Corner Stop Ice Cream’s Jack and Barb Smit are happy to be part of the Lowell community. They opened up at the concession stand at Lowell Township’s North Grand River Riverfront Park in July after having the same business in Saranac for 10 years. The business offers a variety of ice cream products, slushies, and hot dogs daily from 11am – 9pm.
The Smits not only owned and operated Corner Stop Ice in Saranac for 10 years, they’re also owners of the laundromat in the same city. Although it’s likely that they will sell off components of the business and close in the near future as the business has not been attracting new customers. With a similar fate concerning the ice cream shop, the couple decided to look at other options.
One such avenue was sending in a sealed bid to Lowell Charter Township in response to their request for bids as they searched for a business to lease the concession stand at the new Riverfront Park, north of the Grand River. Upon hearing they were the winning bid, wheels were set into motion to close in Saranac and open in the Lowell community.
Embracing the Lowell Community
Jack Smit says he is happy to be in the Lowell community. He says the location in the Lowell Township park is great with a lot of traffic in close proximity. Aside from Lowell’s First Look’s Facebook photo and word of mouth, there has been no official advertising.
Business has been steady since opening July 27 and is already surpassing daily sales which were seen in Saranac. “It’s great having people stop by who are out for a walk or using the pickle ball courts.” says Jack Smit. His wife, Barb handles managing the location as he works in Grand Rapids as well as on the family farm, currently baling hay. The two have grandchildren and others who have been helping with daily operations at the new ice cream location, but they’re also looking for part-time help now until they close sometime in the fall.
The Corner Ice Cream Shop will operate seasonally, meaning it can be open nine months each year. The Smits don’t have a scheduled close time in the fall. They’ll see how the weather goes and monitor customer traffic. Once there’s an indication that the season is winding down they’ll pick a close date and offer specials as a means of clearing out inventory.
Jack also hopes to offer Christmas trees for sale at the park in December. “There isn’t a good place to get a fresh tree in town.” he says of the idea.
It took some time for all of the paperwork and inspections to be completed before opening last month. The goal was to open earlier in the season. But the later start has given the Smits the opportunity to get their feet wet this year and start off in the spring with some experience at the location under their belt.
Customers will find high quality ingredients at the Corner Ice Cream Shop, providing a much better experience. Smit says that he has learned over the years that offering better quality products makes customers happy, which in turn is better for business. Soft serve ice cream is available and is used to make flurries and sundaes. Slushies and hot dogs are also on the extensive options being offered.
Whether you’re out for a bike ride, taking a walk, are coming to the township park to explore, or just in the area and have a craving for ice cream, the Corner Ice Cream Shop is ready to serve. Check out their Facebook page for more information and specials. They are open every day of the week from 11am – 9pm.