Hudsonville Ice Cream started when a group of local farmers who were looking for a better way to sell their dairy products banded together to form a new co-op. They chose a location on Chicago Drive in Hudsonville, Michigan, for this new venture, and in 1895 the Hudsonville Creamery was born.
Our Heritage dictates that we do it right or not at all.
In 1926, the Creamery began churning ice cream during the summer months- producing six flavors; vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, butter pecan, orange pineapple, and tootie fruitie. That same year, the first commercially successful Continuous Process Freezer, developed by Clarence Vogt, was introduced. The continuous freezer would revolutionize the ice cream industry, allowing manufacturers to mass-produce their product for the first time, and creating a new demand for what had traditionally been a summertime treat. Fourteen years later, ice cream had become a staple product for the Hudsonville Creamery, and in 1940 the company began producing the six original flavors of ice cream year-round.
About this same time, the city of Hudsonville was experiencing some changes of its own. The community continued to grow in population, and city leaders began making plans to expand Chicago Drive into a four-lane highway. One of the co-op members, Dick Hoezee, began working at the Creamery in 1930- the same year the company changed its name to include the words “ice cream”. In 1946, Dick bought controlling interest of the co-op, and two years later moved it to Burnips, Michigan, to accommodate the widening of Chicago Drive. Shortly after the move in 1949, Hudsonville purchased its first Vogt continuous process freezer.
Over the next 26 years, Dick streamlined the churning process, and updated the plant with the latest in manufacturing innovations. In the early days, the folded boxes were opened, filled, and closed by hand. Today, the 1.75 QT, half gallon, one gallon and three gallon containers are filled using automatic filling machines that have improved the capacity of the manufacturing plant.
In 1972, when Dick sold the business to his four sons, Dell, Jack, Rich, and Phil, they continued the family tradition of innovation and expanding the company’s offerings to over 50 flavors.
Today, Hudsonville Creamery and Ice Cream Company manufactures Original ice cream, Creamery Blend ice cream, Heritage Edition ice cream, frozen yogurt, sorbet, and sherbet. There are more than 30 flavors in 1.75 quart containers and still more than 50 flavors available in three gallon containers. We also produce a one gallon Vanilla for your extra enjoyment.
In the beginning, Hudsonville Ice Cream was sold through local grocery and convenience stores, and individual ice cream parlors located primarily in West Michigan. Over time, independent grocery stores gave way to regional clients, allowing Hudsonville Ice Cream to be sold in larger markets. Today, Hudsonville Ice Cream is available throughout Michigan, and selected areas of Ohio, Illinois and Indiana.
As the company has grown over the years, the recipe isn’t the company’s only legacy. The Hudsonville Ice Cream family includes many long-term Artisans who are the backbone of the company-an average length of employment for Hudsonville team members is 20 years. It’s this team’s ability to adapt to the changing business environment that has allowed Hudsonville to continue to make West Michigan’s favorite ice cream, using the highest quality and only the best ingredients.
Jack Hoezee left the business in 1997 to pursue other interests, but could still be seen helping his brothers around the plant. Dell, Rich, and Phil continued to operate the company until 2003, when it was purchased by another west Michigan family. Dell Hoezee still serves as a consultant for the company. He checks in on things during the week, passing on his experience and knowledge to the company’s new team. Dell’s continuing role with the company helps ensure that the Hudsonville Ice Cream tradition continues and that the spirit remains the same as it was in 1926, when the first batch of Hudsonville ice cream was made.