When it comes to developing unique flavors honoring Michigan’s most noted northern attractions, Hudsonville Ice Cream is scoops above the rest.
As the largest manufacturer of branded ice cream in Michigan, the Holland-based company started in 1895 as a farmers’ cooperative. Today, the company is noted for both its “all season” flavors – which are available year round – as well as “seasonal flavors” inspired by the Great Lakes.
Summer favorites – Sleeping Bear Dunes Bear Hug, Grand Traverse Bay Cherry Fudge and Mackinac Island Fudge – are among nearly 40 recipes currently available. Found in cartons at countless retail outlets and by the scoop at many more eateries and shops, these flavors deliver Pure Michigan tastes that locals and visitors alike crave.
Just this summer, Hudsonville Ice Cream added a new seasonal favorite to its portfolio when it partnered with one of the Mitten State’s top venues – the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island – for the creation of Grand Hotel Pecan Ball.
Opened in 1887, the Grand Hotel is the world’s largest summer hotel. With 385 rooms, it is a member of Historic Hotels of American, is listed with the National Register of Historic Sites and holds countless other distinctions for its time-honored hospitality.
The esteemed property is known for many things – like having the “world’s largest front porch” (at 660 feet), its love of geraniums (2500 plants in flower boxes on the front porch alone, with more than 5200 total plants around the property) and its pecan ball dessert (with more than 50,000 served to hotel guests each season).
Crafted with creamy vanilla ice cream, swirls of genuine Grand Hotel fudge and premium pecan pieces, the new Grand Hotel Pecan Ball flavor is a nod to the property’s signature dessert and is available for a limited time (just like summer).
“My family and I are extremely honored that Hudsonville Ice Cream would develop and create a Grand Hotel Pecan Ball flavored ice cream in honor of our famous dessert,” said R.D. (Dan) Musser III, president of Grand Hotel.
“It has been our privilege to work with another family owned Michigan business in creating and opening our Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor. For years we have thought about a way to bring the Grand Pecan Ball to guests even when they are not on Mackinac Island. Thanks to Hudsonville’s creative and meticulous team, we are very proud that this new ice cream flavor will allow people to enjoy a taste of Grand Hotel in their homes.”
Also last summer, the Grand Hotel unveiled Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor – named after Sadie (Ch. Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot), a black Scottish Terrier awarded “Best in Show” at the 2010 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show (and family member to hotel proprietors Amelia and Dan Musser).
“Every year, we look at Grand Hotel’s services and amenities and explore new ways to enhance our guests’ experience,” Musser said. “As Grand Hotel is deep-rooted in American tradition, so are classic ice cream parlors, which made the addition of Sadie’s a perfect fit. And, we are happy to be working with a Michigan-based business on this new venture.”
The parlor exclusively features 24 Hudsonville Ice Cream flavors that are served up in dishes, cones, shakes and sundaes. Those looking to share a traditional ice cream experience will enjoy the Grand Sundae. With eight scoops, it is proudly served in a dog bone shaped bowl, and is a crowd pleaser.
The classic American ice cream parlor – with its white marble topped café tables and twisted iron chairs – was decorated by none other than the hotel’s noted interior designer Carleton Varney of Dorothy Draper & Company in New York. Outside, visitors can sit on benches designed of the same twisted iron, with aqua blue oval backs and 3D ice cream cones painted in the Neapolitan colors of chocolate brown, vanilla and pink.
Located outside the hotel’s east entrance, off of Cadotte Avenue, the parlor is open to all Mackinac Island visitors with no hotel admission fee. It was dedicated on June 1 during a special ribbon cutting ceremony attended by Governor Rick Snyder, during the Council of Great Lakes Governors conference.
“We are extremely excited to continue our partnership with Grand Hotel. Their team has been amazing to work with, and the partnership fits so naturally – summer, family and relaxation,” says Caryn Beatty from Hudsonville Ice Cream. “A visit to Grand Hotel is an incredible experience and we are so excited to bring a scoop of that experience into families’ homes. This is an ice cream flavor that can only be matched by your own visit to Grand Hotel and Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor!”