#lentenlovenotes Week One: Erica Buher of Just Delights

Queen Cake ice cream. Heard of it? If so, it's thanks to Erica Buher and her handmade, small batch ice cream company Just Delights. The full-time culinary entrepreneur is riding the momentum of an exhilarating first Mardi Gras season in business, during which NOLA.com (the Times-Picayune's online platform) named her Queen Cake ice cream the very best of King Cake-inspired frozen treats. 

 Erica serving her handmade ice cream at a private event. [Photo via  Just Delights ]

Erica serving her handmade ice cream at a private event. [Photo via Just Delights]

So, who is Erica Buher? We got straight to the point with this enterprising ice cream maker, learning about her decision to pursue ice cream full-time, her feelings about catering private events and her plans to open her own ice cream shop in New Orleans (!!!). Read on for the scoop. 

 Just Delight's Queen Cake ice cream, featuring homemade cream cheese frosting, cinnamon swirl, and signature Mardi Gras colors. [Photo by  Christiana Botic ] 

Just Delight's Queen Cake ice cream, featuring homemade cream cheese frosting, cinnamon swirl, and signature Mardi Gras colors. [Photo by Christiana Botic

MHS: How you were inspired to start your culinary business? What gets you most excited about your work?

EB: I started Just Delights out of a love for ice cream. I know a lot of people share that love and I take that responsibility seriously. My goal is for each scoop of Just Delights to reaffirm that love. That's why I named it Just Delights-- the experience is simply a delight!

 Just Delights' mascot Otis enjoying a bite during a recent photoshoot. Follow  @justdelightsnola  for more of Otis. [Photo by  Christiana Botic ]

Just Delights' mascot Otis enjoying a bite during a recent photoshoot. Follow @justdelightsnola for more of Otis. [Photo by Christiana Botic]

MHS: What has been the best part of being in business so far? What has helped grow your business?

EB: Generosity. Customers, partners, friend, and family have all been so generous in their support of Just Delights. Just a few weeks ago, Nonna Randazzo's opened their doors and we popped up in their shop in Covington. My House (y'all) have been so helpful in helping to promote the online retail and events. NOLA.com took time to talk to me about my Queen Cake ice cream.

 Erica popped up at Nonna Randazzo's in Covington on the Friday before Fat Tuesday, serving her Queen Cake ice cream alongside their famous King Cake. [Photo via  Just Delights ]

Erica popped up at Nonna Randazzo's in Covington on the Friday before Fat Tuesday, serving her Queen Cake ice cream alongside their famous King Cake. [Photo via Just Delights]

MHS: What do you like about private events? Do you expect to stick with the private events/online retail model?

EB: Private events are so special because it's an opportunity to bring happiness and delight into people's homes, families, and communities. Whether it's first birthday parties, weddings, or community events, we work with our customers to make sure it fits their vision (including customizing flavors)! Stay tuned for other updates on new flavors and expanded retail!

 A happy customer enjoying Just Delights at a recent private event. [Photo by Huong Nguyen]

A happy customer enjoying Just Delights at a recent private event. [Photo by Huong Nguyen]

MHS: What's your favorite thing to cook for yourself?

EB: Since you already know I'm an ice cream lover, my favorite flavor is Mint Chocolate Chip. We use fresh mint and really rich delicious chocolate. It's so refreshing and scratches that chocolate craving itch.

 Erica customizes flavors for private events. What flavor would you request? [Photo by  Christiana Botic ] 

Erica customizes flavors for private events. What flavor would you request? [Photo by Christiana Botic

MHS: What's your ultimate goal with Just Delights?

EB: To open a Just Delights shop! We can't wait to have a space for ice cream lovers (and their friends and family) to come together!

 Hard to resist! [Photo via  Just Delights ]

Hard to resist! [Photo via Just Delights]

Book Erica for your private event or catch Just Delights at the New Orleans Bourbon Fest Grand Tastings March 9th and 10th! Can't wait that long? You can order pints for delivery. Yep, it's a dream come true.

・ ・ ・

What is #lentenlovenotes?

Six weeks isn't nearly enough time to focus on our favorite female-identifying culinary entrepreneurs, but it's a start! Each week of Lent, we're bringing you an interview with one of the lady hustlers we admire most in the New Orleans area.

Shout out your own entrepreneurial babes with #lentenlovenotes and we'll feature your tribute!

 #lentenlovenotes without you is like cones without ice cream (aka boring). Don't forget to check back for the next five installments! Watch out for reminders on  Instagram  and  Facebook . [Photo by  Christiana Botic ] 

#lentenlovenotes without you is like cones without ice cream (aka boring). Don't forget to check back for the next five installments! Watch out for reminders on Instagram and Facebook. [Photo by Christiana Botic