Dairy farmers Amber and Joe McComish were looking for a value-added product to complement their dairy farm.

Not one to shy away from a challenge, Amber tried making cheese, yogurt, ice cream and eventually gelato, a frozen dessert with an Italian origin as far back as the 14th century.

The McComishes leaned into their Irish heritage and put faith in their dreams to develop Lucky Cow Gelato, selling gelato to local restaurants, gas stations and grocery stores. Soon thereafter, the couple opened Lucky Cow Coffee and Gelato in downtown Darlington.

“When I started making gelato, Joe exclaimed that he thought it was something I was good at, and it might be the value-added product we were looking for,” said Amber.

Gelato is made with less fat than ice cream. It has five to seven percent fat content whereas ice cream’s fat content over 10 percent. Gelato is churned slower and has about 25 percent air while ice cream can be as much as 50 percent air. Gelato has a smooth silky texture and is served at 10 degrees.

“Just as gelato is churned slower, we took our time to build our business and used local resources,” said Amber. “Knowing our customers and realizing what they wanted, coffee was an easy complement.”

Lucky Cow Coffee and Gelato offers a variety of fresh gelato flavors, baked goods and a wide variety of coffee and non-coffee drinks. Additionally, they offer an assortment of cheese from Miester Cheese, the creamery that processes their farm’s milk into cheese.

In addition to managing Lucky Cow, Amber cares for the calves on her family’s farm.

The dairy farm has been in the McComish family since 1848, the year Wisconsin became a state.

The McComish family no-tills the majority of their crops. No-tilling is a conservation practice that farmers use to minimize soil disturbance seen from the use of a plow.

The feed  on the farm is tested so they are sure the cows have every nutrient they need. They grow everything except several protein sources that they purchase, for example, distillers grains, which come from local ethanol plants.

Lucky Cow is open seven days a week and is located at 333 Main Street , Darlington, WI. Follow the McComish family and their business on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and YouTube. Learn more about Lucky Cow Coffee & Gelato by visiting https://luckycow.net/.

Portions of this story originally appeared in the June | July 2021 issue of Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation’s Rural Route magazine.