One house in Louisville’s Clifton neighborhood went from a classic example of Victorian architecture, to derelict eyesore, to cheerful neighborhood gathering spot. The Comfy Cow, a Louisville-based ice cream shop, made that final transformation possible.
“When we purchased the building, we were set on improving it and getting it back up to its original glory,” says Tim Koons-McGee, owner of the Comfy Cow. “It was one of the best examples of Queen Anne architecture, Victorian architecture, in Clifton.”
But the house’s condition had deteriorated so much that Koons-McGee says people would cross the street to avoid walking too close to it. The structure looked like it could collapse at any second. But its history and unique design was worth saving.
“When it became available, we really thought it fit our brand,” says Koons-McGee. “We’re all about community and giving back, and we thought—if we could swing it—what a great story to do something like that for the community.”
The Comfy Cow’s Clifton shop is now a bright, inviting space with a new building attached to the renovated house. The structure still catches the attention of passers-by, but now for a good reason. The exterior is painted in the company’s cheerful pink color.
The Comfy Cow has locations around Louisville and Southern Indiana, and a few of them are in historic buildings.
“Not every one of our locations is in an old building, but a couple are, and we look for those when we can find them,” says Koons-McGee. “One of my best moments when I’m here is on a Friday or Saturday night and there’s a lot of people and it’s just buzzing. To think that that community comes together and hangs out and shares stories and friendships in a place that was going to be demolished. It’s pretty cool.”
The Comfy Cow is more than just its locations, of course. The ice cream itself and the varied flavor selections are what keep happy customers coming back. Koons-McGee explains that their focus is on using high-quality ingredients and a homemade process for a result that’s more than just another ice cream.
“We sourced the absolute best ingredients you can buy. In our cookie dough ice cream, we make the cookie dough; we don’t buy a can of cookie dough pieces and put it in. In our lemon raspberry swirl, the raspberries are raspberries we buy from Michigan. We cook them down, we puree them. It’s really a hands-on process for us.”
The Comfy Cow is expanding its local parlor model through franchise opportunities, and they’ve received inquiries from around the country and across the world. Pints of the acclaimed ice cream are also available in stores and can even be shipped nationwide from www.thecomfycow.com.
This segment is part of Kentucky Life episode #2009, which originally aired on February 7, 2015. Watch the full episode.