Kari Kohen-Leasure of Atomic Creamery

KARI KOHEN-LEASURE
FOUNDER | ATOMIC CREAMERY

Founder of Atomic Creamery Kari Kohen-Leasure has had hospitality instilled in her from the beginning. She was born into and raised by a Jewish family with roots are in NY, but with her father being a member of Naval Aviation, she grew up moving quite frequently. Her family’s ethnicity and her religious upbringing was always centered around fasting and feasting for holidays, major and minor, making food a centric part of her relationships. Learning to making challah with her grandmother as well as learning recipes from her mother alongside of her sister were a crucial part of her childhood. She was in middle school when her uncles ventured into the restaurant industry and opened their first restaurant in West Palm Beach, Florida which has since expanded into twelve locations. Kari began helping out in the back of the house while still in middle school and thrived in the organized and methodical environment of the kitchen. She credits this to her minor OCD, making tasks like chopping vegetables to be cathartic and enjoyable. It was here she began experimenting with flavors and coming up with dishes from very simple ingredients. Her first seven years were spent in Germany followed by Florida, with short stints in Maine, VA, TN, HI and DC. Her family settled in North Florida where she completed High school and began college, eventually transferring to a private San Diego based University to complete her nursing degree.

Nowadays you can find Kari alongside her husband, operating Newport Beach’s beloved ice cream shop, Atomic Creamery. It’s here she planted her roots and started to truly showcase her passion for creativity and quality ingredients. Kari and her team have worked tirelessly to develop a menu dedicated to the nostalgic flavors we all know and love with a modern twist, as well as unique flavor profiles just skirting the lines of odd but still familiar. Each creation, many of which are seasonal, is developed with care, offering both richness and depth. She finds inspiration for her flavors through her travels, and sometimes even pop culture, but is always aiming to do something different that no one else has done before.

“I think as an owner you need to be true to ones self in order to convey the menu and your concept.”

When Kari isn’t slinging ice cream, you can find her traveling or immersing herself in a book, interior design, or baking and cooking.

FIRST DRAFT BELOW

Kari was born into and raised by a modern, orthodox Jewish family from NY, where hospitality was instilled in her from the start. Her family’s ethnicity and her religious upbringing was always centered around fasting and feasting for holidays, major and minor, making food a centric part of her relationships. Making challah with her grandmother, learning recipes from her mother alongside of her sister, and more. She was in elementary school when her family ventured into the industry and opened a restaurant in West Palm Beach, Florida which has since expanded into twelve locations. Kari took a position in the back of the house while still in middle school and thrived in the organized and methodical environment of the kitchen. She credits this to her minor OCD, causing tasks like chopping vegetables to be cathartic and enjoyable. It was here she began experimenting with flavors and coming up with dishes from very simple ingredients. After moving around between New York, Florida, and Germany over the years, Kari came to Southern California to complete her nursing degree.

Nowadays you can find Kari alongside her husband, operating Newport Beach’s beloved ice cream shop, Atomic Creamery. It’s here she planted her roots and started to truly showcase her passion for creativity and quality ingredients. Kari and her team have worked tirelessly to develop a menu dedicated to the nostalgic flavors we all know and love with a modern twist, as well as unique flavor profiles just skirting the lines of odd but still familiar. Each creation, many of which are seasonal, is developed with care, offering both richness and depth. She finds inspiration for her flavors through her travels, and sometimes even pop culture, but is always aiming to do something different that no one else has done before.

“I think as an owner you need to be true to ones self in order to convey the menu and your concept.”

When Kari isn’t slinging ice cream, you can find her traveling or immersing herself in a book, interior design, or baking and cooking.