Twenty Years of COWS

I was waiting in line for my Strawberry Sunrise yesterday down at COWS at Peakes Key here in Charlottetown when I looked up and saw “since 1983” painted on the railings. Which means that our local ice creamery has just finished its 20th season of serving ice cream.

COWS, like any Island institution, has its supporters and its naysayers. But there’s no doubting that the quality of the ice cream we Islanders have access to as a result of COWS far outstrips anything else available otherwise. To say nothing of the hundreds if not thousands of students that COWS has given summer employment to, and the year-round employment from their mail order business.

Scott Linkletter, who dreamed all this up and has kept it going all these years, is too modest to crow about achievements like this, but he and his staff deserve a hearty congratulations from all of us.


Wayne's picture
Wayne on September 3, 2003 - 20:02 Permalink

Wasn’t the late Marc Gallant involved in the whole concept?

Kevin's picture
Kevin on September 3, 2003 - 23:30 Permalink

Y’know, I think Scott Linkletter has perhaps done himself out of much of the recognition he rightly deserves for his many business accomplishments — COWS being a fine example. See, it seems that Scott and Marc were getting the marketing right from very early on.. and that’s why I always thought this stuff was being done by some “big marketing machine” from “somewhere else” and so for the first five or six years of his operation those strings which regularly tug a help-an-Island-business-succeed-chord on my heart were quite silent because it never occurred to me that COWS was a PEI company. Imagine! (I’ve heard that from one person on one occasion apropos ISN — best compliment I was ever paid… but in Scott’s case it’s different… he deserves it.)

COWS jobs were always considered a ‘cut above’ a McJOB and that’s also a direct reflection on the company. Anyway, I join with you Pete in offering a hearty congratulations to Scott and the gang.

Rob MacD's picture
Rob MacD on September 4, 2003 - 01:10 Permalink

For me, Cows lost its heart when they started putting out those T-shirts just for the sake of putting out t-shirts. Early on, the t-shirts were somewhat smile-inducing and were rather unique entities. Their quirkiness and quality represented, to me, the ideas and ideals of the company. But at some point (maybe around the 1991 Canada Games?) the shirts became too gimmicky and, ultimately, too boring. They seem to have lost the care, thought and originality that they used to possess. I mean, it doesn’t take much effort to come up with ‘Cowy Potter’ and show a cow with thick-rimmed glasses. I don’t know if ‘Cowy Potter’ actually exists, but I think the unimaginativeness of that spoof is representative of the low-creative quality of those shirts these days.

Still, though, just like Kizzle and Petizzle, I’m layin’ down shout outs, props and congrizzle to Scizzle and the gizzle for 20 yizzle, and yo, their ice crizzle is still the bizzle. (I’m trying to sound more ‘street’.)

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on September 4, 2003 - 01:22 Permalink

I too have debated (mostly with myself) the downgrade of the COWS “scripts” from witty inside jokes to “insert pop culture icon of the minute here.” The biggest slide here was the transition from “Common Cow Pays Homage to Local Literary Hero” which has been rebadged, with the same image, Anne of Green Stables.

I didn’t truly understand the rationale for this until I was in at the Queen St. store one afternoon this summer waiting for my Iced Cowpucinno to be prepared and I overheard one middle-aged woman saying to another “Look, here’s my absolute favourite…” while pointing at the “We’re heifer a good time.”

Mundane pop-culture tie-ins sell better than upscale high culture puns. While I decry, like Rob, the downturn into the Cowy Potter, I don’t suppose I can call on COWS to turn their noses as the better sales that the mundane promises.

Matt's picture
Matt on September 4, 2003 - 01:29 Permalink

Still, I gotta get the kids a Moo-ra the Explorer shirt. You understand, Peter… don’t you?

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on September 4, 2003 - 01:57 Permalink

Find the map, find the map, find the map…

Ann's picture
Ann on September 4, 2003 - 12:13 Permalink

The difference between the T-shirts being good and not good is the difference between having Marc Gallant design them and someone else doing it. I remember when he did the “Common Cow Pays Homage…” t-shirt and he thought even that was too much — but did it in as tasteful a way as he could muster.

Kevin's picture
Kevin on September 18, 2003 - 18:26 Permalink

Not only he thought, Ann, but others too. I recall back then hearing some strongish opposition from purists who felt he was taking the word artist to a place too easily reached… or some such thing; anyway, like everyone on PEI who sticks their necks out they catch a whack or two now and then.

Cripes, what I find a bit mif-ogenic is the shock (and awe I suppose) at discovering that [insert partially-to-moderate public personality here] comes up human and has, gasp, faults! Fortunately, should I ever decide to be come ‘moderate’ I can comfort myself with having none right?