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November 24, 2010

Keep Louisville Local: Comfy company

TIM AND ROY KOONS-MCGEE NEVER GET TIRED OF ICE CREAM

Comfy Cow • Westport Village • 425-4979 • www.thecomfycow.com

Tim and Roy Koons-McGee opened The Comfy Cow on Dec. 1, 2009. As partners who were tired of the daily grind — Roy was in health care, Tim in construction — they decided to combine their passions to create a one-of-a-kind business that would allow them to work together. An ice cream shop came up in a brainstorming session, and the guys knew immediately that was the right choice. So they did what any brave entrepreneurs would do — quit their jobs, bought a book, attended an ice cream convention, and opened up their own store in a budding East End retail center. Success ensued. The guys have a contract on the Genny’s Diner space on Frankfort Avenue where they hope to expand.

How do you work at an ice cream shop and not get fat?

Tim: Roy’s just a skinny person. But I go to the gym every day. I have to. I would weigh 600 pounds! I’ve gained weight since we opened. A lot of people say, “Oh, you’ll get sick of it after awhile.” I don’t. I could eat it every day, all day.

What other businesses were on the table when you were brainstorming?

Tim: We thought about opening a coffee shop or a bookstore or a gym.

Roy: We went from a gym to ice cream.

Tim: We were just looking for something we could do together and enjoy — something we both had a passion for. We’re not young, but we are driven — it was never something where we just wanted to make a bunch of money. We just wanted to do something we thought was cool and we’d have fun doing.

Roy: And get me out of health care.

What do you like best about owning your own place?

Roy: The autonomy, the flexibility.

Tim: Which, really, there is no flexibility, but it’s the idea that you could have flexibility. I love when people say, “You’re your own boss, you can do whatever you want.” I never have time now to do what I want.

Roy: There’s something about taking pride in something you’ve created.

Tim: At the end of the day, you are responsible for your success or your failure. It’s not like we’re working our butt off to make somebody else money. Our success is a direct correlation with how hard we work.

What do you like the least?

Tim: It’s hard work. I’ve worked hard all my life, but I’ve never worked this hard. It’s the everyday. And you’re never away from it — even at night, I’ll wake up with ideas. They say you gotta be passionate about what you do. And we are. We love it. It’s our life.

What does Louisville need more of?

Roy: More Comfy Cows.

Tim: I just think if you look around and see an opportunity of something that isn’t being done, you can do something. Even if it’s being done, if you can do it better, then go for it.

Roy: Louisville is really good at supporting local businesses.