For nearly three years, Jillian Duran’s Rahm Haus Ice Cream has blown the minds of ice cream lovers across New Orleans, serving wildly inventive flavors of scoops, pints, king cakes, ice cream cakes, and more from a humble pop-up location at a Lower Garden District brewery. Now, after a whirlwind, jampacked journey keeping tubs filled and mouths happy, Duran has announced Rahm Haus’s forthcoming closure, citing the nonstop work it’s taken to keep the operation successful.
Duran announced the closure on her popular Instagram account a few days ago, saying that while she does not foresee a permanent end to Rahm Haus, production will cease in April and the shop, at 1160 Camp Street, will close in May. Since the initial post, Duran has followed up with news from the shop’s dairy supplier that costs will increase by $12 in March. “Meaning what used to cost us $45 is now going to cost us $70. That means we may not be able to afford to even stay open,” as long as initially planned. Still, Duran reiterated, the team will do its best to keep production going through April to sell inventory into the following month.
Duran launched Rahm Haus in June 2020 as a pints-only delivery operation amid COVID shutdowns and after losing her salaried pastry chef position. Not long after, she set up shop outside of Courtyard Brewery as a pop-up, selling scoops in addition to pints and releasing a brand new menu of flavors every week (eventually turning it into a full-time retail location). Rahm Haus has served out-of-the-box flavors like the popular Black and Gold (black garlic and honey ice cream with salted dark chocolate-covered honeycomb candy), Chicago Style Popcorn (buttered popcorn and cheddar cheese ice cream with a caramel swirl and caramel popcorn), and seasonal Fall Bread Pudding (made with bronze fennel fronds, miso ice cream, caramel swirls, and sweet potato brioche bread pudding pieces). There’s been fruit-laced ice cream made with baby pine cone jam and candied grapefruit peels, and vegan and gluten-free sorbet flavors like a Dew Drop sorbet made from honeydew melons, orange blossoms, and jasmine.
Duran’s wares didn’t end with ice cream, sorbet, and sherbets, however; she’s offered stunning cloud cakes for preorder, like one made with pandan semifreddo, basil and white chocolate chip ice cream, and a chocolate cake base covered in lilac cocoa butter spray and edible glitter; and ice cream king cakes made with ube bread braided with taro and adzuki bean filling, layered with golden coconut milk ice cream and shredded coconut, and topped with matcha cream cheese frosting. From there, she’s offered ice cream sandwiches (like snickerdoodle passion fruit and fig s’more), pies (like a buttermilk ice cream pie with a pecan crust and spiced, torched Swiss meringue), seasonal Yule Logs, donuts, and just about any other dessert or sweet treat imaginable. Rahm Haus has even done savory food for German-inspired pop-ups at Courtyard Brewery, like pork schnitzel sandwiches on a pretzel bun. In 2021, Eater New Orleans named Rahm Haus pop-up of the year.
Duran detailed the decision to close on social media, saying “This is not the end for Rahm Haus, but I need to place ‘it’ on the shelf and take a big deep breath. I think I’ve been holding my breath since the COVID shutdowns and never really started breathing again.” Duran outlined working up to 100 hours a week to grow Rahm Haus, losing freezers full of product, and making more than 700 flavors in the shop’s (less than) three years.
Duran says her team currently has “a room full of ingredients” they’ll utilize to continue creating new menus, and that while they are almost sold out at the moment, are working to restock by the weekend. An official end date in April or May will be announced later.