The Scoop On What’s Going On At Killer Creamery

It may not feel like ice cream weather right now, but by the time it is, it may be a lot easier to get keto ice cream products from Killer Creamery, thanks to expansions on both the manufacturing and distribution sides.

Killer Creamery founder Louis Armstrong. Photo courtesy Killer Creamery.

“Our show pony is our ice cream sandwich,” which is both sugar-free and gluten-free, said Louis Armstrong, CEO and founder of the company. “It’s the only one of its kind.”

Expanding distribution

This year, Killer Creamery is going to be expanding nationally with Albertsons, putting four varieties of its ice cream sandwich – salted caramel, vanilla, mint chocolate chip, and chocolate. It’s a big deal because Albertsons adds new products into its set only once a year, Armstrong explained. 

“We’re one of only two or three that’s actually growing,” said Matt Price, chief operating officer. “It’s been a brutal time for the category, and surprisingly many brands are losing their shelf space.”

Moreover, Albertsons isn’t the only company Killer Creamery is working with. “There are a couple of key retailers that could match Albertsons’ volume,” Armstrong said, such as Costco, Publix, Whole Foods, and Kroger’s, the parent company of Fred Meyer, which is pursuing a merger with Albertsons. But he’s looking at Albertsons first because “it’s a hometown brand,” he said. 

Killer Creamery’s iconic Ice Cream Sandwich. Image courtesy Killer Creamery.

Expanding manufacturing

Longer term, the company is looking at expanding manufacturing. Killer Creamery is focused on ice cream novelties, or hand-held forms of ice cream. “Ice cream manufacturing is at capacity nationally,” Armstrong said. “It’s growing significantly as more people shop in store, and novelties in particular are growing like crazy.”

The problem is how to increase manufacturing capacity. While Idaho is third in dairy production, there are no large ice cream manufacturers in Idaho right now, Armstrong said. “Much of the cream produced in Idaho is leaving the state.”

To fix this, Killer Creamery is partnering with Idaho Milk Products (IMP), a dairy farmer-owned milk processing leader, to explore shared interests in manufacturing ice cream, Armstrong said. The company received an unspecified investment from IMP, which has fresh, high-quality cream as part of its product portfolio, which also includes milk protein concentrates and isolates as well as milk permeate powders. But exactly what a facility might look like is currently undetermined, though it would likely be in the Magic Valley, he said.

“Our purpose is to bring maximum value to our milk through continuous product innovation combined with the pursuit of world class manufacturing performance,” said Daragh Maccabee, IMP CEO. “A partnership with Killer is an ideal opportunity where the unique qualities of both parties can combine to create something special.”

“It’s a big deal for our brand and we couldn’t be more excited to further our relationship with Daragh and his team at IMP. Among all the synergies we share with IMP, we were all blown away by their investments into sustainability. It’s a story we hope to help them tell ” Armstrong said. “Killer Creamery, partnering with some of the largest dairymen in the state, becomes an interesting relationship for a startup.”

Image courtesy Killer Creamery.

Effect on the company

The result of all this is likely to be a doubling of Killer Creamery’s employee count, from the current four by up to five more, mostly in sales and marketing, Armstrong said. 

One of those positions might be a new COO. Price is planning to drop the title, retaining just his seat on the board. “After this inflection point, the future success of Killer Creamery truly depends on us having a significant manufacturing component. Thus, we need to prioritize and promote that type of experience to our executive team. As both a fiduciary and Killer Creamery super-fan, I am elated to continue serving Louis and our shareholders as a Board Director.”

Currently, the company uses third-party services and broker networks to keep its employee count low. “We’re lean and mean intentionally,” Armstrong said. 

Killer Creamery is also looking at expanding into new products, such as a sundae cone, Armstrong said. “That side of manufacturing is a difficult space to grow into,” because it requires both making the ice cream and baking the cone, he explained.

Written by Sharon Fisher, a digital nomad who writes about entrepreneurship.

This article was created as a collaboration between Boise Entrepreneur Week, Built in Idaho and Trailhead