COWS, like no udder for 39 years
Posted on August 19, 2022 | By Alexander Chafe | 0 Comments
Wowie cowie, what a treat! With unique flavours like Messie Bessie, Gooey Mooey and best-selling Wowie Cowie, COWS has been making ice cream on Prince Edward Island for almost 40 years. Having expanded beyond ice cream and P.E.I.’s red soil, growth continues
COWS was founded by Scott Linkletter in 1983 in Cavendish, P.E.I. It all started with a long-time family ice cream recipe that Scott followed with quality in mind. COWS ice cream is hand-churned, using quality ingredients like 16 per cent butter fat, real eggs and pure vanilla from Madagascar. The business also keeps things local, with all of their milk coming from Amalgamated Dairies Limited (ADL) on the island.
Scott started COWS with one ice cream flavour: Classic vanilla, which he sold on the Cavendish Boardwalk (a COWS location still open today). It was a major hit. The next year, Linkletter expanded to add a second location in Charlottetown and began building the family-friendly COWS brand.
Growing the herd
Wanting to bring the brand to life, Scott enlisted designer Marc Gallant to create shirts for staff to wear at COWS ice cream shops. The shirts became very popular among customers, who would literally offer to buy the shirt off an employee’s back. So, in 1987, COWS stores diversified and began selling t-shirts.
Shirts slowly expanded into other merchandise and it became another way to showcase the punny, fun-loving nature of the COWS brand. In addition to COWS-specific apparel, there have been many parodies over the years like Spice Cows, Anne of Green Stables and Dairy Potter. Like their ice cream, a lot of COWS apparel is screen printed by hand in the Charlottetown headquarters. They also recently added an area in-store where customers can select from a variety of past shirt designs no longer being made and have one printed to their own specifications.
Cheesy does it
By 2006, Linkletter wanted to further diversify the business, which lead to COWS Creamery. Again, the story began with a family recipe, this one coming from his Scottish roots. After travelling to Scotland to work with a cheesemaker, Scott brought the recipe back to P.E.I. and launched COWS Creamery’s first cheese, award-winning Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar.
COWS went on to launch its first butter in 2010, expanded its line of cheddar cheeses over the years and launched its first blue cheese in 2022.
Today, COWS has 15 locations across Canada from P.E.I. to British Columbia, plus a franchise in China. Still making ice cream and punny apparel by hand, COWS now has a line of butter and cheeses, and other treats like chocolate-dipped potato chips.
With more on the horizon including a baked cheese product currently in development, CEO Chad Heron says “we’re well positioned for further growth, you’ll see more from us in the coming years as we venture into new products and continue to expand locations across Canada.”
Still moo-ving, after 39 years.
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