Cows are everywhere in PEI! Which, I guess is the reason why the ice cream is so wonderful. They’ve tapped into a cream market that simply can’t be beat!
Me and the kids took a bit of a tour through the Cows Creamery and learned quite a bit besides the fact that it all started in 1983 with an old island recipe.
It was so much smaller than I thought it would be. They produce a lot of ice cream, t-shirts and cheese out of that one little building…supplying six stores on the Island as well as stores in Whistler, Banff, Niagara on the Lake and Halifax.
Cows is well known for their t-shirts. They started as staff “uniform shirts” depicting a cow jumping over the moon…and patrons would purchase them right off employees backs! It’s now turned into quite the production and you can spend a lot of time laughing over the funny cow characters representing pop culture. My favorites are still the “common cow” shirts they started with. The first shirt I bought would have been when my oldest was just a baby…a cow in a tu-tu and ballet slippers…with the saying “Common Cow fulfilling her Mother’s Lifelong Dream.” I thought it was brilliant! They do their own silk screening in house and can make up to 2500 shirts per day under full production…painting, printing, baking, folding, tagging, boxing and shipping off to their various stores.
The ice cream is delicious. There are four small stainless steel ice cream machines that produce anywhere from fifteen to twenty thousand buckets of the stuff each year! Each bucket is mixed by hand and filled with the freshest, most wonderful ingredients. Wowie Cowie is the most popular…filled with stuff I can’t remember…but ever so delicious and served in a handmade waffle cone.
Scott Linkletter runs the whole show. The crowd that work with him make ice cream from Tuesday to Thursday…and crazy fact…they work at his Oyster Farm on Mondays and Fridays! Not sure what the two have to do with each other…but it seems to be working for them!
The ice cream machines, when we saw them, weren’t running. But I was simply fascinated by how small they were and more importantly…how pristine clean the room was. It takes three hours to clean down the room at the end of the day…sprayed from top to bottom and every piece taken apart and cleaned inside and out. It looks like everything was just taken out of its original packaging and the room was newly painted…ready for the first day of operation…which to me, is pretty impressive.
One crazy day after cleaning down the machines…they discovered a missing screw from one of the ice cream mixers. Yup, you guessed it…90 tubs of ice cream mixed that day with the possibility of a screw in one of them. What did they do? Loaded the entire stash into a truck, headed to the local Vet College, and x-rayed every bucket until they found the culprit!
The staff is all happy and sunshiny…kids vying for 150 island summer jobs before heading off to finish up their high school years or heading on to university wearing their cow t-shirt wardrobe that they acquired with their staff discount that summer…showing up at frosh week in their “Pasture Bedtime” pj’s.
We visited a few times during our trip to the Island and happily we have one in Halifax so we’re never too far away. I picked up a sweatshirt and the girls both bought MooMooLemon shirts. The line up to the ice-cream counter was outrageous at times…but it’s worth waiting for something that amazingly wonderful.