairs that we run a million times
a day, a crackly intercom system that we use to communicate with each other and a teeny kitchen with absolutely no personal space. It is a great, great thing to be able to pick and choose the people that you surround yourself with every day. I’ve picked really good ones.
YOUR SODAS, SNOW CONES, SANDWICHES AND the rest of your menu contains SUCH UNIQUE, UNCONVENTIONAL
FLAVOR COMBINATIONS. HOW DO YOU GO ABOUT CREATING THESE?
HONESTLY, I think there are people doing far more unique and adventurous things in food than what I’m doing, but I really appreciate the kind words! I read about food incessantly. I love it. There is always a big stack of cookbooks or food-related books by my bed. I’m always brainstorming about what to try next. I also love food science and am constantly doing research about ingredients. One of my favorite things to do is to test and troubleshoot recipes and make them exactly what I want them to be.
SO MANY PEOPLE WISH THEY COULD FOLLOW THEIR TRUE PASSIONS AS YOU HAVE. ANY ADVICE FOR PEOPLE WANTING TO CREATE THEIR OWN BUSINESS?
BE BRAVE AND TENACIOUS. Be true to yourself and create what you love. If no one else gets it, don’t stop. You’ll find your people and they will find you.
WHAT’S THE BEST PART ABOUT LIVING IN KANSAS CITY?
I LOVE MY GARDEN AND MY YARD! I can’t imagine not having the space to grow things or watch my dogs run around.
“Be brave and tenacious. Be true to yourself & create what you love.”
WHAT ARE THREE THINGS YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT?
Sunshine, my garden and my loved ones (and cookies).