Innovation is certainly key to Minus the Moo, a gourmet ice cream company launched by Gwen Burlingame '12 VSB and Katy Flannery '12 CON. The former college roommates believe ice cream should be enjoyed by all, even those who are lactose intolerant, like Flannery. They developed a premium product using locally sourced dairy ingredients plus an all-natural enzyme that breaks down the lactose. "Our mission focuses on values as much as solutions," explains Burlingame. "We're passionate about putting good food in the marketplace."
Based in Boston, Burlingame and Flannery began selling their product at farmers markets in July 2015 and today, their five flavors are sold at nearly 40 Whole Foods and other specialty markets around Boston.
Retailers aren't the only ones paying attention to Minus the Moo. The duo won the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream Pitch competition in 2016. They also took part in the 2017 MassChallenge accelerator program and were recently featured on MSNBC's "Elevator Pitch."
"In many ways, it's the best time to be a food startup," Burlingame shares. "Big brands can't innovate the way startups can and that's creating opportunities for brands like ours."
In the coming months, distribution of Minus the Moo will grow to 65 stores in New England, with plans for 150 markets in the Northeast by the end of 2017.
Portions of this story originally appeared in the Summer 2017 edition of Villanova Business Magazine.