PARK TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — News 8 is taking you to the Holland area for the next stop of the West Michigan Scoops Tour.
The Ottawa Beach General Store on Ottawa Beach Road on the way to the Holland State Park, has been an icon in the community for decades. It was built in the 1930s on 0.2 acres of land.
The shop inside offers candy, camping supplies and more, while the deck outside offers a place to get ice cream and hang out.
It’d be hard to not find something you like: The General Store boasts 40 flavors of hard serve ice cream, 24 soft serve flavors and plenty of sundaes. It also has shakes, malts, glaciers and flurries.
“We have a lot of options for a lot of different tastes,” Linda Dykert, the General Store’s operator, said.
The store serves a variety of brands, including Hudsonville and MOO-ville.
The General Store’s best-seller is Homemade Brand’s peanut butter cookie dough flavor, while the boardwalk brownie sundae, with brownie pieces, vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, whipped cream and a cherry, is its most popular sundae.
Dykert said her shop wants to offer customers the best.
“We shop ice cream shows in the off-season and we pick what we believe is the best of the best,” she explained.
The General Store’s flavor of the week brings unique and weird flavors for customers to try, like yellow snow, a lemon and vanilla ice cream.
Madilyn Vellinga, the store’s team leader, said her favorite sundae is the Mt. Pisgah peanut butter sundae, named after a nearby dune that’s a popular exercise spot. It’s “very peanut buttery,” she said: The sundae has vanilla ice cream, peanut butter topping, hot fudge, peanut butter cups, chocolate chips, whipped cream and a cherry on top.
Vellinga has worked at the store for seven years, starting when she was 14 years old.
“I love that I get to be a face for the tourists and get to represent Holland,” she said. “I also just get to scoop ice cream, and what’s better than ice cream?”
Vellinga grew up in the area and has become best friends with some of her coworkers. She said she has heard from customers who have been coming to the General Store for decades.
“I’ve met customers who’ve been coming here for 50 years and they love coming back here every year and sharing it with their grandchildren and their sons and daughters,” she said.
“I believe we are really well loved. It’s a great place for family groups to come together and enjoy ice cream on the deck,” Dykert said.
The Ottawa Beach General Store’s building is nearing the end of its life, with sinking floors and an old foundation. It is set to be torn down and rebuilt this fall, but the rebuild will be as close to the original as possible.
“It’s really taking what’s there, being respectful of the history, but modernizing it in a way that it’ll last decades and decades more for the future generations,” Ken Dixon, the owner of Dixon Architecture, which was contracted to work on the project, previously told News 8.
Work will start after Labor Day and go into the winter. It is expected to be done in time for the 2024 summer season.
Dykert, who has worked there since 2010, said she loves serving the community ice cream.
“We love our customers,” she said. “We have so much fun with people that we serve, and it’s really satisfying to see a small child walk away with a cone and it makes his or her day. That’s a lot of fun.”