Keeping It Comfy at The Comfy Cow

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

Okay, I’m aware of how ridiculous it is to say something like this, but I’m going to be completely 100 percent honest: I think ice cream is one of the greatest inventions of mankind. Yes, that includes such things as the wheel, the pulley and penicillin. There’s nothing that can beat the most variable of desserts. It’s like it was designed to be experimented with, to be perfected. As winter slowly dies and spring creeps back in, you know there’s only one thing you’ll crave as the temperature begins to rise: the delectable delights of The Comfy Cow.

The Comfy Cow opened its first store in 2009, and in the ensuing years, they’ve opened multiple locations (soon to be nine!),  created specialty ice creams for a half-dozen acclaimed local restaurants, won countless “best of” awards, garnered attention and acclaim on a national level and, most importantly, loaded my taste buds with unparalleled joy and happiness every time I’ve had the pleasure of eating it. Their house-made ice cream includes a variety of traditional flavors, but they aren’t afraid to challenge the palate with a panoply of featured flavors, some past hits including PB&J and Jalepeacho. I’ll be honest. I miss them.

DSC_0728Innovation and dedication are the paramount tenets of Comfy Cow and a true testament to how great they can be. Tim Koons-McGee and Barnett Edelen – owner and vice president/director of marketing for The Comfy Cow respectively – were kind enough to take the time out of their busy schedules to meet with me and tell me what Comfy Cow is all about. “When I was a kid, I grew up around ice cream,” says Koons-McGee. “It was always in the freezer, so it was a big part of my childhood. When my then partner, now husband Roy and I opened The Comfy Cow, we were looking to break away from the cold, metal surfaces of most ice cream shops and create something that was warm, inviting and nostalgic. We want people to be able to sit here, even if it’s two hours after they’ve finished their ice cream and be, well, comfy.”

Edelen is relatively new to Comfy Cow, but that didn’t stop him from sharing the font of product knowledge he already has at his disposal with me. “I’m still working my way through all the flavors, but I think that they really are what set us apart. We do a lot of research to be the best, and we have all kinds of meetings to discuss the flavors,” informs Edelen. “We obviously sit in on them, but we also include the kitchen staff or anyone who happens to be around when we’re tasting,” he adds with a laugh. “We really feel like we are on the cutting edge of pushing the envelope on creating flavors based on local seasonal ingredients whenever possible. We’ve also been incredibly mindful of creating an experience, a sense of community,” says Koons-McGee, chiming in.

DSC_0726And now, the moment I’ve been waiting for: the tasting. I can’t help it. I’m a creature of habit. Subsequently, once I find something I like, I usually stick with it. That being said, I’m up for a little experimentation when the opportunity presents itself. And, boy, did it. Gearing up for Derby, The Comfy Cow has prepared a slew of festive treats such as Kentucky Bourbon Glazed Brownie, Blackberry Mint Julep, Bourbon Ball, Secretariat – a white chocolate ice cream with real blueberry cobbler – among many others. Look out for Secretariat and Blackberry Mint Julep. They’re unique and dangerously delicious. “Another thing that sets us apart is that every ingredient in the ice cream is made in-house as well,” informs Koons-McGee proudly. That includes the brownies in the Kentucky Bourbon Glazed Brownie and the cobbler in Secretariat. “We even make our own waffles cones. I think we’re one of the few, maybe only, stores that does that,” says Edelen.

In addition to the Derby flavors, I happily took samples of their decadent, award-winning Brown Butter Peanut Brittle and the bold Curry Curry, and I have to say that, while neither was a flavor I would have ordered under normal circumstances, I was serendipitously pleased. Maybe it’s a call from the ice cream gods to take more chances? Regardless, I’m so glad I did, and I know exactly where I’m going to be when spring finally decides to come to Louisville. VT

The Comfy Cow boasts seven area locations. For more information, visit thecomfycow.com.