With new leadership, Comfy Cow is poised to go global
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- With the help of a new CEO, the Comfy Cow aims to become a national ice cream brand.
Since opening their first store in 2009, Tim Berg and Roy Koons-Mcgee have built a beloved local brand. With four locations in Louisville and one in New Albany, the company has stayed close to its roots. But it's now poised to expand into other states, and eventually, into the global market, thanks in part to the addition of Don Berg as CEO.
Berg spent 25 years as an executive at Brown Forman. In April, he stepped down from his job as Chief Financial Officer, saying he wanted a change of pace.
"I was getting close to hitting the age of 60, and I just thought I'd like to do one last thing in my career that would be different than what I did before," he said.
Originally, Berg and his wife looked into opening a Comfy Cow franchise. It's a phone call co-founder Tim Koons-Mcgee will never forget.
"When we first got the news out that we were thinking about franchising, the very first phone call I got was from his wife," said Koons-Mcgee. "I said, what does your husband do for a living, and she said he was the CFO of Brown-Forman, and first, I'm like, 'really? he wants to own an ice cream shop?'"
Little did Koons-McGee know, the former CFO had an unfulfilled dream of owning an ice cream shop.
"I've been eating ice cream since I was a little kid," said Berg, who remembers plans he made with a college friend to open an ice cream shop after graduation. "One of the things we talked about and dreamed about was after college, partnering up and opening an ice cream store."
Instead, Berg went into public accounting. But he never gave up his love for ice cream, becoming a member of Comfy Cow's board of directors about a year ago.
Once he announced his retirement from Brown-Forman, Berg was touted by Fortune 500 companies around the country. Thinking it was a long shot, Comfy Cow threw its name into the ring.
"We said, let's offer him the CEO job," recalls Koons-Mcgee. "I was like, yeah but we can't afford to pay him anything, and I said, well we can offer him free ice cream for life."
For Berg, that was enough.
"Well that's all it would take I'm afraid," said Berg.
Berg brings invaluable experience, as Comfy Cow aims to open stores in every state - and eventually around the world. The company is also putting large emphasis on its grocery presence.
"We've been working with Whole Foods, they are interested in trying to expand the distribution into other cities," said Berg. "And prove that we can do a grocery strategy outside Louisville."
Expanding to that level will require capital, development, and strategy -- knowledge Berg brings to the table after decades at one of the largest spirit and beverage companies in the country.