February 23, 2024
The place to get ice cream in West Michigan: Furnishings Metropolis, Rocky’s, Sherman’s

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A lot of ice cream outlets all through West Michigan are preparing for a busy summer season.

WOOD TV8 is stopping at a few of your favorites this season for the West Michigan Scoops Tour. For the primary installment of the tour, our crews stopped at Furnishings Metropolis in Grand Rapids, Rocky’s in Rockford and Sherman’s in South Haven.


An ice cream store on Cherry Road in Grand Rapids makes all of its personal ice cream.

At Furnishings Metropolis, positioned at 958 Cherry St. close to Lake Drive, the flavors change all through the week. It affords vegan choices and pup cups to your four-legged good friend.

The most well-liked merchandise it affords is its peanut butter Oreo taste, proprietor and operator Rachel Franko stated. The second hottest — and most original providing — is the crème brulee ice cream.

“We don’t make almost as usually just because the combination itself is a three-day course of and the creme topping takes me half a day simply to make it for one batch,” Franko stated. “We make that intermittently, however as soon as that’s out, that’s offered out fairly shortly.”

Every ice cream is made in home, together with many of the gadgets that go into the ice cream, like cookies and apple crisp. The method takes no less than two days, generally extra relying on the flavour.

It begins with a mixture of sugar, milk, cream and eggs on the stovetop, Franko stated. It’s a course of that makes every taste “higher and extra particular,” however can also be pretty labor intensive, she stated.

However with a background in chemical engineering, Franko enjoys it.

“For somebody that has an engineering diploma in combined administration and combined processes, it is smart that I take pleasure in that half. Nevertheless it’s very labor intensive,” she stated.

“Everyone wants a job,” she later stated. “And if that is my job, I’m extra blissful for it. I don’t wish to be in an workplace, I don’t wish to be answering to any person. Day by day is totally different. … It’s loads of work, however it’s good work.”

The place to get ice cream in West Michigan: Furnishings Metropolis, Rocky’s, Sherman’s
Furnishings Metropolis on Cherry Road close to Lake Drive.

Franko began Furnishings Metropolis virtually 9 years in the past. She had been doing a little consulting work, however discovered she was having fun with it much less.

“(I) noticed {a magazine} on ice cream outlets popping up in California,” she defined. “I got here residence and began creating recipes proper then and there.”

Her husband got here up with the title, a nod to when Grand Rapids was often known as Furnishings Metropolis within the Twenties and Nineteen Thirties.

“We actually wished to be a nod to extra of the ’20s and ’30s the place the ice cream outlets had been the place folks went and loved their night time out,” she stated. “It wasn’t all centered on the nightlife and it’s only a easier time.”

Furniture City on Cherry Street near Lake Drive.
Furnishings Metropolis on Cherry Road close to Lake Drive.

All through the years on Cherry Road, Furnishings Metropolis has partnered with native animal nonprofits, like Nice Hearts Meals Pantry. Furnishings Metropolis raised funds for the group all through the month of Could, by providing a brand new taste, pet chow, and giving all the income from that taste to the pet pantry.

Franko and her husband each love canine.

“As we take into consideration rising and being greater, that’s all the time behind my thoughts,” Franko stated. “How can we use this little store — after which hopefully one thing greater sooner or later — to have the ability to give to extra shelter pets.”

Furnishings Metropolis is seeking to develop its operations and transfer manufacturing of ice cream out of the store.

“The purpose is to maneuver our manufacturing, if you’ll, our small-scale manufacturing, to a location that may finally provide multiple store and proceed to provide our catering,” Franko stated.


In a small city with 5 ice cream outlets, custom helps one enterprise stand out from the remaining.

Opened in 1981, Rocky’s Dairy Depot has been dishing up chilly treats for years. It has seen 4 totally different homeowners and is at the moment owned by the previous supervisor who bought the enterprise in 2017.

“… Once I first began working at Rocky’s, that they had purchased it from the homeowners earlier to them they usually had owned it for 30 years,” Katie Hradsky, proprietor of Rocky’s Dairy Depot, defined.

Rocky’s is positioned on N. Most important Road close to Courtland Road and sees traces of shoppers each season.

“(The Rockford group) exhibits up. We’ve regulars and the ladies know who they’re. They arrive as much as the window and don’t even must say their order as a result of we already know what they’re going to get,” Hradsky stated.

Rockford is a tight-knit group and Hradsky says proudly owning a enterprise that has lengthy been a staple there comes with loads of strain

“Once I first got here to Rockford (in 2010) … it was loads of strain to guarantee that we had been nonetheless upholding the identical title and having the identical values and ensuring that we’re creating one thing that may be a custom for folks,” she stated.

