Customer Spotlight: Cool Cow Creamery
Brothers Patrick and James Henson are driven by three simple guidelines in life: Treating people the way they want to be treated, making people happy and having fun. As it turns out, these ingredients make the perfect recipe for ice cream and led to the creation of Cool Cow Creamery. Committed to helping small businesses achieve their dreams, Allegiance Bank is humbled to be part of the Cool Cow story.
Adventurers at heart, Patrick and James have always made a great team. Passionate and driven, they have worked together in the hospitality business for more than 15 years, depending on one another and keeping each other accountable for all that came their way in life and business.
After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, Patrick joined the culinary team at Brennan’s in Houston, and then served as executive chef for Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook. His brother James served as the director of operations for a large company providing culinary services to the offshore oil and gas industry.
“We felt like we’d been pretty successful working together in our careers, and always wanted to do something on our own, so we came up with the idea of opening an ice cream business,” explained Patrick.
James and Patrick’s vision was to take a product that was over 100 years old and make something new and unique with it. For example, their Birthday Cake ice cream recipe starts with freshly baked birthday cake they prepare in house, and their Banana Pudding flavor starts with from scratch banana pudding.
Allegiance Bank Clear Lake Bank Office President Bill Holbert recalled his first meeting with the brothers several years ago, noting, “I leaned over my desk and asked them why they wanted to do this, given they both had great jobs, good credit and money saved. They looked at each other and said, ‘Well, we really love ice cream.’ I laughed and told them that sort of passion was good enough for me and our bank would be their partner. We have been with them since day one of their operation.”
“We had never really shopped for a bank before, but we knew we wanted a bank that aligned with our customer service point of view,” recalled Patrick. “When I first stepped foot into Allegiance Bank, it was different; the feel, the layout, the customer service and the friendliness. I felt like we found our bank.”
Step one of getting the business off the ground included buying and outfitting a vintage ice cream truck before exploring a store front location with high foot traffic to sell their small batch, handcrafted ice cream. After finding the perfect vintage truck to facilitate their dream, alongside their father, the brothers restored the vehicle to create Cool Cow Creamery’s first home.
Patrick recalls the sale of the first scoop from the truck at the Dickinson High School Homecoming Carnival in October of 2018: “It was so hot, we almost passed out of heat exhaustion after serving over 200 scoops of ice cream in two hours.”
While growing their business from the truck, they commenced a year-long search for a great spot for their first brick and mortar handcrafted ice cream shop.
“Kemah called to us,” noted Patrick. “There was always lots of foot traffic, and tons of other great businesses that have the best of everything that we wanted to be next to.”
Following the tip of a friend, they found their perfect location in Toucan Alley, a building between 6th and 7th street in the heart of Kemah’s Lighthouse District. “I call it the entertainment area because it has the best of everything,” Patrick said.
They signed a lease for a spot in the back of the building overlooking a beautiful courtyard that was the selling point for the brothers. Initially worried that being in the back of the building would provide a slow start, the opposite happened. They opened the store’s doors on July 21, 2018, and people were lined up waiting for the store to open.
Patrick continued, “Most of the guests we met that day are known as our regulars. Some come multiple times a week, some just on weekends and some just when they are in town. Since then we have produced 1000’s of gallons of ice cream and created about 200 different ice cream flavors that are rotated through our ice cream dipping cabinet and vintage ice cream truck.”
Scooping Up the Best
While 2020 has been nothing short of a challenge due to the pandemic, like many others in the hospitality industry, James and Patrick have worked hard to get creative about bringing their handcrafted products to market, and look forward to celebrating their second anniversary on National Ice Cream Day, July 19, 2020.
Reflecting on the first two years of business, Patrick notes, “Our initial goals were to have fun making good ice cream and to make people happy…we have definitely conquered those goals.”
Part of what makes Cool Cow Creamery so special are the qualities that the brothers have instilled in their business. “Originally we pursued the launch of Cool Cow Creamery for fun, to bring our favorite handcrafted ice cream creations to all, whenever, wherever and whoever because we love all. We treat people the way we want to be treated. For example, if our guests think of something and we have everything to put it together, then we make it happen because it’s how we want to be treated at any other establishment. It makes our guests happy and they remember the experience,” Patrick continued.
Be Cool, Eat Ice Cream
Patrick and James never thought they would be where they are today with Cool Cow Creamery. “In the next five years we envision multiple locations spread out over the Houston area so we can bring more of the great handcrafted ice cream creations we make today to other communities in our foodie filled city,” Patrick said.
At Cool Cow Creamery, you can expect a party every time you visit. “We’re always changing the menu per our guest’s suggestions and bring back creations they’ve had in the past,” he continued.
Patrick’s favorite flavor is Milk Chocolate Brownie Fudge, because he loves brownies and ice cream, and orders it anytime he is out and it is on a menu. This ice cream is a milk chocolate ice cream with their very own scratch-made fudge brownie chunks and fudge drizzled throughout.
Visit them at their Kemah location at 609 Bradford Ave, Unit 111, or via their vintage ice cream truck, popping up all over the area!
Join Cool Cow Creamery in celebrating their second anniversary on National Ice Cream Day on Sunday, July 19, 2020.
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