After more than 20 years combined experience in the restaurant industry, Marisa and Patrick Ashby decided they were ready to start their own. While on a hike together, the idea to do something with ice cream struck them. They were familiar with SMOOSH Cookies, which started as a Houston-based food truck selling ice cream sandwiches in 2015. Marisa and Patrick reached out and soon after became franchisees, opening the second Houston-area brick and mortar location in Westchase District at Westheimer Road and Wilcrest Drive.
The space had previously been a restaurant and the Ashbys knew right away that this would be the perfect spot. Marisa stated, “Everything just kind of fit.” They were able to repurpose the space to create a warm, inviting and open layout with a display just as you walk in to feature their fresh baked cookies. They also loved that it was in Westchase District. “The location is so ideal. The area is very diverse and has just about everything to offer its community” Marisa added.
Opening in March 2021, many restaurants were still feeling the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, SMOOSH cookies was seeing lots of traction with delivery orders. Now, as SMOOSH – Westchase approaches its two-year anniversary, indoor traffic has built up quite a bit. This increase has been due to focused marketing, lots of word of mouth and exceptional customer service.
A hands-on approach
Marisa says that she and her husband make a great team because he is a numbers and business guy, and she is the people person. Marisa loves taking the time to walk customers through the menu, be a great hostess and make the restaurant feel like home. She said, “I view SMOOSH just like my house. I want to be a great hostess.” They continue to have regulars who started coming just a few months after they opened. For many, she already knows their order as soon as they walk in. One thing that sets them apart as business owners is that they also work in the restaurant themselves, serving customers. Marisa and Patrick pride themselves on the fact that SMOOSH – Westchase is the highest rated of all the locations.
As they look toward the future, Marisa is excited about introducing new ideas and new ice cream flavors and expanding their customer base. Right now, some of their most popular items include snickerdoodle cookies along with salted caramel truffle, banana pudding and red velvet revival ice cream flavors.
Ready to satisfy your sweet tooth
SMOOSH – Westchase offers a variety of services. You can come to the store for a delicious treat after school, during your lunch break, or after dinner on a date night. They also provide catering services that are a huge hit for businesses and their employees. They can make premade ice cream sandwiches that are bagged, boxed, and delivered, or they can come set up their table onsite and make custom ice cream sandwiches to order. They also offer milkshakes, sundaes, fresh churros and fresh baked cookies.
The Ashbys love operating in Westchase District. They serve families, schools, business owners, employees and more. For them, Westchase reflects Houston. Marisa added, “All the people in Westchase are so different and diverse, but who doesn’t love ice cream? It’s something that brings people together because we can all agree on it.”
Visit SMOOSH – Westchase at 11081 Westheimer Rd Suite C, Houston, TX 77042 and follow them on Instagram at @smooshcookies_wc