GRANDVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) — This week for the West Michigan Scoops Tour, News 8 stopped at Tippy Cow Ice Cream in downtown Grandville, a spot that has grown in popularity over the past 10 years and now makes its own ice cream.

Kat Vanproyen opened Tippy Cow on Chicago Drive near Ottawa Avenue in 2014. She had worked at an ice cream shop growing up on the east side of the state and has a love for the people and product.

“I worked at Dairy-Go-Round in Plymouth and the owner there just got me really involved from the get-go. So I loved it, I knew I always wanted to do it. I got an accounting degree — I was not a wonderful accountant,” she said with a laugh. “I’m a much better ice cream shop owner.”

“This is definitely fulfilling a dream for me,” she added.

Kat Vanproyen opened Grandville's Tippy Cow Ice Cream in 2014.
Kat Vanproyen opened Grandville’s Tippy Cow Ice Cream in 2014.

Her store switched to handmade, small-batch ice cream about three years ago. It starts with a pasteurized base from Country Dairy and makes the ice cream with inclusions and flavors.

“I always wanted to make my own,” Vanproyen said. “I love the neighborhood ice cream shop, I love the simplicity of it, being some place where people can go. But I just really wanted to differentiate ourselves and felt like I could control the quality and we could just make a really amazing, super-premium ice cream that really sets us apart from all the other local shops.”

Tippy Cow now makes almost all of its ice cream, including dairy-free scoops and sorbets. Some of its flavors are made in collaboration with other local businesses. The mocha almond fudge uses coffee from Littlefoot Coffee Roaster in Grandville, the morning coffee flavor uses cold brew from Full Circle Coffee in Byron Center and some cake flavors are made in collaboration with The Cake Girl in Grandville.

The menu offers several unique flavors: Vanproyen recently made a spicy margarita sorbet in collaboration with InBooze in Grandville, and the shop also has a strawberry rhubarb crisp flavor.

She said Tippy Cow’s most unique flavor is also one of its most popular: salted Oreo.

“A lot of people are used to a cookies and cream flavor, but this has a little sea salt in it so it has an unusual salty flavor,” she said. “A lot of people at first were like, ‘That sounds weird.’ But then they try it and they cannot stop. So it’s an awesome ice cream.”

The other most popular item is peanut butter perfection, a hard scoop item that started as a flurry.

The ice cream shop is open from March through October, but also offers items to pre-order for Thanksgiving, Christmas and Valentine’s Day. Vanproyen said a popular Christmas offering is the North Pole dirt, a peppermint Oreo ice cream.

Tippy Cow Ice Cream in Grandville.
Tippy Cow Ice Cream in Grandville.

Tippy Cow Ice Cream also offers catering. Vanproyen is hoping to start offering the ice cream at wholesale to local businesses.

The shop is staffed primarily by high school and college students. Vanproyen said her employees, family and customers are what keep her going.

“My kids love it. … My kids get to grow up with their mom owning an ice cream shop, it’s so fun. And the girls who work here just work so hard. I’m so fortunate I have an amazing staff,” she said, adding that she’s thankful for them. “And the customers are amazing. … They’ve supported us from day one when I was nervous if we would make it. But they kept showing up and kept telling their friends and it’s just grown, so I’m thankful for that.”

During the busy season, Vanproyen said her team often serves around 1,000 people a day.

“It’s great. It was not that way to start, so it’s definitely grown,” she said.

Despite the success and new homemade scoops, Vanproyen has aimed to keep the ice cream affordable for Grandville families.

“We still try to maintain neighborhood ice cream prices,” she said. “I really want to make sure that it’s still accessible for everyone, I mean prices have gone up like crazy, so we just want to make sure that families can still come get ice cream all together.”

Visit next week as we continue the West Michigan Scoops Tour.