July is here, which means summer is in full swing and National Ice Cream Month is upon us. Let’s face it, is any summer complete without indulging in this most addictive of sweet frozen treats? We say NO!
Iced treats date back as far as Ancient Greece and Persia, but ice cream as we know it today wasn’t readily available to the average joe and jane in the US until the mid 19th century. Today it’s one of most popular food products in America and we are lucky to have several amazing brands made right here in Michigan. Our lineup might change from time to time, but we regularly and proudly carry such Detroit mainstays as Ray’s, Guernsey, Sanders, Hudsonville, Alinosi, and Cool Jack’s.
Here’s a little taste of these six local brands that we stock and love:
Ray’s is based in Royal Oak and has been around since 1958, when it was founded by Raymond and Bernice Stevens and their son Dale as a neighborhood ice cream parlor and soda fountain with a focus on quality products and friendly service. Over the years, Dale carried on the family tradition as company president, joined by his brother Raymond Jr., and third-generation grandson, Tom Stevens, is now president. A number of great-grandchildren also work at the family business (schoolwork permitting, of course!).
Today, Ray’s remains a local favorite for its premium ice cream products and gourmet ice cream desserts, also supplying a number of area retailers, restaurants, and country clubs – both here in southeast Michigan and across the country. The family takes great pride in preserving its well-earned reputation, which shows in Ray’s Ice Cream consistently being voted among metro Detroit’s best.
It all started with a passionate dream and a borrowed barrel of sugar on June 17, 1875. That’s the day Fred Sanders Schmidt, commonly known as Fred Sanders opened his first chocolate candy shoppe in Detroit.
By the 1940’s and 1950’s, Sanders products and stores were woven into the lives of Michigan families. Sanders soon became the leading purveyor of confections in the region and started selling directly to national supermarket chains, as well as to other retailers in the area. Eventually, there were more than 57 locations in the Great Lakes Region offering candy, ice cream toppings and baked goods. These early shoppes were also known for providing light lunches and an assortment of fountain counter specialties including ice cream sodas, hot fudge sundaes and (the now iconic) Sanders Hot Fudge Cream Puffs.
In 2002 Morley Candy Makers, Inc., another iconic Michigan company, purchased the Sanders brand and original recipes, adding to its own rich history dating back to 1919. Today, they still believe in Fred Sanders’ simple mission to provide premium confections at a fair value. They use the finest real ingredients to make their products and never sacrifice quality to save on costs because ice cream and confections shouldn’t only taste great, they should be made great.
Come in and grab your favorite flavors of ice cream and don’t forget those must-have Sanders dessert toppings!
Guernsey Farms Dairy has been doing their thing for nearly 80 years. This family-owned business, based in Northville, believes in three core principles: Taste. Quality. Commitment.
Produce exceptional products, maintain quality and provide excellent service in delivering them to customers. That’s the philosophy founder John McGuire built Guernsey on in 1940, when he wanted nothing more than to make and deliver good milk to his family and friends. Over 75 years and a few generations of McGuires later, it’s that same simple philosophy that has made Guernsey Farms Dairy one of the oldest family-owned dairy processors in Southeast Michigan – and one of the best darn producers of ice cream anywhere!
Today they produce over 30 flavors of premium ice cream, made with ultra-fresh milk and with those same core principals from 1940. We carry several flavors on a regular basis, so come on in and grab your favorite today.
Hudsonville Creamery has been around for over 120 years, with over 90 years of history in every scoop of it’s delicious ice creams.
The creamery was a co-operative created in 1895 by local farmers who were looking for a better way of selling their dairy products. Their first location was on Chicago Drive in Hudsonville, MI. The creamery started producing ice cream in 1926 and was making six flavors by 1940, including Butter Pecan, Orange Pineapple, Tutti Fruitie, Chocolate, Strawberry, and of course, Vanilla.
Dick Hoezee bought a controlling interest in the creamery and moved it to Burnips, MI to make room for the widening of Chicago road. He sold the business to his four sons in 1972. Denny Ellens bought Hudsonville from the Hoezee family in 2003 and moved it to its current location in Holland, MI. Today, Hudsonville Ice Cream produces over 50 flavors and is sold across Michigan, Illinois and Indiana – and of course, right here in all three of our stores.
For decades, Alinosi Spumoni Ice Cream was part of daily summer life for many on Detroit’s east side.
Born in Italy, the young Louis Alinosi moved to Detroit in 1911. Joined by his brother, Joseph, they worked together to open the doors of their ice cream parlor and bakery in 1921. They opened on Mack Avenue and Grand Boulevard and within a few years, seven franchised parlors bearing the name Alinosi Ice Cream and Candy Company served Detroit families, with the primary location being on McNichols.
Alinosi ice creams been featured in the book Food Finds: America’s Best Local Foods and the People Who Produce Them (Harper Collins), and also on the Food Finds television show, on the Food Network.
Today, the Alinosi brand lives on via the Chocolate Bar Cafe, located in Grosse Pointe Woods. It is owned and operated by Lisa Corbin who works diligently to provide the best customer service, maintain the best quality product, and keep the cafe running in the same fashion as when it originally opened 90 years ago. We are delighted to be one of just a few select retailers to be selling this most Detroit of ice creams.
Cool Jack’s Handcrafted Cookies & Ice Cream doesn’t have the long history of the others mentioned here, but they have quickly made a name for themselves.
Located in Sylvan Lake, with manufacturing in Livonia, they were founded by Josh Charlip in 2011. He had one goal in mind: “Rid the world of cardboard cookies and flavorless ice cream.” So far they are right there with the other Michigan-made ice cream makers doing exactly that, and their twist on the ice cream sandwich is to die for! Imagine two mouthwatering cookies with a slathering of rich and creamy ice cream in between. That’s exactly what you get with Cool Jack’s … and in multiple flavors. They make easy party treats, so come in and grab them up before the summer is over….You’ll be all smiles, just like founder Josh Charlip is in the photo here!