Sherman’s Dairy Bar opens with precautions, Hudsonville-made ice cream

Southwest Michigan

SOUTH HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — The pandemic is not stopping people from enjoying ice cream at a long-standing and much-loved ice cream shop in South Haven.

Sherman’s Dairy Bar opened for the season at noon Friday.

Customers will see a few changes because of precautions put in place to help slow the spread of coronavirus. Marty O’Connor, part of Sherman’s leadership team, said orders are taken at the outside window only and cash is not being accepted.

“We’re all wearing masks. We wear our gloves when they’re preparing the food. We have a touchless service,” O’Connor said.

Social distancing is also being encouraged with signs and ice cream cones painted on the ground 6 feet apart to keep waiting customers spaced out.

Painted ice cream cones mark 6-feet distances where customers can wait in line outside Sherman’s Dairy Bar in South Haven. (May 1, 2020)

Norm and Margie Grass were the first in line for the 2020 opening.

“It’s his 80th birthday so we’re having ice cream for lunch today,” Margie Grass said.

Getting ice cream is a tradition the couple looks forward to every year.

“We were in Florida five months and I think we thought about it most of the time,” Norm Grass said.

This year is the first opening with Hudsonville Ice Cream stepping in to make the frozen treats for Sherman’s, but the store says the taste has not changed.

“Hudsonville is partnering with Sherman’s and has the original recipes and so the recipes that we have here, the ice cream that we have here are Port Sherman’s recipes from decades ago,” O’Connor said.

The Sherman’s dairy farm was originally founded in 1916, so the name is well known throughout the area. The ice cream part of the businesses was added later.

“This opened in 1958, July 1, and the tradition and the memories continue on,” O’Connor said.

Jennifer Meachum brought her children Charlotte and Glen to take part in the tradition.

“It is indeed good to see places opening even if it’s just small steps, ordering the ice cream through the window. We definitely need that in our lives right now,” Meachum said.

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