Rocky’s Ice Cream Depot in Rockford on Could 12, 2023.

Rocky’s affords a variety of ice cream choices. From comfortable serve and hand-dipped to malts and flurries, there’s something for everybody.

“Mainly something you possibly can dream up or want for we have now and we’ll make,” Hradsky stated.

Rocky’s carries Home made Model ice cream, based mostly out of Cincinnati, Ohio, and MOO-ville out of Ionia.

“We name ourselves ice cream snobs over right here. My employees and I’ve favorites that all of us love and like to herald and we like to check out for purchasers, and so a few of these you’ll see come and go because the season goes on,” Hradsky stated.

Regardless of being lactose illiberal, Hradsky’s favourite taste is the Home made mocha almond fudge however she is “a sucker for a dole whip” and affords two at Rocky’s.

For anybody on the lookout for a “secret menu merchandise,” Rocky’s affords a tunnel of fudge with the comfortable serve.

Rocky’s opens for the season after spring break and closes within the fall, normally after the Rockford Harvest Pageant.


Only a brief drive away from the South Haven lakeshore on Phoenix Road close to I-196, you’ll discover a brick constructing, two gentle blue cows on the roof and a relentless line resulting in the entrance window. 

Dozens upon dozens of shoppers cease by Sherman’s Dairy Bar each single day. The store doesn’t open till midday however it isn’t unusual for folks to line up effectively earlier than that.

Sherman’s Dairy Bar has been serving clients for 65 years.

“I can say most likely on one hand all through the season, I can let you know the place there’s not a line earlier than we open,” Marty O’Connor stated.

O’Connor, one of many leaders of Sherman’s, has been a fan of the ice cream store since he was a child.

“After we would come from Chicago, mother would say, ‘Youngsters, should you’re good, we’re stopping at Sherman’s.’ Now, all of us knew we had been stopping it doesn’t matter what was happening,” he stated. 

He isn’t the one one with an extended historical past of consuming the ice cream who’s now a part of passing on that custom. Molly O’Brien is among the scoopers clients will see behind the counter this summer season. She began coming to the dairy bar as a toddler, simply as her mother did earlier than her. 

“She would all the time go residence with Sherman’s ice cream cone and inform tales of how she would go to sleep and the canine can be consuming the ice cream,” she stated. “And so I might come right here since I’ve been a little bit child and I might all the time get Blue Moon as a result of I believe that’s a little bit child’s basic taste.” 

The cows have develop into synonymous with Sherman’s despite the fact that they’re fairly current additions to the store.

Blue Moon is simply one of many many flavors of ice cream that Sherman’s pumps out daily. There are effectively over 30 flavors that may be personalized in a mess of the way from toppings, cones, or pairing it with one other taste. 

One of the distinctive gadgets at Sherman’s is the Pig’s Dinner. Eight large scoops of ice cream are positioned on a mattress of cut-up bananas, topped with 4 of your favourite toppings, whipped cream and cherries. That comes served in a picket stand that may solely hope to carry all of it. 

The Pig’s Dinner at Sherman’s Dairy Bar incorporates eight scoops of ice cream, 4 toppings, whipped cream and cherries.

The ice cream itself is what units it far above different spots in West Michigan, in response to O’Brien. Sherman’s sells premium ice cream, that means it’s made with 14% butter fats, in comparison with 10% to 12% at different institutions. 

It has created a cult following of kinds — not simply right here in West Michigan, but in addition from surrounding states. One household that spoke to Information 8 drove from Wisconsin to attempt Sherman’s alongside their journey alongside the lakeshore. 

“This was undoubtedly one of many issues we wished to attempt on our journey. And we’re glad we did,” the daddy stated.

This 12 months would be the sixty fifth 12 months that Sherman’s has served clients from its spot on Phoenix Road. The Shermans first moved onto the 880-acre land in 1890 and had been credited with being the primary household to homogenize and ship milk to residents’ doorsteps. The dairy bar opened July 1, 1958, and it hasn’t stopped since.

“We’re simply grateful to be part of the custom,” O’Connor stated. “So many issues change and to have the ability to have fun our sixty fifth 12 months, I imply, there’s loads of companies which have come and gone and it’s been a tricky couple of years, however our friends are so loyal and a lot enjoyable to have. They’re the folks that make Sherman’s, Sherman’s. They usually’re those that hold coming again and we’re grateful for them. They make us who we’re.”

Go to woodtv.com subsequent week as we proceed the West Michigan Scoops Tour.