Okay so today’s Creative Louisville feature isn’t expressly Derby related but hey, The Comfy Cow has special Derby flavors and that’s enough to sway this seriously pregnant lady into breaking the trend.
Throughout this series, there’s been some awesome talents featured but I realized we’d yet to tap into the wealth of culinary creatives in Louisville. So Tim and Roy are up first. These are the guys behind one of Louisville’s most delicious and inventive brands – The Comfy Cow. My personal feeling is that if you haven’t had an ice cream sundae from The Comfy Cow, you’re not living right. But this isn’t about my go-to order, it’s about taking the simple idea of opening up an ice cream shop and growing it to a national brand that is now being sold in grocery stores like Kroger’s, Whole Foods and Lucky’s.
Personally I get a little ordering panic whenever I step into a Comfy Cow because as a gal with a serious sweet tooth, there are so many amazing options. Most of the time I’m a sucker for anything with cookies in it but when I’m at Comfy Cow I’m tempted to be inventive and try their unique flavors like Strawberry Balsamic Goat Cheese Basil (may not sound good but is seriously delicious), Bourbon Maple Walnut and Bourbon Ball. Then I noticed one day that they’ll make you an ice cream sandwich on the spot and my life changed (seems a little over dramatic but it’s the truth).
I could wax poetic about ice cream all day but I wanted to share Tim and Roy’s story because they’ve done more than just create some crazy good sweet treats – they’ve built a brand that only continues to grow. From one location in Westport Village to eight locations in Louisville, Lexington and Nashville, to franchising and now packaging up that goodness and selling it online (order it here) and in the aforementioned grocery stores – Tim and Roy have built a brand that we’re lucky to have here in Louisville. I have a feeling these guys are our own version of Ben & Jerry and we’ll be soon mentioning them in the same breath as other local food giants like Papa John, Colonel Sanders.
So take a little time to get to know Tim and Roy before making plans to go grab a sundae (these pics are going to make you hungry).
* Names: Tim Koons-McGee and Roy Koons-McGee
* Company: The Comfy Cow
* Titles: Founder/CBO and Founder/COO
* How did you get started in your field? We were both looking for something different and creative career wise and wanted to work together on something. We did a lot of research and were already huge ice cream lovers and we thought we could do it a little differently. Put our own spin on it.
* What inspires you? Our families.
* What three words describe your work best: Exciting/Consuming/Gratifying
* What three words describe you best: Tim – Impatient/Creative/Fun-Loving; Roy – Kind/Thoughtful/Steady
* One thing about you that might surprise people:
Tim – I used to train thoroughbred horses at Churchill Downs.
Roy – I was an ER Nurse/EMT for 25 years.
* Why Louisville? What is it about the 502 that makes it a great home for your business? Louisville has become such a wonderful “foodie” town. Tons of successful entrepreneurs who are willing to share, collaborate and advise.
* Favorite Louisville Neighborhood: The Highlands
* Favorite Spot for a Drink: Heine Bros.
* Favorite Lunch Spot: Crave Cafe
* Favorite Dinner Spot: Ramsi’s Cafe on the World
* You’ve got to try (or go to) El Mocaejte in Shelbyville
* Favorite Festival: Old Louisville Springfest
* Favorite Pizza Spot: Papalinos
* If someone is visiting from out of town and only has time to go to three places, where do you send them? The Comfy Cow, Louisville Slugger Museum, Lincoln Memorial
* What inspired you to start The Comfy Cow? Roy and I really wanted to do something together. He was burnt out on healthcare and I was always looking for a new adventure.
* Your interiors are just as good as your ice cream, what was the inspiration behind the shops? We really wanted to create a fun, unpretentious place where you would feel “comfy”and at home. We wanted a place that inspired community.
* You all are known for your unique flavors. What has been the craziest flavor combination you’ve come up with? Strawberry Balsamic Goat Cheese Basil (AHHHHHHMazing!)
* Has there ever been a flavor that you thought would be amazing and didn’t quite turn out how you’d expected? Rum Raisin (OMG bad)
* And vice-versa, has there ever been a flavor you thought might be a little strange at first but turned out to be amazing? Tipsy Cow. We use Goodwood’s Nut Brown Ale and the earthiness of the wheat and the sweetness of the malt make it one of my favorites. Initially people kind of balk at “beer ice cream” but if we can get them to try it they usually love it.
* What is your favorite flavor? Ginger “2” Snaps
* What goes into the flavor making process? It’s a really collaborative process and we involve quite a few people. Suggestions come from customers to kitchen staff. We generally produce several variations and then go through a blind taste test to determine that flavors viability. We just completed that process for our two new Derby flavors for this year.
* If you could share an ice cream sundae with anyone, who would it be? And what would the sundae be? My brother who passed away several years ago. He loved ice cream and never got to see my success. And what would the sundae be? Probably the Krazy Kaitlin’s Kookie Dough Sundae named after my daughter.
* The Comfy Cow has received so much great press and recognition. What has been the most exciting recognition? Have you had any pinch me moments? Yes, at the end of last year we won the Grand Championship at the World Dairy Expo held in Wisconsin for our Brown Butter Peanut Brittle. It’s kind of like the Oscars of ice cream.
* You all now carry much more than just ice cream, what’s your favorite sweet treat? Probably our made from scratch Ice Cream Sandwiches. Editor’s Note: See I told you they were good.
* If someone has never been to The Comfy Cow, what do you recommend they try? We really encourage as much sampling as you’d like so I would say try any that sound interesting at all. Go out of your comfort zone a little.
* What’s next for The Comfy Cow? We have really started a major expansion into the grocery markets both regionally and nationally with Kroger, Whole Foods, Lucky’s etc. It’s all very exciting. The entire last 6 years has been a pinch me “moment.”
Photos by Karen Gahafer | The Comfy Cow and Brad Luttrell | Oohology